Five names for the Phillies' future

Posted: April 02, 2013

AFTER A FLURRY of trades over the last few seasons, the Phillies' farm system is regarded by most scouting publications to be among the weaker in the game. But these five players have club brass feeling positive about the future:

ADAM MORGAN

Age: 23

Position: LHP

Resume: One of the fastest risers in the system, the lefty is expected to open the season at Triple A despite making just six starts at Double A last season. He had a solid spring in major league camp and pitched well against the Braves in a late-March spot start. In 38 minor league games, he owns a 3.01 ERA and averages of 9.0 strikeouts-per-nine, 2.2 walks-per-nine and 0.5 home runs per nine.

Scouting report: Works fast, keeps the ball down, and pitches to both side of the plate with his fastball while mixing in a slider and changeup.

ETA: 2013 is not out of the question if the Phillies suffer a significant injury to their rotation and Morgan pitches well at Lehigh Valley.

JESSE BIDDLE

Age: 21

Position: LHP

Resume: The Phillies made the Germantown Friends product the No. 27 overall pick in the 2010 draft, and he has impressed at every level he has pitched since then. Last year, he made 26 starts at high-A Clearwater, posting a 3.22 ERA and averages of 9.5 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 0.6 HR/9.

Scouting report: More upside than Morgan, but less polish as well. He does not have an overpowering fastball but has a curveball that has the makings of a very good out pitch. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. recently raved about the physical conditioning of the 6-4, 225-pound lefty. He should start the season at Double A.

ETA: With Roy Halladay and John Lannan both set to become free agents, it is not out of the question that Biddle enters spring training next season with a chance to compete for a job, although late 2014, early 2015 is the more realistic window.

CODY ASCHE

Age: 23 on June 30

Position: Third base

Resume: He burst onto the radar last season, hitting .324/.369/.481 with 12 home runs in 518 at bats at Clearwater and Reading. A line drive hitter with a good approach at the plate, he went 5-for-14 with a pair of doubles in big league spring training.

Scouting report: The Phillies are interested to see how much power he can develop. A no-nonsense hard worker, the club loves his makeup. His defense at the hot corner continues to improve, although his glove is what will likely dictate his progression.

ETA: With a good season, Asche could compete next spring to replace Michael Young at third base.

TOMMY JOSEPH

Age: 21

Position: Catcher

Resume: Acquired from the Giants in last year's Hunter Pence deal, he impressed the Phillies with his defense behind the plate this spring. In three minor league seasons, he has 49 home runs in 1,354 at-bats with a .256/.308/.427 batting line.

Scouting report: Power, power, and more power, a premium tool for a catcher. He also scores well in makeup and his handling of pitchers. He needs to work on his approach at the plate, where he has 314 strikeouts against 89 walks in the minors.

ETA: Late 2014, although a retooling process could accelerate that.

ROMAN QUINN

Age: 19

Position: Shortstop

Resume: A second-round pick in 2011 who the Phillies went over slot to sign, he hit .281/.370/.408 with 30 steals at short-season Williamsport in 2012.

Scouting report: Tons of speed and range and a good eye at the plate, we'll know a lot more about how Quinn's tools will translate after this season, when he will likely play shortstop for Class A Lakewood.

ETA: Unknown.

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