RSVP (to Spring Training) Is Assumed Yes?

Phillies Invited to Spring Training

OK, bad title but I wanted to take a look at Spring Training invites that the Phillies extended to some players. When you get an invitation, you should RSVP. In this case, if I was a baseball player and received an invitation to Spring Training, I would reply with a YES!! Anyway, enough with the bad play on words and let’s see what the Phillies have in store for their time down in Florida.

Ryan James wrote in his Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training column about why a player not on the 40-man roster would be invited to camp. To summarize, there are a few reasons.
1. It could be to reward a minor leaguer for a great previous year they had.
2. It could be for depth for their organization.
3. It could be to see if a veteran has anything left in his tank to contribute in the upcoming year.

For our purposes, we’ll look at the invited minor leaguers and see if they have a chance to break camp and head north with the Phillies.

Enyel De Los Santos – De Los Santos is ranked #20 in my preseason Phillies Top 50 Prospects. Acquired from the Padres for Freddy Galvis, De Los Santos has a fighter’s chance of making the team as a starter. It’s definitely a long shot but with the uncertainty in the rotation, even if he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training, he could impress enough to be a call-up when the inevitable injury bug hits and they need a starter during the year.

Thomas Eshelman – Eshelman is ranked #16 on my Phillies Top 50.  He came over in the Ken Giles trade and has impressed in his time here with the organization. His game is built around command and control and if he shows enough during Spring Training, he could make the rotation as a #5 starter.

J.D. Hammer – A finalist for Prospects1500 2017 Relief Pitcher of the Year, he can become a fan favorite of the Citizens Bank Park fans. Wears eyeglasses similar to Wild Thing in the movie Major League and can bring the heat as shown by his 13.3 K/9 last year.

Cole Irvin – My #31 ranked prospect, Irvin is coming back from Tommy John Surgery he had in 2014. Cole should be good to go without an innings-pitched limit this year. While he won’t make the team out of Spring Training, he could impress enough to be given consideration later in the year if needed.

Brandon Leibrandt – Leibrandt is my 35th ranked prospect in the organization. He projects to be a long-reliever and will try to impress the staff for future consideration during the year.

Scott Kingery – Kingery is my #1 Phillies prospect. The only thing preventing him from a starting position is Cesar Hernandez.  He has shown speed, an acumen for hitting, and he developed power last year. He could make the team out of camp or be called up once Hernandez is traded. Either way, he can make an impact this year in the majors.

Mitch Walding – Ranked #37 in the organization, Walding is 25-years-old. He probably won’t break camp with the team but the team could look to him if Maikel Franco‘s struggles continue into this year.  He has shown power in the past and has a good glove at the hot corner.

Andrew Pullin – Pullin didn’t make the cut on my Top 50 list. He has been with the organization since he was drafted in the 5th round back in 2012. This is the second straight year he’s been invited to Spring Training. Considering the outfield depth that the team has, if he breaks camp with the team either he impressed way more than anyone expected or something dire happened to Nick Williams, Aaron Altherr, Rhys Hoskins, and Odubel Herrera.

Article featured image of Scott Kingery – Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports via

Tony Bps Spina is a lifelong baseball fan hailing from the City of Brotherly Love - Philadelphia! Tony has loved baseball since 1980 and has followed the Phillies through good and bad times. Tony is married with 3 kids and works for a financial institution but has enough free time to play in 20 fantasy baseball leagues with 75% of them being Dynasty Leagues. He lives a few blocks away from Citizens Bank Park and attends many Phillies games per year in addition to their minor league teams in Lehigh Valley and Reading. He can be reached on Twitter at @TonyBps1.

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