Competition aside, Stassi, Perkins see path to Philly

Competition aside, Stassi, Perkins see path to Philly

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Phillies have a nice problem on their hands.

They rebuilt their farm system, developing a glut of talented position players in the upper levels. The Triple-A Lehigh Valley roster could include many of the organization's top prospects in 2017, including first baseman Rhys Hoskins and outfielders Roman Quinn, Nick Williams and Dylan Cozens.

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That puts first baseman Brock Stassi and outfielder Cameron Perkins in interesting situations.

Both homered in the ninth inning of Friday afternoon's 9-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Perkins also singled up the middle in the seventh inning to break up New York's bid for a multi-pitcher no-hitter.

Perkins breaks up no-no in 7th

Both Stassi and Perkins could lose playing time this season, if they start in Triple-A. That is why they are hoping for a bench job with the Phillies. Infielder Andres Blanco, outfielder Aaron Altherr and a backup catcher will take up three jobs, leaving two available. Outfielder Chris Coghlan might be a favorite for one spot. Daniel Nava is also in the mix.

"If you didn't see yourself there, you're doing yourself an injustice even being here," Stassi said. "I'm definitely very confident in myself, and I want to win that job."

The 27-year-old Stassi, who had an .806 OPS last season with the IronPigs, probably has a better shot than Perkins at this point. He hits left-handed and has a strong reputation defensively at first base. He also can play in the outfield.

"I'm pretty comfortable out there," Stassi said.

"There's a lot I like about Stassi," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "You know how good he plays first base. I want to see him play the outfield. I want to see how he looks out there, but he's in the mix."

Perkins, who hits right-handed, posted a .748 OPS last season in Triple-A.

Perkins' solo homer

"I heard a lot about him," Mackanin said. "He doesn't grade out as a top-notch-type prospect, but he's a solid player. He swings the bat, he's aggressive. He can play anywhere you want. He can sit on the bench and come off the bench and swing the bat pretty well. My first impression is a good one."

Said the 26-year-old Perkins: "I can't control what team I get put on. All I can do is compete and show everybody what I can do. Whenever I get my opportunity, make the best of it, whether I'm wearing a Major League jersey, a Minor League jersey, IronPigs, Reading -- it doesn't matter.

"I'm going to play the best I can no matter what team I'm on. That's the type of competitor I am. It doesn't matter if I'm playing chess or whatever. I want to win."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.