Philadelphia’s outfield will be crowded whenever the Phillies decide to recall Cody Asche and Domonic Brown from Triple-A and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that scouts from other teams are “tracking” Ben Revere for a potential trade.
Revere was shifted to left field so the Phillies could use Odubel Herrera in center field and he simply doesn’t offer enough offensive upside to be a corner outfielder. Revere is a career .290 hitter with 50-steal speed, but his complete lack of power and walk-drawing ability have led to a .323 on-base percentage and .341 slugging percentage.
Tiny, slap-hitting corner outfielders who can’t crack a .700 OPS tend not to stick around long, but if teams view Revere as a plus defender in center field he could still have some value to them at age 27. He’s making $4.1 million this season and under team control via arbitration through 2017.
Philadelphia has called up third base prospect Maikel Franco from Triple-A, which was the assumed follow-up move to the Phillies demoting third baseman Cody Asche to Triple-A so he could make the switch to left field.
Franco is just 22 years old and his plate discipline needs work, but he hit .355 in 33 games at Triple-A to earn the call-up. He also finished last season on a major tear at Triple-A, although his overall numbers were underwhelming because of a brutal start.
Franco ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect this year and last year, typically being slotted into the 40-60 range for 2015. He’s shown good power in the minors, including 20 homers and 45 doubles in 166 total games at Triple-A, but he’s never drawn as many as 40 walks in a season.
Also of note: No doubt the Phillies will deny this was a factor, but by calling up Franco today he’ll finish precisely one day short of a full season’s worth of service time once combined with his September action last season. Coincidentally, of course. Funny how that works.
Cody Asche has been the Phillies’ starting third baseman since mid-2013, but now they’re sending him back to Triple-A to transition from third base to left field.
Asche hitting just .247 with a .686 OPS in 201 career games obviously played a part as well, because if he’d hit, say, .287 with a .786 OPS and they wanted him to shift to the outfield it likely wouldn’t involve a demotion to the minors.
Asche spent most of 2013 at Triple-A, hitting .295 with 15 homers and an .837 OPS in 104 games. He’s never seen game action in the outfield as a professional, minors or majors.
Maikel Franco, a 22-year-old prospect currently playing at Triple-A, is projected as the Phillies’ long-term third baseman and could be ready for a call-up soon.