Future Phillies Report: New Guys, High-upside Arms and Players on Doorstep

The Future Phillies Report takes on added importance the final two months this season because the Phils figure to call up the first player you'll read about below, and they've added a handful of new players to the lower levels of their farm system over the last week.

The Phillies' shipping out Pat Neshek, Howie Kendrick, Jeremy Hellickson and Joaquin Benoit ahead of the trade deadline opened up roster spots for pitchers Jesen Therrien, Mark Leiter Jr. and Drew Anderson (albeit briefly).

The trades also paved a way for Jake Thompson to return to the rotation and pitch five shutout innings last week against the Braves.

We'll begin where we've begun a lot this season, with the position player prospect who's probably the most major-league ready:

1B Rhys Hoskins (AAA)
A possible trade of Tommy Joseph will have to wait until the winter (see story). Theoretically, the Phillies could trade Joseph in August, but as a young and inexpensive player Joseph is sure to be claimed, which means the Phils would be able to negotiate a trade with only one team as opposed to 29.

Meanwhile, Hoskins has continued to hit for power at Triple A and take his walks even when he's not. Hoskins has 10 walks and six strikeouts over his last nine games.

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On the year, Hoskins has hit .278/.380/.554 with 24 homers, 78 RBIs, 59 walks and 70 strikeouts. His numbers against righties and lefties are nearly identical.

When asked about the Joseph-Hoskins dilemma again on trade deadline day, Phillies GM Matt Klentak said this:

"Tommy's having a pretty good year. We're not going to rush anything while we're getting pretty good production out of first base. Rhys is having an outstanding year himself. There will likely come a time where we'll make a decision on that but for right now we're getting productivity at first base - both in the big leagues and at Triple A - and that's just fine."

Joseph, for his part, has gone 17 for 48 (.354) over his last 12 games with six doubles, a homer and 11 RBIs. The Phillies are hoping his hot streak can last at least a few weeks longer to help build his trade value for the winter.

If Hoskins has a chance to be the everyday first baseman in 2018 then it would make sense for the Phillies to get him up here by mid-August and give him a chance to compile about 150 plate appearances to get his feet wet.

2B Scott Kingery (AAA)
Kingery had a 16-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday night in Lehigh Valley's 3-1 win. He also made a fantastic diving stop up the middle, again showing off his plus second-base defense.

During the hitting streak, Kingery batted .314 with four extra-base hits and four steals, though he struck out 17 times.

Kingery has swung freely since reaching Triple A with five walks and 32 strikeouts. If there's a knock on his game, it's that he might not have the plate selection a leadoff batter typically needs.

Still, it's been a wildly successful season for Kingery, who's hit .307/.362/.562 with 23 homers, six triples, 22 doubles and 27 steals in 99 games at Double A and Triple A.

Kingery does not need to be protected on the Phillies' 40-man roster this winter but could be added anyway because he'll likely play a role on this team next season.

SS J.P. Crawford (AAA)
Crawford reached double digits with his 10th homer of the season Monday night. It ended the most productive month he's had at Triple A the last two seasons. In July, Crawford hit .281/.389/.635 with 15 extra-base hits (including eight homers) and 16 walks in 27 games.

Crawford badly needed a month like that to start feeling good about himself again. Doubt has to creep into even the most confident prospect's mind once it's been a calendar year at the minor leagues' highest level and you're still scuffling.

If you look closely though, Crawford over the last three months has been pretty much the player he's been throughout his minor-league career - .365 on-base percentage, 46 walks with 47 strikeouts.

The Phillies probably did not anticipate when they drafted Crawford in the first round in 2013 that five years later, the Crawford vs. Freddy Galvis debate would still be a thing. But it's an actual conversation to have and the Phillies' front office is likely trying to figure out what to do over this next year.

Offensively, Crawford has a much higher ceiling, there's no question about it. But there are two aspects to this game, and Galvis has played truly remarkable shortstop defense the last two years. He was a Gold Glove finalist last season and seems like the National League frontrunner this season. Galvis has made just 14 errors in nearly 1,100 defensive chances since 2016. Crawford has made 35 errors in about 200 fewer chances.

Galvis' trade value will probably never match his defensive value, so the Phillies would be able to get more in a deal for Crawford if they explore it someday. Maybe Crawford is the bait that lands the Phillies a star player over the next 18 months. 

At the end of the day, even though Galvis is the heart and soul of this team right now, the Phillies are building for 2020 and beyond. Crawford obviously fits that timeline more than Galvis does. 

OF Jhailyn Ortiz (Class A Short Season Williamsport)
From the upper levels of the minors to the lower levels, we turn to 18-year-old Jhailyn Ortiz, who has been raking lately.

The high-priced 2015 international free-agent signing has hit .354 over his last 23 games with eight doubles, five homers and 20 RBIs. He had a nice piece of hitting on Tuesday, beating the infield shift with an RBI single between first and second base.

Ortiz is hitting .306 on the season and leads the New York-Penn League with a .602 slugging percentage.

He's lived up to the hype so far and could be a middle-of-the-order bat to complement Mickey Moniak in the Phillies' lineup three or four years from now. That will depend on the speed of Ortiz's development, but so far, so good.

RHP Sixto Sanchez (Class A Lakewood)
Sanchez pitched his second consecutive scoreless outing on Sunday, striking out five and putting just three men on base over six innings.

The standout 19-year-old has a 2.41 ERA in 14 starts this season with 64 strikeouts and nine walks in 67⅓ innings. His opponents have hit .191. And it's been four starts since Sanchez even allowed an extra-base hit.

Though Sanchez looks ready for High A Clearwater, the Phillies are being very cautious with him. He hasn't exceeded six innings or 80 pitches in any start this season.

This is already a career high in innings for Sanchez and the Phillies won't let him get too far past 100 this year. A talent like this should not be pushed too much too soon.

RHP Seranthony Dominguez (High A Clearwater)
True story: In a recent conversation, PhillyVoice Phillies beat writer Ryan Lawrence accidentally called him Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Anywho, Dominguez made it back to the Florida State League on July 21 after battling shoulder soreness for nearly two months. He wasn't particularly efficient in his first two starts back with the Threshers but allowed just one run with six strikeouts in five innings Tuesday.

Dominguez is another player the Phillies need to add to the 40-man roster this winter to protect from the Rule 5 draft. He was exposed last winter but went unclaimed because, at that point, he had pitched just 48 innings at Class A.

His track record is a bit longer now, and a 22-year-old with a mid-90s fastball and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings would draw some interest if he's Rule 5 eligible.

In 10 games with Clearwater this season, Dominguez has a 2.49 ERA with 59 strikeouts, 20 walks and a .215 opponents' batting average in 47 innings.

LHP JoJo Romero (High A Clearwater)
The Phillies drafted Romero in the fourth round in 2016 out of Yavapai College, the same Arizona junior college once attended by Ken Giles and Curt Schilling.

The Phillies don't have many interesting left-handed pitching prospects but Romero is one. He has a 2.27 ERA in 151 innings since turning pro, and this season is 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 31 walks in 105 innings.

Romero, who turns 21 in September, is just 6-feet tall. The Phillies haven't had a whole lot of shorter lefties over the last four decades. Romero has a sinker-changeup combination that generated a groundball rate of nearly 60 percent in his 13 starts with Lakewood before his promotion.

Now on to the new guys:

RHP J.D. Hammer (High A Clearwater)
Every Phillies fan's favorite new bespectacled pitching prospect made his Clearwater debut Sunday, pitching two scoreless innings. Before being traded to the Phillies from the Rockies, Hammer had a 1.20 ERA in 24 relief appearances at Class A Asheville with 47 strikeouts and five walks in 30 innings.

RHP Alejandro Requena (Class A Lakewood)
Another piece of the Neshek trade, Requena made his Lakewood debut Tuesday and pitched well, allowing just one earned run over six innings.

Requena is a command-based righty who had a 2.85 ERA at the Rockies' Single A affiliate, Asheville, which plays in a hitter-friendly park. In 123 innings this season, he's struck out 100 and walked just 25.

RHP Seth McGarry (High A Clearwater)
The reliever who came back from the Pirates in the Benoit trade, McGarry had an inauspicious debut in the Phillies' organization Tuesday, allowing three runs in the eighth inning and taking the loss. He did strike out the side.

McGarry, 23, had a 1.34 ERA with a strikeout per inning for the Pirates' High A affiliate in Bradenton.

LHP McKenzie Mills (High A Clearwater)
Mills was probably the highest-upside player the Phillies added the week of the trade deadline. He's a tall, lanky left-handed starting pitching prospect who turns 22 in November and was acquired from Washington for Kendrick (who, by the way, went 5 for 5 with a homer for the Nats Tuesday night).

Mills was 12-2 with a 3.01 ERA in 18 starts at Single A this season. He struck out 10.1 batters per nine and walked just 1.9, making what Klentak called a "remarkable transformation" with his command.

Mills had just been promoted from Low A to High A at the time of the trade. Clearwater does not yet have a starting pitcher listed for Thursday's game but it could be Mills, who last pitched on July 23.

Other notes:

• First-round pick Adam Haseley cooled off after a fast start at Williamsport but is hitting again. Haseley, who had an opposite-field double last night, is 6 for 12 over his last three games and is hitting .304 with an .834 OPS in 134 plate appearances in his first summer in the minors.

• It continues to be an underwhelming first full season for 2016 first overall pick Mickey Moniak. He's 11 for 62 (.177) with 19 strikeouts in his last 18 games and is hitting .255/.308/.363 with four homers, 25 walks and 86 strikeouts on the year.

• Recently promoted left-hander Ranger Suarez is another pitching prospect to watch going forward. The soon-to-be 22-year-old added velocity this season and it's taken him to another level. Suarez had a 1.59 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 24 walks in 85 innings at Lakewood, and has a 2.33 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 19⅓ innings in four starts with Clearwater.

Overall this season, Suarez has a 1.73 ERA with 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.6 walks.

Dylan Cozens is in a bad slump at the moment. He's 1 for 23 with 15 strikeouts in his last seven games and 2 for 36 with 21 K's in his last 10. Cozens, whose value is tied entirely to his power, has homered once in his last 56 plate appearances.

Roman Quinn has been out since May 7 with a ligament injury in his non-throwing elbow. The Phillies' hope is that he returns in time to play at least a few games before the season ends. Quinn has been in the Phillies' system since 2012 but myriad injuries have caused him to play fewer than 80 games each of the last three seasons.

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