With minor league shakeup, Dombrowski starts to make his mark
The recent news that Phillies’ President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski intended to revamp the club’s minor-league operation shouldn’t have surprised anyone.
I know some fans were unhappy Dombrowski hasn’t been more aggressive in personnel moves, but I don’t think it was for lack of trying. He reportedly was a major suitor for Twins’ center fielder Byron Buxton, for example. However, the price was too high, in Dombrowski’s estimation.
He also supposedly inquired about third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel from the Cubs. They, too, were out of his price range.
The problem? A serious lack of depth in the farm system. While the Giants, Braves and Yankees improved by giving up midlevel prospects, the Phils’ cupboard in that area is bare. They have one elite prospect, pitcher Mick Abel, and that’s who other teams want. Infielder Bryson Stott is potentially a good one, but he’s not even listed in MLB’s top 100.
For more proof, look at the bad pitchers the Phillies have called up from the minors this year when guys got hurt. It’s so depressing when I see what other clubs have.
I don’t know if if it’s poor drafting or poor player development – or both. One positive I took from Dombrowski’s comments when he announced the shakeup is that he said the situation can turn around quickly.
I believe there’s some real talent in the Phils’ system, at least in the lower levels. The right development philosophy and coaching can make a big difference with those players while they’re still early in their careers. So I’m optimistic we’ll be able to start seeing results, perhaps as early as next season.