Paul Hagen has a tremendous story in today’s Philadelphia Daily News on the Phillies farm system and specifically the commitment they have made in making it one of the top systems in the league.
Read the full article here. Here is a snippet:
“[Player development and scouting] is still where it’s all done. If you don’t draft well and you don’t develop well, you’re going to hit a period of time where the cycle’s going to go the other way,” [David] Montgomery said. “Because to keep your own can become expensive. To acquire from the outside can be more so, both in terms of talent and in dollars. And you’ll never do it in trades unless you’re developing over there.”
With most of their most highly rated prospects – first baseman/outfielder Jonathan Singleton and righthanders Jarred Cosart and Brody Colvin – still in the low minors, the Phillies could find themselves in a pickle if the younger plays come slowly, or never make it at all, or if the nucleus ages prematurely.
After all, Utley’s absence might not seem quite so dire if Cardenas or Donald were still around to step in until he comes back.
Montgomery readily admitted these are concerns and stressed again the need to juggle the imperative to win right now with keeping one eye on the future.
“The public will focus on the moves [general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.] makes. The reality is whatever Ruben is able to do is primarily dictated by how quickly those people come. You can’t talk trades to clubs in situations where they may have a player of Roy Oswalt’s quality available unless you have Anthony Gose. Kyle Drabek and all the others. That is a lot of minor league talent we traded,” he pointed out.