Its hard to imagine a Phillies team without Rollins, Utley and Ruiz but that will likely be the reality a few years from now. The Phillies have traded away a lot of minor league talent to upgrade their big league club over the last few years. But there is still a plenty of talent on the Pharm. Did you ever wonder what 2016 Phillies might look like? I decided to take a look.
While there is a chance that guys like Utley and Rollins may still be on the team in 2016, they are not under contract. Obviously there is a high likely hood that the Phillies will make some free agennt additions between now and then but that's impossible to predict. So I decided to only include players that are under team control in 2016. The first part will be the postion players and part 2 will be the pitching staff.
(Denotes Age at Start of 2016 season)
2016 Starting lineup
C: Tommy Joseph (24)
It may seem hard for Phillies Phans to imagine, but Carlos Ruiz won’t be behind the plate forever and it will probably be sooner than you think. Chooch is in the final season of his current contract and it isn’t farfetched to imagine Joseph or Valle being the team’s starting in 2014. Even if Chooch does stick around another year or two, he won’t be here in 2016. Joseph is a power hitting catcher but he will have to continue to improve defensively if he wants to replace Ruiz.
1B: Ryan Howard (36)
Howard would be 36 and in his final season under his current contract. And there’s a chance he won’t be with the team at this point. The upcoming season will be very telling if the Big Man will ever be the player he once was.
2b: Freddy Galvis (26)
Like Ruiz, Chase is entering his last year of his contract. And he will need to show the team his knees can handle the grind of a full season. Even if he does stay healthy, I can’t see the team giving him anything more than a 2 year deal. As long as Freddy can be average with the bat, he will have a future with this team. Right now he fits at 2B.
SS: Roman Quinn (22)
Rollins has a vesting option for the 2015 and will likely be around until then. But in 2016 Jimmy will probably be gone. Right now Roman Quinn looks to be his successor. He might be the fastest player in the minors besides Billy Hamilton (who is freakishly fast). Baseball America Ranked him as the Phillies 2nd best prospect, they even said “He runs faster and has a better arm than (Rollins) did at the same stage." He has also drawn comparisons to Jose Reyes. Quinn will likely start the season at Low A Lakewood and has a long way to go, but right now his future looks promising. If Quinn isn’t ready by 2016, look for Galvis to man the hole at short until he is ready.
3b: Maikel Franco (23)
The Phillies have been trying to plug the hole at the hot corner ever since they traded away Scott Rolen. Right now the Phillies have two intriguing prospects at 3B, Maikel Franco and Cody Asche. I put Franco as the starter because he has the higher ceiling, but Asche is the safer bet between the two. Franco hit 14 HR last season at Lakewood and has above average raw power.
LF: Darin Ruf (29)
Most Phans should already know about the power hitting LF. Babe Ruf will get his chance to crack the big league squad as he heads into spring as the favorite to start in LF on Opening Day.
CF: Ben Revere (27)
Revere is another name you should recognize. The Phillies traded the Vanimal and Trevor May for Revere because he should be a part of the team for the next few seasons.
RF: Dominic Brown (28)
If Dom Brown is the Phillies RF in 2016, it should be a good sign. It would probably mean that it finally clicked for the once top prospect. 2013 is a make or break season for Dom the Bomb.
C: Sebastian Valle (25)
Valle is currently the only other catcher on the Phillies roster (Besides Ruiz and Kratz). So there is a chance he might start the sesaon with the team. But they will likely go with the vetern Quinterro instead of rushing the young catcher. Valle could be the team’s future starter, but he will have to battle that out with Joseph. It wouldn’t surprise me if Valle is traded in the future and the team lets a guy like Cameron Rupp handle the backup duties.
3b: Cody Asche (25)
Like Valle, Asche is 1B on the team’s organizational depth chart. He will likely be the team’s starter for at least a few seasons as he looks to take over for Michael Young in 2014. Ashe is two levels above Franco and is the much safer pick. His breakout 2012 campaign put him on the organizational map.
UTL: Cesar Hernandez (25)
The Venezuela native has just played 2B with the Phillies but did play some SS as a teenager in his home country. Last year at Reading (AA), he hit .304 in 104 games. Most doubt Hernandez can be an everyday player in the bigs and see him more as a super utility player in the bigs.
OF: Tyson Gillies (27)
Gillies was one of the players acquired from Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal. He has the talent to be a major league player but his leg problems have slowed his progress. A hamstring injury limited him to just 75 games last season. Despite his injuries and off the field concerns the Phillies are high enough on him to add him to their 40 man roster. He hit .304 last season at Reading and Baseball America listed Gillies as the Organizations Best Defensive OF. Gillies stated today in CF for Phillies, went 1-3 and had a ice sliding catch.
OF: Jiwan James (26)
Jiwan James made the national news one he made his amazing home run robbing catch last season. It was good enough to make the top ten plays on ESPN. But James was left unprotected the last two Rule 5 drafts and went unselected both years. James projects to be a backup outfielder if he makes it to the majors.
It is very doubtful that all of these players make an impact at the major league level. If the Phillies lineup looks like this in 2016 it would mean that they had a lot of sucess in devolopoing their current prospects. Don't forget to check back soon for my look at the 2016 Pitching Staff.