Since the season began, Philadelphia Phillies’ top prospects, first baseman, Rhys Hoskins and catcher, Jorge Alfaro have seen much success at the plate with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Both players have recorded several multi-hit games, causing many fans to wonder when they will be called up to the majors.
Through 102 plate appearances so far this season, Hoskins has earned himself a batting average of .337, with a 1.083 OPS, seven home runs, and 16 RBIs.
He currently leads the league in home runs and in OPS by approximately 100 points.
Hoskins seems to be performing at the same level he did last season, where he ended the year with 38 home run at Double-A.
Furthermore, many coaches and analysts are praising Alfaro, naming him one of the most aggressive offensive catchers in the minors, due to his current season performance.
Alfaro is currently hitting .318 with a .831 OPS for the IronPigs.
Though many consider the success of the two Phillies’ prospects to be positive, it may disappoint fans to know that both players will not receive a call-up in the near future, according to Phillies general manager, Matt Klentak.
During his conversation with CSNPhilly, Klentak stated, “Look, this is Rhys’ first taste of Triple-A,” Klentak said Friday. “He’s off to an incredible start, though I’ll add not necessarily all that more incredible than what he did at Lakewood, where he was awesome, what he did at Clearwater, and what he did at Reading, where he was also awesome. He’s just a really good offensive player.”
He continued, “We’re pleased with that but I’m not ready to concede that after 90 plate appearances that Tommy Joseph has forgotten how to hit and we’re going to turn to Rhys at this early stage. That’s not to minimize what Rhys has done, he’s been outstanding, and he’s outstanding in key areas. His pitch recognition skills continue to improve, he hits with power to all fields, he does a lot of the things we want to see. He’s a month into his Triple-A career and we’re happy to let him continue to get at-bats there.”
So far this season, Joseph has earned a batting average of just .192, which have caused many fans to question the decision to not call-up Hoskins.
However, the situation behind the plate differs from that at first base.
Phillies catcher, Cameron Rupp is having quite the successful season so far, with Andrew Knapp serving as a solid backup.
Over his last nine games, Rupp is 11 for 34 (.324) with five doubles, one home run, and four walks.
“Our catching at the major-league level has been above average,” Klentak said.
“Andrew Knapp has over a .900 OPS and Cameron Rupp, I’m pretty sure entering today’s game, is better than a league-average offensive player. He had a slow start but recently he’s been good. I have no qualms at all with the catching at the major-league level and in fact, I think if we sized up against the rest of the league we’re doing pretty well in that department.”
Klentak and many other officials within the Phillies organization have made it very clear that Alfaro will not be called up anytime soon.
The Phillies want him to gain as much experience as possible at Triple-A this season, mainly due to the fact that this is his final option year, and the team would not be able to send him back to Triple-A next season unless they placed him on waivers.
However, if the first-base situation continues to play out over the next three or four weeks, with Hoskins hitting the ball like he is with Lehigh Valley and Joseph struggling, there’s a strong possibility that fans could see the change they have been calling for.
“We’re always open-minded to having plans change,” Klentak said, “and sometimes players dictate that.”
Photo: Doug Kerr (via: Flickr)