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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crunch Time for Phillies' Farm System

Part of the Phillies' great run from 2007 on has been the strength of their farm system and their ability to replenish it with solid prospects. Otherwise, it's hard to explain how they've been able to pry good players from other teams to fortify their roster.

But it could be that the Phils' magic is running out. Right now, their top two draft picks -- Larry Greene and Roman Quinn -- are unsigned, and they have until Tuesday to sign them.

Having traded top prospects Jared Cosart and Jonathan Singleton to the Astros for Hunter Pence, the Phillies drew upon their deep well of talent to get a good bat for the #5 slot in their lineup. That said, it's not as though any farm system abounds in talent endlessly. And while one scout offered that the Phils' farm system probably dropped back to the middle of the pack after that trade (which is a pretty good thing given the number of prospects they've traded over the past five years), they still need to replenish it. Greene and Quinn -- according to the experts -- would help, and you don't have to be an expert to realize that a team's top two draft picks should help. The question is whether the front office can get the job done.

This story won't be a headline grabber in all likelihood, but it's an important one for a top team looking to remain elite for the next couple of years before Father Time catches up with it.

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