Nothing makes it clearer that the Phillies are nothing more than a two player team: than the Phillies website. It highlights that Bryce Harper leads the hitters in batting average, runs, home runs, RBIs and stolen bases and that Zack Wheeler leads the pitchers in wins, ERA, Strikeouts and WHIP.
The team’s website keeps a running tally of these categories each day. It’s a sad commentary of just how unbalanced the Phillies roster is. It’s been like Harper and Wheeler are the only guys on the roster that produce on a regular basis.
One of my favorite memories of an unbalanced MLB roster growing up was when a story ran about the Chicago Cubs of the 1950’s. It was titled “Ernie Banks and 8 other guys”. The Cubs never won a pennant back then. Yet, they had one of the best players in baseball. It reminds me of the Phillies current situation. They will most likely go ten straight seasons without making the playoffs after this season, even with two of the best players in baseball.
The final week of the minor league season starts today. Several Phillies farmhands have shown that they have a chance to join Harper and Wheeler to give some balance to the Phillies MLB roster-hopefully sooner than later. We have watched about a hundred Phillies minor league games this season in person with the Threshers and on MiLB.TV with the other three full season teams. Below is what we have seen to give us hope for a better future.
The Phillies minor league teams are lacking balance in talent as well. None of them will finish above .500. It looks like the four teams combined will finish the season 50 games under .500 by the end of the season on Sunday.
Still several Phillies prospects have impressed us this season. They are locks for future MLB stardom particularly catcher/DH Logan O’Hoppe and outfielder Johan Rojas. O’Hoppe is hitting .406 (13 for 36) with three homers at AA Reading. Rojas is hitting .366 (15 for 41) with three homers at High A Jersey City.
The jury is still out on middle infielders Bryson Stott and Luis Garcia. Stott hit .400 in August at AA but has cooled off since going 2 for 16 in his most recently. Garcia shows flashes of brilliance and keeps getting stronger hitting .324 in September games at High A.
Of this year’s draft class, 13th round pick, left handed hitting, outfielder Jared Carr has stood out at Low A. In September so far, he has hit .344,(11 for 32) with 2 homers, 7 RBIs, 4 for 5 in steals and walked 5 times for a solid .995 OPS.
Recent first round Phillies draft picks Mick Abel and Andy Painter look promising on the mound. Abel threw a couple of five-inning no-hit games for the Threshers earlier in the season before being shutdown. Painter has struck out seven in four innings of shutout pitching in three recent Complex League games.
We have been most impressed with the Phillies fifth round draft pick from the 2021 Draft, Griff McGarry. He has struck out 39 in 20.2 innings of work divided between High and Low A.
The Phillies do seem to have some minor league talent that will at some point be ready for action in the big leagues. They need more than just Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler if they want to break their long drought of not playing post season baseball!