Continuing with our rundown of the farm system’s All-Star squad, we move onto second base. I thought the Phillies were lacking solid options at catcher, but that was before I looked at the guys at second. This is ironic because, as Christina Kahrl points out (via Clay Davenport), second basemen in the majors have been outperforming catchers – by a lot.
Typically for these roster spots, I’ve been looking at AAA players first, just because their games are more likely to be polished and at “top prospect” level. But for this roster spot, I had to really dip into the Double-A roster.
I bypassed the guys covering second for the Iron Pigs for two reasons. The first was Majors appearances: Josh Barfield, Kevin Frandsen, and Pete Orr have all played significant time with big league clubs (309, 228, and 393 games, respectively). The second reason was poor performance. In his two seasons at the AAA level, Robbie Hudson has hit .215/.239/.326. However, he was two different players in 2011. One hit .224/.240/.327 (for the Padres’ AAA affiliate), while the other hit just .133/.161/.167.
And so I dug deeper. Most of the guys I looked at initially were traded away at some point last year. The decision essentially came down to Paco Figueroa (the R-Phils’ regular second baseman) and Tim Kennelly. Statistically, Figueroa’s got the better AA line: .281/.373/.363 versus Kennelly’s .225/.289/.355. They’ve both made fairly successful transitions from the lower leagues, with their averages taking the expected hits, but nothing too crazy. I wanted to give this spot to Kennelly, who seems to embody more of that “prospect” idea, but it’s tough to say no to Figueroa. I can see them both starting at second for a Major League club, but I think Figueroa is going to get there first.
And so another roster spot is filled in:
Catcher: Erik Kratz
First Base: Cody Overbeck
Second Base: Paco Figueroa
Third Base: ????
Left Field: ????
Center Field: ????
Right Field: ????
Starting Pitchers: ????