It was a big win last night for the once hapless Clearwater Threshers who are coming alive in the second half of the Florida State League season. But was even a more important game for the future of several Threshers who are on the border line between being considered suspects or prospects in the Phillies organization.
Last night it was no doubt about it that Jordan Guth, Art Charles, Brian Pointer and Cody Forsythe played like prospects in the 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays farm team, the Charlotte Stone Crabs, at Bright House. As a result, thanks to starting the standing all over again, the Threshers are only 5.5 games out of first place and 4 games under .500 with 40 games left to play. They finished the first half of the season 28.5 games off the pace and 34 games under .500 in the northern division of the FSL.
Jordan Guth pitched like a top of the rotation major league starter with the help of Carlos Ruiz behind the plate last night in striking out six with no walks over six innings. He make only one mistake giving up a homer to left.
Guth started out as the Threshers closer to begin the season but was ineffective. He was move to middle relief and set-up roles but fared little better. Last night he had all his pitches working in his dominating five hits, one run performance . SEE HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
The big first baseman and last night the DH, Art Charles, came to life and drove in three of the four Thresher runs including a long two run triple over the center fielder’s head. See Here. Charles needs to finish strong and put up some big numbers to get to prospect status after an up and down season.
Brian Pointer drove in Charles with what turned out to be the winning run in the sixth inning. See Here. Pointer’s bat has come alive in the second half. He has one of the best throwing arms of any player in the Phillies minor league outfield and has begun to drive in some big runs.
Cody Forsythe is turning out to be the best left handed arm in the Phillies minor league bullpen. Last night he came out of the pen with one out in the top of the eight inning in a 4-3 game with runners at first and second. On his first pitch he threw a sinking pitch, what I call a “rotorooter” slider, to induce a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. He came back out to pitch a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save with the Threshers after getting nine saves with the Lakewood BlueClaws earlier in the season.
Names to watch over the next 40 Threshers games are Guth, Charles, Pointer and Forsythe. If they can finish the 2014 season strong, they will go into the 2015 season as major league prospects. Any major league organization, especially the Phillies, could alway use prospects who have the potential to project as a major league starter, a power hitting first baseman, a strong armed right fielder with a clutch bat and a shutdown lefty out of the pen.