Another “Hard To Believe, Harry” Moment, Phillies Prospects Rhys Hoskins and Herlis Rodriguez Lead Their Leagues In OPS

It’s one of those “Hard to believe, Harry” moments in the Phillies organizational history.  It’s rare to have anyone in an MLB organization with an OPS over 1.000.  But to have four at one time, two of them leading their respective leagues, in On-base Plus Slugging at over 1.000 could be unprecedented.

Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins celebrate. (Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Pursell and the Iron Pigs)

Over the last two day, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs first baseman Rhys Hoskins hit his fifth and sixth homers of the season and just missed his seventh when he had to settle for a double in the ninth inning of yesterday’s game against Columbus.  Watch his homers from his last two games HERE and HERE.  His 1.131 OPS leads the International League.  Only seven players in the league have an OPS of over 1.000 going into Friday’s action.

One of the surprises of the first month of the season has been the bat of Clearwater’s outfielder Herlis Rodriguez.  An outfielder with five tool potential is having an April to remember. He has an OPS of 1.110 to lead the Florida State League.  He is one of only three players in the league to have an OPS of over 1.000.  H-Rod started the season off for Clearwater not even in the starting lineup but coaching first base.

Not to be outdone, two Reading Fightin Phils  have currently an OPS of over 1.000 of the ten players in the Eastern League.   Left fielder Andrew Pullins is fourth with a 1.1o4 OPS and second baseman Scott Kingery is ninth with a 1.014 OPS.

At the three top minor league levels where the Phillies have a team, they have four of the 20 players who have an OPS of over 1.000.

As we can read below, Hoskins, Rodriguez, Pullin and Kingery are in very exclusive company to start the season using OPS to tell the story.  With only three more days left in April they are each having a month to remember which will be listed forever in MiLB.com stats.

In the month of April they have been be the best bats in the Phillies organization.

On-base Plus Slugging is one of the most often used sabermetric models to evaluate hitters.  Below are the reasons the MLB glossary gives for using OPS to evaluate hitters:

“OPS adds on-base percentage and slugging percentage to get one number that unites the two. It’s meant to combine how well a hitter can reach base, with how well he can hit for average and for power. As a result, OPS is widely considered one of the best evaluative tools for hitters.”

Leaders

  • Active Career Leader: Mike Trout, .966 On-base Plus Slugging
  • All-Time Career Leader: Babe Ruth, 1.164 On-base Plus Slugging
  • Current Regular Season Leader: Eric Thames, 1.393 On-base Plus Slugging
  • All-Time Regular Season Leader: Barry Bonds, 1.422 On-base Plus Slugging

 

 

 

 

 

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Clearwater Threshers Pitching Staff Is The Best Of All “Advanced A” 30 Teams In MiLB!

No one moment could summarize the Clearwater Threshers pitching staff this season better than starting pitcher Jose Taveras dueling with rehabbing New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious at Steinbrenner Field last night.

Jose Taveras

It took seven pitches total. After a 1-1 count Taveras got Gregorious to foul off four straight pitches before striking him out swinging.  That one at bat capsulized the outstanding pitching of the Threshers pitching staff this season.

The Threshers staff is pitching to a 2.19 ERA, which represents 17 earned runs and 18 hits fewer than the next lowest FSL staff.`This is why they lead all of the 30 Advanced A teams with a 14-6 record and the lowest staff ERA after the 7-5 win over the Tamp Yankees last night..

Taveras won his third game in four starts so far in the season. But his 1.59 ERA  is only fourth among the six-man rotation: Lefty Cole Irvin, 2-1, 0.90; Seranthony Dominguez, 2-0, 0.95; Alberto Triado, 1-0, 1.00; Franklyn Kilome, 1-1, 2.70; Blake Quinn, 0-1, 2.87.

Out of the pen closers Jeff Singer, Luke Leftwich and lefty Austin Davis have stood out.  Singer is tied for the league lead with five saves to go with a win. Leftwich has three saves and Davis has two wins and save.

After the first 20 games of the season, the Clearwater Threshers have the best pitching in Advance A.  Look for some of the Threshers pitchers to go to a higher level after the traditional moving day, the June 17th, FSL All-Star game.

 

 

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Phillies Top Prospects Jorge Alfaro and Rhys Hoskins Are Proving That They Are Major League Ready Right Now!

The last two Lehigh Valley games should be enough evidence that catcher Jorge Alfaro and first baseman Rhys Hoskins are major league ready.

Jorge Alfaro looking good in a Phillies uniform in spring training

On Sunday, Alfaro homered to right to provide the difference in the 1-0 IronPigs win. Watch HERE.

Last night it was a Hoskins two-run double to get an early lead and Alfaro’s three-run homer  which were the differences in the 8-5 win.  Watch Alfaro’s three-run homer to right HERE.

If early homers are any indication Hoskins and Alfaro will wear out the right field seats at Citizens Bank Park if they are ever given a chance.  Watch HERE, in a Phillies uniform, Hoskins lined a homer into the CBP right field seats off of major league pitcher David Hernandez in last year’s Futures game.

Also, Alfaro was two for two in throwing out base stealing attempts in last night’s game.

Even more convincing is that of all the 17 AAA players who have an OPS of over 1.000 going into today’s actions only Hoskins and Alfaro play on the same team.

It remains to be seen if the Phillies Front Office will call up either of these two guys without injuries first to Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp (.657 OPS) or first baseman Tommy Joseph (.541 OPS) or when rosters expand in September.

It’s clear to me both Alfaro and Hoskins are outplaying Rupp and Joseph.  They are major league ready right now!

 

 

 

 

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Phillies Two Corner Outfield Prospects Andrew Pullin and Jose Pujols Going In Different Directions

We settled in last night to watch the Reading vs. Harrisburg game on MiLB-TV .  We were rewarded with a quite showed by Reading’s left fielder Andrew Pullin.  He hit two homers including a grand slam on a ball hit just to the right of the 380 ft. sign in deep right-center field as it headed toward the West Shore side of the Susquehanna River.   Reading went on to downed the Senator 9-1. Watch HERE.

Pullin has just propelled himself into the talk as the Phillies No. 1 left field prospect. All Pully is doing is leading the Eastern League in doubles, OPS and is tied with Scott Kingery for the league lead in homers with five.

He is having an April to remember hitting .381 going into tonight’s game. Pully clearly is out preforming all the rest of the Eastern League.

With Oduble Herrera tied up with a long term contract in center, it looks like the two corner outfield jobs for the Phillies are up for grabs and Pullin has thrown his hat into the ring for the left field job with the major league team.

We go to games in Clearwater to see player development and eventually see them go on to the major leagues.   This is something we have seen less than half-of-the-time in the last sixth seasons we have had season tickets to Threshers games.  Of the Phillies 25-man roster as of this weekend, we have seen only 12 of those players in at least one game in a Threshers uniform.  That’s why we are rooting for Pully to quickly move on up.

One of the players I was looking forward to watching play this season in Clearwater was Jose Pujols in hopes of him eventually winning a corner outfield spot with the big league team in a few years.  He had a breakout season of sorts last year for Lakewood where he led all of low A ball in home runs with 23.

Jose Pujols

To be honest Pujols has had a dreadful season after 15 games for the Threshers.  He has struck out at least once in every game he appeared but one, including three games when he has struck out four times including Saturday night’s game.  In his only at bat Saturday night where he put the ball in play he did drive in the lead run at the time with a double to right center.  Watch HERE.

All totaled he has struck out 30 times in 60 at bats to start the season.  No matter what the pitch he seems to swing through it.  He has hit right in the middle of the Threshers lineup so far and his ineffectiveness has resulted in them being ninth in the 12-team league in runs scored despite the team leading the league with 16 home runs so far this season.

Clearly the Phillies minor league coaching staff is at a loss to help him. In Sunday’s game they benched him!

Last season in the Sally League in April, Pujols slashed at .256/.295/.427 for a .722 OPS. He hit four homers and drove-in 13 runs.  He struck out 27 times in 80 at bats in 20 games.

This season in the FSL in April, Pujols has slashed only at .183/.210/.217 for a .426 OPS.  He is yet to homer and has driven in only 6 runs.  He has struck out 30 times in 60 at bats in 15 games..

It looks like Andrew Pullin will soon be on the move to AAA.  On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how much longer the Phillies can stick with Pujols in the Advanced A Florida State League.  Right now he is clearly over matched!

 

 

 

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Phillies Prospects Scott Kingery and Nick Pivetta Standout On The Early MiLB Leader Boards

As you may know from following our blog, we like to scan the four MiLB leader boards each day to see if any Phillies are in the top five in the five offensive and pitching categories at each level.

This morning not much shows up on the low minors Leader Boards except for Will Hibbs at the A ball level.  He has racked up a 3-o record in relief for Lakewood to tie for the A ball level lead.  In five games he has pitch 9.2 innings of no run relief, striking out five and walking five.  The big 6’6″, 245 lbs., 23-year-old was a 19th round pick in last year’s draft.

At Advanced A,  Jeff Singer continues to stay a top the Saves Leader Board.  His four saves for Clearwater ranks him tied for first at the high A level.

The big surprise though of the first two and half weeks of the minor league season just might be Reading’ second baseman, Scott Kingery.  @ScottyJetPax25 is his twitter handle and he puts his speed it to good use on the bases but he might need a new monicker such as Scotty “Power Ball”.  He is tied for the lead in homer in all of AA with five in 51 at bats. Last season between High A and AA combined he hit five homers in 531 regular season at bats.  And don’t say its because of the Reading ballpark.  He has hit three of his long balls on the road.

The Pitching Leader Board at AAA is all about Nick Pavetta.  He shows up on three of the five categories.  He is fourth in both ERA at 0.95 and WHIP, o.74.  He is fifth in strikeouts at 24.

The Phillies might not have many of its minor league players on the MiLB Leader Boards so far but Scott Kingery offensively and Nick Pivetta on the mound standout in the early going.

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Cole Irvin Suffers A Tough Loss as Clearwater Goes Down To The Fire Frogs 3-1

The old reliable strategy of winning by strong pitching and the long ball were not enough in the Clearwater Threshers 3-1 loss to the Florida Fire Frogs, Friday night at Spectrum Field.  They received a strong seven inning start from lefty Cole Irvin, two shutout innings of relief from Edgar Garcia and a home run  by Herlis Rodriguez.

Cole Irvin

Irvin pitched seven strong innings but an error by third baseman Jan Hernandez would cost him two unearned runs in the seventh and his first loss of the season to go 2-1 for a 0.90 ERA.  Watch his seven strike “threes” HERE.

The Threshers bullpen remains strong as Garcia pitched the final two scoreless innings Watch his two strike “threes” HERE.  

The Threshers team pitching is tied for first in the FSL with a 2.14 ERA.

Rodriguez hit his third homer of the season in the eight. It landed up on the berm in right but that was the only run the Threshers could muster.

The Threshers have now have hit 16 homers in 16 games to lead the league in homers but they have scored only 54 runs good enough for only ninth in the 12 team league.

The Threshers brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth on a bunt single by Grenny Cumana and a single by Cornelius Randolph but Damek Tomscha hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.  Watch HERE.

 

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The Clearwater Threshers Put On Great Shows For MiLB-TV This Week As They Are Now Tied For The Best Record in Advanced A

After the first two weeks of the season, the Clearwater Threshers are tied for the best record in Advanced A with Buies Creek, the Astros high A team in Carolina League.  Both teams are at 11-4.

The Threshers did it by winning the last three games of a four game series from the still tied for first place in the Florida State League’s southern division, the Bradenton Marauders.

Franklyn Kilome (Photo courtesy of MiLB.tv)

The winning formula was simple: dominating starting pitching, effective relief pitching and the home run ball. Starting pitchers Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Taveras and Franklin Kilome each picked up wins with quality starts and Luke Leftwich, Jeff Singer and Austin Davis each earned a save.

The Threshers outscored the Marauder 13-5 led by four homers from Herlis Rodriguez, Zach Coppola, Jan Hernandez and last night’s three run blast by Damek Tomscha in route to winning the final three games of the series.  The Threshers now have hit 15 home runs in the first 15 games of the season to lead all 30 teams in Advanced A.

The outfielders in particular made some great catches in the series. Watch HERE a Jose Pujols catch from last night.  In addition to the home runs, they got timely rbi hitting. Watch a Wilson Garcia rbi double, HERE, from Wednesday’s game and a Grenny Cumana two-run double, HERE, in Thursday’s game.

Also, it was the first time ever we were able to watch the entire four game series on TV.  The four game series was televised on MiLB-TV from Bradenton.  The Threshers put on great shows for us in the final three games.

 

 

 

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