At the start of Spring Training, there were a number of battles that seemed to be front and center in Clearwater. There is always the battle for the bench. The bullpen had only 2 or 3 spots available and about 6 player vying for the spot. But, the outfield is the battle that took front-and-center in Clearwater.
When Spring Training started, the only outfielder to have a guaranteed spot was Ben Revere, everyone else was fighting for the right to play.
The season starts in just 12 days and Domonic Brown has simply domonated the Grapefruit League. Other than a little better defense, there is nothing that Brown could do to put himself in right field on Opening Day. And I, for one, am really excited about this. Brown is batting .396, with 12 RBI’s, 6 walks and 6 of these:
It looks like Brown is developing into the player everyone expected him to be 2 years ago. This will, hopefully, the fair shot that he deserves.
Opening Day Destination: Majors
John Mayberry Jr.
John Mayberry Jr is, well, John Mayberry Jr. He’s a decent player that will strike out a ton and get some big hits. His main marketable skill, the one that keeps him on the Phillies roster every year is that he has 1) No options left and 2) can play Center Field and First Base, as well as the corner outfield positions.
Opening Day Destination: Majors
I have high hopes that Delmon Young will never, ever, ever put on a Phillies uniform. Like many Phillies fans, I just don’t like him. He’s a talented player that never seems to put in maximum effort. The fact that he will start the season on the DL, help my hopes a lot.
If/When he does put on a Phillies uniform, he will be in right field. At that time, Brown will move to left field (assuming he has played so well to take out of the line-up.)
Opening Day Destination: DL/ Never puts on Phillies uniform.
As impressive as Brown has been this season, Darin Ruf has been basically the opposite.
Ruf is batting .216 with 1 HR and 8 RBI’s. He looks uncomfortable at the plate and down right bad in left field. There has been a number of routine fly balls that he has misplayed and has no idea what to do on the non-routine ones. It has not been a pretty site. He is a 1st baseman first and foremost. If only there was a way to let him play first base in the majors.
Opening Day Destination: AAA
I’m actually rooting for this guy to make the team. He plays a stellar outfield and has speed. The problem is, he’s never played about Single-A and to make the jump from Single-A to the Majors is huge.
The sad part is, if he doesn’t make the roster, he will have to be offered back to the Diamondbacks, since he was a Rule 5 Draft. Honestly, he will probably be wanted back.
Opening Day Destination: Darkhorse for roster. Sent back to the Diamondbacks.
Jermaine Mitchell was signed as a Minor League Free Agent. This spring he has opened some eyes. In 23 PA, he has a .333 with 2 doubles and 3 triples. His defense has not been spectacular, but he has managed to catch all the routine plays and has shown knowledge about what to do with the non-routine ones.
He might be given a shot since Delmon Young starts the season on the DL. I would be surprised if he makes the roster, but he would be good for the Phillies to have stored in AAA in case of injury.
Opening Day Destination: Darkhorse- Most likely AAA.