Last year the Phillies sent J.P. Crawford and Aaron Nola to the Futures Game (Nola would not go because of his pitching schedule) and the year before the Phillies sent Crawford and Maikel Franco. This year the attendees are much less illustrious as the Phillies will be represented by Reading teammates Dylan Cozens and Ricardo Pinto. For one of the top farm systems in baseball this is a bit underwhelming, but it makes some sense when we dig a bit deeper.
Both have merit – Cozens is tied for the minor league lead in home runs and he is going to put on a show in batting practice and be all exciting on the main stage. Pinto is having a down year, but it also is not a particularly good year for international pitching prospects either, and he put up the best stat line in the org last year and was a borderline Top 10 prospect. In the short bursts of relieving that is the Futures Game he is going to show the high end of his velocity range.
The Top Guys have been before – J.P. Crawford (2014 and 2015) and Jorge Alfaro (2014 and 2013) both have two appearances, while Nick Williams (2015), Mark Appel (2015), and Jake Thompson (2014) have all been to the game before. That is the Phillies top 4 prospects.
Others Are Hurt Or Far Away – Roman Quinn is hurt, as is Cornelius Randolph. Franklyn Kilome and Adonis Medina are far away. Carlos Tocci and Scott Kingery are not as far away as some other players in the game, but neither has the elite tools to put on a show either.
That leaves us with Andrew Knapp, Ricardo Pinto, Nick Pivetta, Dylan Cozens, and Rhys Hoskins as the pool to choose from. Team USA pitching is normally packed and Pivetta is not good enough to crack that group. I can’t really argue Knapp over the two Team USA catchers, he is also having a fine, but not overwhelming year. Hoskins is interesting, and first base is normally not a stacked position, especially this year with the top 1B prospect (A.J. Reed being promoted). I am not going to debate Hoskins vs Dominic Smith for my own sanity, but Hoskins is not going to put on the BP show that Cozens will. So if they wanted two reps from the Phillies that is who you take, even if they are not the cream of the crop.
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