For the fourth straight season, the players not currently playing in the major leagues are more interesting than the ones playing in South Philly for the Phillies.
This isn’t to say that Odubel Herrera, Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola and others aren’t interesting. There are a bevy of important building blocks for future success currently in red pinstripes, but it is clear the Phillies are still a little ways from contending for an NL East crown or World Series.
Here’s a look at the top performing prospects — and a few off to a slow start — through the season’s first two weeks:
Jorge Alfaro, C, Lehigh Valley
After an injury-shortened but breakout season in the minors last year, the Phillies catcher of the future is playing impressive baseball in Triple-A to start 2017, hitting .350 with a double, triple and homer in 10 games.
Mickey Moniak, OF, Lakewood
Philadelphia’s first pick from a year ago is in the South Atlantic league hitting .288 through 14 games as he continues to show he deserves a fast track to the majors. The all-around offensive future star is filling the stat sheet with four steals, 11 RBI and five extra base hits so far.
Scott Kingery, 2B, Reading
There is a seeming log jam in middle infield but that isn’t stopping 22-year-old Kingery, who had an impressive spring and has continued it into the regular season with four home runs in 11 games.
Jesmuel Valentin, 2B, Lehigh Valley
Another second baseman is slaying in the minors, as 22-year-old Valentin, a relatively unknown prospect from Puerto Rico, is hitting .343 through 11 games to start his year.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Lehigh Valley
The big 24-year-old first baseman has hit three homers and for .297 to start the year, just as he left off after a power-ignited campaign last year that made him a household name among Phillies diehards.
Nick Pivetta, P, Lehigh Valley
The big right-hander has allowed just one run in 13 innings while earning two wins to kick off 2017 red hot.
Nick Williams, OF, Lehigh Valley
Williams still can’t seem to find his power stroke. Touted as a future corner outfielder with an abundance of power, the 23-year-old is hitting .237 with one home run in the early going.
Roman Quinn, OF, Lehigh Valley
Another outfielder with lots of potential is struggling, with Quinn’s speedy legs going unused as he’s hit just .227 through 11 games in Triple-A. He has just two stolen bases.
Dylan Cozens, OF, Lehigh Valley
The third starting outfielder for the Iron Pigs is also stuck in the mud. His two home runs are the only bright spot as the intimidating 6-foot-6 Cozens has hit .146 to start the year.
J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley
The Phils’ top prospect has just four hits in 38 at bats (.105) to start the season. Will he ever break through to the big leagues?
Jake Thompson, P, Lehigh Valley
The Iron Pig woes continue into the pitching staff with Thompson — expected to be a future major league hurler — going 0-3 with a 14.90 ERA to open 2017.