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Phillies Minor League Organizational Rankings - 3rd Base

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The future is hopefully set at this position, but is there any depth behind Big Maik?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Rankings: (last year's rank in parenthesis)

  1. Lucas Williams
  2. Jan Hernandez (3)
  3. Luis Espiritu
  4. Harold Martinez (6)
  5. Damek Tomscha (5)
  6. Mitch Walding (4)

This might be the least deep position in an otherwise magnificent Phillies minor league system. Maikel Franco ascended from the prospect rankings to the big show, showcasing his hit tool and impressive power in an abbreviated 80 game window. He should be able to stick at 3B despite what some metrics/pundits may suggest. So back to the list; what does this leave us with exactly? Shooting to the top of the list is 2015 3rd pick Lucas Williams. Williams was a SS in HS (along with playing some WR and DB on his school's football team), but only saw 3rd base in his 38 game showcase in the Gulf Coast League. He batted .288/.400/.331 in 141 plate appearances with 9 stolen bases. At 6'1, 180 lbs he isn't exactly small for the position, but at only 19 should fill out a bit more. The power certainly wasn't there in 2015, but should develop some. Think more gap hitter than HR and plenty of speed on top of that rounding the bases. Williams also had an impressive 21:23 K/BB.

Jan Hernandez moves up a spot from last year, playing 57 games for the Crosscutters this summer. The tools are still all there for Hernandez, but they haven't come together yet (sorry if I sound like a broken record). He is still just 20 years old (3rd round 2013 pick), but door is closing fast. He is a good fielding 3B with power (jumped from 6 to 10 HR over his previous season). He cut his K% from 36 to just under 30, but struggles to put the barrel on the ball. He likely starts the season in Lakewood with some big expectations.

Luis Espiritu Jr. is an undrafted rookie signing who saw action in the GCL, NY/Penn League and briefly the FSL. He is a bit of a mystery man who could also see some time at second base if playing time is limited at the hot corner. Harold Martinez is a player that refuses to give up, despite some truly awful seasons. What happened was a bit of a rebirth of sorts in 2015. He crushed Eastern League pitching to the tune of a .292/.335/.400 triple slash with 4 HR and was age appropriate for the league. 2016 will tell if this was a blip on the radar. Damek Tomscha and Mitch Walding are cruising right now in the middle depths of the farm system, mostly due to lack of depth at the position. Tomscha had a decent year at the plate, while Walding was below-average on all fronts. Neither is ever likely to see a major league infield unless they are attending a game.