Phillies spring training primer: Infielders

Phillies spring training primer: Infielders

(Age on opening day in parentheses.)

C Jorge Alfaro (23): It’s his last option year, so expect him to spend as much time in triple-A Lehigh Valley as possible. After that, he’s the man behind the plate.

UTIL Andres Blanco (32): Sure, his production in 2015 was not sustainable. But Blanco’s presence and leadership remains valuable, even at $3 million.

3B Maikel Franco (24): The Phillies spent some of this winter thinking about how to relax Franco. The answers were Howie Kendrick, Michael Saunders, and Matt Stairs.

SS Freddy Galvis (27): His .274 on-base percentage was the worst for a Phillies hitter with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title since Cookie Rojas’ .248 mark in 1968.

2B Cesar Hernandez (26): Is he the most confounding player on the roster? If he reaches base at a .371 clip again, the Phillies will live with other mistakes.

1B Tommy Joseph (25): He had a higher slugging percentage in 2016 against off-speed pitches (.506) than fastballs (.492).

C Andrew Knapp (25): He is the favorite to win the backup catcher’s job because the 40-man roster is too crowded to add a veteran.

2B Jesmuel Valentin (22): The Phillies could look to try him on the left side of the infield at triple-A Lehigh Valley for some versatility.

C Cameron Rupp (28): If he’s a placeholder, so be it. Rupp has made himself into a big-league catcher, not an easy accomplishment. Can he advance his game-calling abilities?

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

SS J.P. Crawford (22): The Phillies told Crawford to bulk up, but to stop thinking about home runs. The spring will be a good litmus test.

UTIL Taylor Featherston (27): He attempted to fill the Andres Blanco role for a few weeks and reminded the Phillies how much they missed Andres Blanco.

SS Pedro Florimon (30): Someone has to back up Crawford at triple-A Lehigh Valley.

SS Hector Gomez (29): He went to Korea and topped 20 homers for the first time in his career. See: Florimon, Pedro.

C Ryan Hanigan (36): One of Hanigan or Bryan Holaday figures to stick in the organization, either as a backup in the majors or triple A.

C Bryan Holaday (29): The Phillies discovered a new market inefficiency this winter: Veteran catchers who played for the 2016 Red Sox and compiled a .500 OPS or lower.

1B Rhys Hoskins (24): His splits, both platoon and location, were less pronounced than those of his “Bash Brother” partner. Scouts have questioned his athleticism, but first base is a good spot for those questions.

2B Scott Kingery (22): His invitation to big-league camp is an aggressive one, but it shows how the Phillies think of him. Kingery, who wore down at the end of 2016, must gain strength.

C Logan Moore (26): Still a good receiver. Still hasn’t hit enough to break the typecast of being a glove-first guy.

C Chace Numata (24): A good story about perseverance: Numata had been a backup in the low minors but posted a .770 OPS in 94 games for high-A Clearwater last season.

1B Brock Stassi (27): His stint in Venezuelan winter ball was so good (.297/.448/.541 in 111 at-bats) that it may change some opinions. With a good spring, he could capture a bench job.

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Published at Tue, 07 Feb 2017 17:12:54 +0000

Categories: Phillies

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