The Phillies have been slowly adding non-roster invites to big league camp from outside the organization, and today we get the internal candidates. Last year the Phillies invited almost no prospects who were not on the 40 man roster to big league camp, though Severino Gonzalez, Aaron Nola, and Zach Eflin all did start big league games. This year the following “prospects” will be in big league camp.
- RHP Mark Appel
- RHP Zach Eflin
- RHP Jake Thompson
- C Andrew Knapp
- C Logan Moore
- C Gabriel Lino
- 1B Brock Stassi
- SS J.P. Crawford
- OF Nick Williams
They will join the 40 man roster players already in camp:
- RHP Jimmy Cordero
- RHP Alec Asher
- RHP Edubray Ramos
- RHP Severino Gonzalez
- C Jorge Alfaro
- 2B/OF Darnell Sweeney
- OF Roman Quinn
Just some quick thoughts on all of this:
- The only name really missing to me is Tom Windle. He has virtually no chance of breaking camp with the team, but he showed good enough stuff in the Arizona Fall League that he could be up this year. But with all of the relief arms in camp already it was going to be tough for him to get innings.
- To a lesser extent, I thought that former 40 man occupants Joely Rodriguez and Ken Roberts might get an invite to just have more left handed arms in camp.
- I don’t think Appel, Eflin, or Thompson breaks camp with the team or stays in camp very long, but this gets them into camp early and has them working out with the veterans like Hellickson and Morton and interacting with their peers like Nola and Eickhoff.
- The Phillies have only invite J.P. Arencibia to camp so far as catching depth, and I think Moore and Lino are better than most minor league free agents you will find. Both have some tools and enough projection to be major league backups, so they will be interesting to watch. It is likely that one gets to backup Knapp and the other one Alfaro, but I also don’t think Ruiz and Rupp are safe for a long period of time.
- I love that Brock Stassi got invited to camp. He is older and hasn’t destroyed the minors before this year, but he has some raw hit tool and is the best first base “prospect” in the minors until Rhys Hoskins arrives. He is an extreme long shot to contribute anything in the majors, but he is more interesting than Tommy Joseph at this point.
- Crawford and Williams are good and are going to be in Philly at some point this year. They aren’t breaking camp with this team, but it will be good to see them in spring training games.