Other Storylines to Watch
The Phillies are the owners of the first overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, the first time they have held that pick since 1998. General consensus among baseball “insiders” is that the Phillies will take a pitcher with this pick. Another common conception is that they really can’t go wrong with any of the three available between Florida Gators southpaw A.J. Puk, South Jersey native, and fellow southpaw Jason Groome, and Oklahoma right-hander Alec Hansen. I personally am not too familiar with college baseball, so this guy will have his eyes glued to the screen, anytime Puk, Groome, or Hansen take the mound this spring.
There was a major shakeup in the Phillies front office in 2015, as Reuben Amaro was given his walking papers, while Andy McPhail and Matt Klentak were brought in to right the sinking ship. Klentak made a positive impression this offseason with the haul he got in return for Ken Giles. He also added some veteran presence, by signing Hellickson, Morton, and David Hernandez. While they won’t likely serve as the difference between mediocrity and a playoff berth, they can pass on some words of experience to the youth in the clubhouse.
Expectations are not very high for the Phils this year, and deservedly so. On paper, the team’s not going to wow anyone. However, the possibility exists for them to contend for a playoff spot, if the team is able to catch some momentum early, and play .500 ball the rest of the way. It’s not likely, but the scenario can not be ruled out. Regardless of 2015, the future is bright in Philadelphia, and this year’s Spring Training could play a major part in the development of multiple young talents.