Phillies Baseball Ending In Clearwater But Just Starting In Arizona and The Dominican.

The 2015 baseball season is finally winding down here in Clearwater.  After a couple of more instruct games and the boys of summer will be leaving town for points everywhere last next week.

Yesterday, we watched another Phillies interminable instructs game with the archrival Blue Jays.  It was the same result as Monday’ game when we watched the Jay take a 5-0 lead after seven innings before we called it a day.  On Wednesday we stayed for all nine innings and watched a 4-0 Jays win.

Its the tale of two major league organizations. Little hitting for one organization in Instructs and whose major league team is long gone from the 2015 season while the other organization is playing winning instructs baseball as its big league team starts the post season today in Toronto.

In Monday’s  game, catcher Deivy Grullon did hit a gap double to left for the Phillies Instructs and yesterday the scoreboard did as say the Phillies instructs had four hits including a double by Brendon Hayden and a line drive single by Greg Pickett. Watch Pickett’s hit HERE.

We did hope to see the Phillies top international free agent Jhailyn Ortiz playing in right field drive some base hits but all we saw were a couple of infield outs.  Watch HERE and HERE.

We did get to watch the Blue Jays top international free agent Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who homered in Monday’s game.  Watch HERE.

Read a story about Ortiz and Guerrero HERE.

So in the two Phillies instruct games and over the 16 innings that we watched this week the Blue Jays outscored them 9-0.

Then, Baseball Betsy and I returned home only to watch the Pirates lose 4-0 to the Cubs.  At least the Phillies Instruct games were not quite as bad as the poor Bucs who have been outscored 12-0 in the last two N.L. Wild Card games.

As the season winds up here, it is just beginning for offseason baseball in Arizona and in the Dominican Republic.  Some of the guys that we watched this summer are getting ready for Fall and Winter ball.

We talked with Dylan Cozens yesterday.  We watch him start the season in Clearwater and finished up strong with Reading.  He said he is headed home to Arizona next week to play in the Arizona Fall League.

Baseball Betsy has been messaging with Lakewood’s Elniery Garcia down in the Dominican who was a high pitching draft pick by the Toros del Este and Williamsport’s Feliberto Sanchez has kept her up to date about BlueClaws’ Ranfi Casimiro who is working out with the Aquilas Cibaenas.   Both teams play in the Dominican Winter League.

2015 Phillies baseball is quickly coming to an end here in Clearwater.  It’s been a long season.  It can only get better in 2016 for Phillies fans every where.




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Pitcher Felix Paulino and The Phillies Instructs Move Into Week Three Against the Blue Jays Instructs

One of the more interesting pitchers at Instructs is Phillies 20-year starter Felix Paulino.

Paulino is only in his second year in professional baseball after pitching this season for the GCL Phillies.

Felix Paulino

Felix Paulino

He was selected by as the right-handed pitcher on the Gulf Coast League All- Star team last month.  In 50 innings he went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA.   What was impressive was he walked only 5 but struck out 46.  His 9-1 strikeout to walk ratio was one of the highest in baseball.  The average should be close to 3-1.

Today at the Blue Jays minor league complex we were able to watch Paulino pitch the sixth and seventh innings in an instructs game.  Again he pounded the strike zone.  He did give up a home run to lead off the seventh. That’s why they call it instructs.

Paulino went on to retire the next three batters in turn including a called strike three to end the inning using his slider and then his fastball on the corner.  Watch HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

I would not be surprised to see Paulino open the 2016 season season in Lakewood and move up to Clearwater by mid-season.  He would follow a path similar to starter Ricardo  Pinto this season.  Pinto ended this season as a starter in the FSL playoffs with the Threshers after starting the season with Lakewood.

Remember the name Felix Paulino.  He is going to be a good one.




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The Phillies Roman Quinn Educates the Blue Jays Instructs On All Of His Five Tools

It was all about Roman Quinn Saturday morning at Ashburn Field in an Instructs game against the Blue Jays.

The Phillies centerfield prospect showed off all his five tools in the game. He hit, hit with power, ran, threw and fielded with the best of any major league prospect that I can recall.

Roman Quinn

Roman Quinn

This morning in four at bats, Quinn went 3 for 4 with two singles and a long home run to left. He scored a couple of runs, stole two bases, ran down a couple of drives to center and threw out a runner at the plate in the game.

Playing for Reading this season, Quinn was injured June 12th beating out an infield single.  His injury was finally diagnosed as a tear in his left hip flexor.  He never returned to the Reading lineup the rest of the season.

He was batting .306 in 58 games, led the Eastern league with 29 stolen bases, shared the league lead with six triples and had 44 runs scored at the time of his injury.

The Allentown Call’s Tom Housenick has a recent excellent update on Quinn.  READ HERE.

Now fully recovered, Quinn put on quite a show for the Phillies instructs this morning.  He is expected to play in the Dominican Winter League which opens up in two weeks.  After this morning’s action, Quinn looks ready to go and put up big five tool numbers in the DWL.






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Phillies Instruct Pitcher Edgar Garcia Shows a Major League Slider In Today’s Opener

The Phillies 2015 Florida Instructs Season opened t0day against the Blue Jays instructs at the Blue Jays minor league facility in Dunedin.

One of Phillies players who stood out was pitcher Edgar Garcia.  The soon to be 19-year old did give up a run in his two innings of work but was impressive striking out the side after giving up a single and a triple to open his second inning of work in the sixth inning.

Instruct games are great opportunities to see young players in action and Garcia did not disappoint.  He is in only his second professional season.  He held the Blue Jays runner at third who had tripled to drive in a run with no outs and used his slider to strikeout the next three batters in turn.  Watch his final strike three pitch, HERE.

Garcia is one of the young pitchers who have potential.  He showed today he already has a major league slider in the works.  We watched him pitch during the Gulf Coast League this season.  He was a strong in relief in but struggled in his two starts going 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA as a starter.

But in 10 relief appearances this season he had a win and loss and was 2 for 2 in save opportunities.  Opponents hit only .182 off him.  He had a 2.52 ERA with 0.96 WHIP while striking out 26 in 25 innings out of the pen.

Clearly showing a major league level slider today at Instructs, Edgar Garcia has a bright future ahead of him.  It remains to be seen whether it is as a starter or reliever.

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia






Posted in September 2015 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Pitcher Felix Paulino Schools the Phillies Instructs In Saturday Morning Baseball Action At Bright House

Phillies Instruct pitcher Felix Paulino had everything working in his one inning of pitching in an intra squad game Saturday morning at Bright House Field.  So much so he struck out swinging all four batters he faced in his one inning of work.   At Instruct the rules sometimes are little different.

I asked him after the game what that pitch was that was unhittable and he said it was his slider.  It had so much late downward movement, the batters simply could not put the ball in play.

The 20-year old Paulino was recently selected to the 2015 Gulf Coast League All-Star team by representing the best right-handed pitcher in the league.   In the GCL, he had a 2.34 ERA and had a 9-1 strikeout to walk ratio, one the best in all of baseball.

Felix Paulino

Felix Paulino

The other Phillies player selected to the 2015 Gulf Coast League All-Star team was first round draft pick Cornelius Randolph. He slashed at .302/.425/442 for the season.  He played in left field in the morning game and hit the longest drive of the day.  The ball was caught on the warning track in front of the 401 sign in dead centerfield.

Cornelius Randolph

Cornelius Randolph

Roman Quinn looked sharp. In one of his at bats he drove in a run.

Roman Quinn

Roman Quinn

Maikel Franco looked in mid-season form as he laced a triple to the wall.

Maikel Franco

Maikel Franco

Baseball Betsy and I were able to congratulate Franklyn Kilome after the game for his work winning the only game for Williamsport in the NY-Penn League playoff series.  All he did was pitch a two-hit shutout.  In each of the five innings he worked, his final out came on a strikeout.  I told him I could not recall ever seeing that happen before.  He told us he expects to pitch on Monday against the Blue Jays Instructs.

Franklin Kilome discusses a pitch with Ranger Suarez

Franklyn Kilome (center) discusses a pitch with Ranger Suarez

Someday, Maikel Franco will be joined in the Phillies lineup by Felix Paulino, Cornelius Randolph, Roman Quinn and Franklyn Kilome.  Baseball Betsy and I will recall seeing them all together for the first time on this Saturday morning at Instructs in Clearwater.

On Saturday morning we sat through a Phillies instructs intrasquad game at Bright House. It was revealing and sure beats watching the major league team!

I saw four future MLB locks and a rehabbing starting MLB third baseman play. They were pitcher Felix Paulino who struck out all four batters he faced mixing fastballs and sliders; Left fielder Cornelius Randolph who drove one to the base of the centerfield wall. Third baseman Maikel Franco who tripled into the gap in right center; Roman Quinn who drove in a run; and pitcher Franklyn Kilome who was charting sitting in the seats behind home plate. They can build from within with these guys.

Then later in the day we watched some football in TV and the Phillies game on the the laptop. Needless to say it was difficult to watch the Phillies play. But after watching Instructs, help is on the way.


















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The Baseball Season Never Ends: Fall Ball Is Now Here As The Phillies Instruct Boys Are Back In Town

One season ends and the next one begin.  Saturday night we turned off Mike Ventola, voice of the Reading Fightin Phils after the final Eastern League playoff game where they lost  7-2  to the Bowie Baysox.   Only to be reminded that Fall Instruct workouts start this week here in Clearwater.

Hard to believe Fall Ball is Here.  The Florida Instructional League will extend until October 16th.  You can see the preliminary roster as well as the Phillies Fall Instructional League schedule HERE.

We expect the guys the Phillies are sending to the Arizona Fall League to show up at the Carpenter Complex at some point during Instructs, as well.  But since the Reading season just ended we may only get to see cameo appearances from the Reading players headed to the desert including position players Dylan Cozens, Andrew Knapp and J.P. Crawford and pitchers Tom Windle and Edubray Ramos.

The two other pitchers listed on the Glendale Desert Dogs AFL roster played for the Clearwater Threshers this season, Jesen Dygestile Therrien and Yacksel Rios.

The guys I will be watching closely at Instructs with likely major league futures are Jorge Alfaro behind the plate, Jonathan Arauz at second and Kyle Martin at first. In the outfield I like Juan Luis, Cornelius Randolph, Nick Williams and of course the $4 million international free agent Jhailyn Ortiz.

On the mound for Instructs, I saw this season future major league arms in Jimmy Cordero, Bailey Falter, Franklyn Kilome, Felix Paulino, Alexis Rivero, Ranger Suarez, Jake Thompson and Alberto Tirado.

Still, I can’t figure out why Rhys Hoskins was not included on the AFL list.  He is a badly needed right handed power bat.  In 137 games this season between Lakewood, Clearwater and the two FSL playoff games, he led the Phillies minor league system with 18 homers, hit over .300 and was one of only a few minor league players anywhere at any level to have an OPS over .900 in 2015.

Hoskins played half his games in the unfriendly hitting confines of his home ballparks in Lakewood and Clearwater.  He hit only four homers at home and 14 on the road this season.

Hoskins should put up interesting long ball numbers in the hitter friendly confines of the Reading ball park next season. I have him pegged at 30 homers next season. Hoskins is a badly needed right handed power bat in the Phillies system.

Hoskins hits a homer in the final game of the 2015 season.

Hoskins hits a homer in the final game of the 2015 season.

Hoskins' homer shoots over the fence, just above the Tortugas' outfielder's jump. (He's between the 2nd and 3rd umbrellas)

Hoskins’ homer shoots over the fence, just above the Daytona Tortugas’ outfielder’s jump and yellow line. (He’s between the 2nd and 3rd umbrellas in the visitor’s bullpen at Bright House Field )

For Baseball Betsy and me, the baseball season never ends down here. Now, we start looking toward next season with fall ball in the air.  Then it is planning for next season.

A guy we housed on the Clearwater Threshers roster this season messaged us over the weekend that he is back in town for Instructs.  Earlier last week a potential future Thresher also contacted us to see if we could put him up for next season.

For us, the baseball season never ends.













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Tonight’s Deciding Game Five Of 2015 Eastern League Championship Series Will Be A Bullpen Game

The Phillies minor league department apparently puts little emphasis on winning at the minor league level we can only surmise.  Tonight at 6:05 Game Five and final game of the Eastern League Championship Series against the Bowie Baysox will be decided by how effective the Reading bullpen will be.  The Reading Fightin Phils do not have a Game Five starter available.  The Reading Eagle is reporting it will be a bullpen game:

“Neither team has announced a starter for potential Game 5. Reading will use its entire bullpen. It doesn’t have fifth starter on roster.”

Last night’s Reading starter Ben Lively struggled with his command of his breaking pitch and gave up three runs on a couple of hits and walks in the first inning.  The Fightins could never recover and Lively was charged with the loss in the 9-1 BaySox win to knot the best of five finals at two games a piece.

Lively settled down after the first inning by retiring 11 of the next 12 batter but ran out of gas in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Ryan O’Sullivan came on in relief and gave up a two-run single and that was it.

Reading could only muster four hits in the game including two singles by Dylan Cozens who is now hitting .320 in the playoffs ( 8 for 25 with four doubles, three walks and three RBI’s).  Cozens has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League as one of seven Phillies representatives on the Glendale Desert Dogs roster.  The AFL opens October 13th in the desert.

Cozens will play on a team that is projected to be one of the best of the six AFL teams according to minor league expert Jim Callis: “the Glendale Desert Dogs has one of the best collections of talent. Glendale features the league’s top two position prospects (Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford, Pirates outfielder Austin Meadows) and the most productive hitter in the Minors in 2015 (Astros first baseman A.J. Reed).”  For Glendale’s roster see HERE.

The Phillies 2015 minor league season comes to an end tonight in Bowie, Maryland.  Can’t wait to listen to the game and learn all about the Fightin Phils bullpen.




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