Phillies Notes: A Look at the Phillies Awful Defense and the Future of Maikel Franco
The Phillies currently have the most errors in the National League.
Makes sense considering they have Rhys Hoskins, a first baseman by trade, in left field. Scott Kingery, a second baseman, playing shortstop and J.P. Crawford, a shortstop, playing third base.
All of that contributes to the Phillies league high 54 errors heading into today's til with the Brewers.
So what's the plan moving forward?
Is Kingery the shortstop of the future, is Crawford the third baseman of the future, will Hoskins remain in left field?
ESPN senior baseball writer Jerry Crasnick sent this tweet out on Friday night:
It's one thing to play guys out of position in a over-40 league men's league game, because the third baseman had a late night at the office and his wife needed a hand with the kids, but in the major leagues?
Come on, now.
Neither Crawford, Hoskins nor Kingery have much experience in their current roles, and none of them played those positions in the minor leagues. Heck, Crawford was just in the minors on an injury rehab assignment and still didn't play third base, even though it appears the organization has given up on Maikel Franco.
So do the Phillies view Kingery as their short stop of the future of Crawford?
Not so fast says Jayson Stark, senior baseball writer at The Athletic on the Sports Bash this week.
"Well, I think at some point Kingery becomes a second baseman," Stark said on the Sports Bash. "I don’t think they view him as a shortstop long term, but they clearly like his feel for that position and because of that they’re giving him an extended run playing there."
So what does that mean for Crawford, and Franco for that matter?
"Well, it’s fascinating," Stark explains. "I’ll tell you that. It really is."
"It was really telling that J.P. Crawford goes out on his rehab option and he plays short every game. He doesn’t play third base one game and he comes back and Scott Kingery’s still at short. And Maikel’s sitting there watching J.P. play third. That is telling us all we need to know. If he’s (Franco) here next year, I’d be really surprised."
The interesting thing about Franco, is he could have some value on the trade market?
While the former top prospect has really struggled this season, particularity in the last month, where he has just two extra base hits and the lowest slugging percentage in the league.
But apparently not every one is ready to give up on him just yet.
"One thing I wanna mention though is I’m talking to a scout today who’s still a believer in Maikel and said this reminds him a lot of Edwin Encarnocion early in his career," Stark said. "A guy who really struggled, struck out a lot, bounced around, couldn’t find a home and then suddenly turned into the most feared right handed power hitter in baseball. He thinks that can still happen for Maikel, but we haven’t seen that guy in a long time."
If we do see him, it doesn't look like it's going to be in Philadelphia.