The Phillies have received a fair amount of criticism for their reluctance to promote Chase Utley and Ryan Howard until they were older. The end result is that the team has two quite valuable players locked in through their peak years (29-30). It’s difficult to discuss this topic without selective anecdotes—and maybe the Phillies would have been better in the past with earlier promotions—but, it appears that everything has worked out just fine. Score this one as a win in the “leave ’em in the oven” school of development camp.

3 Responses “Ageball”

  1. Yes, things seem to be working out well, but I wouldn’t assume this was deliberate policy. The Phillies had two good players, Thome and Polanco, blocking their way. If they still had Ricky Jordan and Marlon Anderson playing things might have been different.

  2. JC says:

    The Phillies acquired Thome and Palanco instead of calling up Howard or Utley. While the intention of the choice isn’t important for the development argument, I think the Phillies made a choice to hold these guys back.

  3. Marc Schneider says:

    Would the Cardinals have benefitted from keeping Albert Pujols in the minors longer? Agreed that that’s not a fair example, but, by that standard of reasoning, a lot of great players-such as Hank Aaron–would have had much shorter careers.