Of all the “prospects” in the Phillies system, JA Happ is most likely to spend time in Philadelphia. In fact, he should and could be there from the onset of the season.
But what other prospects have a chance in 2009?
Carlos Carrasco: A no-brainer, the 22-year-old righty seems poised to grab a rotation spot by midsummer. For Carrasco to make the rotation, two of the five starters would need to either suffer injury or perform badly enough to drop out. It could happen – my money is on a Jamie Moyer drop off and some injury concerns on someone else by May or June.
Jason Donald: We all love Mr. Donald, who tore through the last calendar year in double-A, the Olympics, the Arizona Fall League and the Grapefruit League. He has a chance of getting the call, say Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley suffer an injury. If he remains with the big-league club, he should be ready for a potential starting 3B job in 2010.
John Mayberry Jr.: The big, speedy, powerful right-handed outfielder might make the team out of camp, but indications are he’ll come up short. Still, it’s likely he’ll see some time in the show in 2009, at least as a major right-handed bat. If Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez or Shane Victorino suffers an injury (very likely), he should be on the first train east.
Lou Marson: The Phillies might be shopping him around lightly, but don’t think it’s just a passing thing. It’s very possible the Phils deal Marson, thinking Travis d’Arnaud will be ready for big-league action by the time Carlos Ruiz runs out of arbitration years. If Marson comes to Philly, it’ll be if two catchers hit the ground hard. It could happen, of course, but don’t bet on it.
Antonio Bastardo: The lefty relief-probable could definitely come to Philadelphia, say, if Scott Eyre doesn’t pan out as the lone pen lefty. Bastardo has already seen Grapefruit League time, and his strikeout rates are good enough to merit a mug of coffee. His tendency to allow the longball will make him a very short cup, however, much like last year’s lefty, RJ Swindle. Think summertime.
Tyson Brummett: Think about Kyle Kendrick and you can see why Brummett has a great shot of making the team in 2009. It’ll take a few injuries, but the 24-year-old Brummett will likely start the season in Reading. A hot start there could open eyes enough to jump Brummett to the bigs, maybe even over Carrasco. Why? Because protecting Carrasco’s options as long as possible is desirable, and a mid-20s pitcher not seen by big-league hitting might be a flash-in-the-pan player in June and July. Keep an eye out for Brummett.