The GCL Phillies Ace Pitcher Felix Paulino and Leading Hitter Cornelius Randolph Continue To Show That They Have What It Takes To Make It To The Show

We have had a lot of rain here in Clearwater the last week and Saturday was no exception.  Baseball Betsy and I were all set to watch a GCL Phillies game against the Astros this morning but by the top of the third inning the rain started up again at Roberts Field at the Carpenter Complex and the game had to be suspended until later in the month.

The Phillies continued their hot hitting which they started yesterday in a 17 to 2 win over the Astros on the road.  In the game this morning they scored five runs on six hits in the bottom of the first, all with two outs to jump out to a 5-1 lead.   Not bad scoring 22 runs on 23 hits in ten innings.

Felix Paulino

Felix Paulino

On the mound the ace of the staff  Felix Paulino racked up three strikeouts in two and third innings of work.  Watch HERE and HERE for two of them.  With the bat Cornelius Randolph had two singles in the game before the rains came.  Watch HERE and HERE.

Cornelius Randolph

Cornelius Randolph

With his two hits Randolph raised his team leading average to .295 and Paulino continues to average a strikeout and inning though today’s stats will not be added until the game is completed.   The game will be completed when the two teams meet again August 17th.

When we watch GCL games we tend to focus on players who have a chance to make it to the major leagues someday.  It’s not easy.  One of the first GCL games we ever watched was the 2010 league championship game featuring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.  He was the only Phillies player that day to make it to the major leagues.

Right now Felix Paulino, the ace of the staff with three wins, and Cornelius Randolph, the Phillies first round draft pick back in June, have shown so far this season they have what it takes to make it all the way to the Show someday just like Maikel Franco.




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

Clearwater Threshers Dylan Cozens Hits For a Two Game Cycle In His Return To The Lineup

Never ending rain in the Clearwater area this weekend might be about the only way to cool off the hot bat of the Threshers Dylan Cozens.

He has been on fire in his two games back with the Threshers.

In his first game back he hit a tape measure home run off the walkway behind the berm in right in Wednesday night, watch HERE.

Thursday night he banged out a single, double and triple to complete a two game cycle against the Jupiter Hammerheads at Bright House, watch HERE, HERE and HERE.

Cozens was hot with the bat before going down with a lower body injury back in June, hitting .304 for that month and is now 4 for 9 and with a two game cycle for July.  Now back in the Threshers lineup he looks to finish the last six weeks of the season strong.

Last season Cozens played with Lakewood and later off season ball in Australia.  He hit a combined 23 home runs to lead all Phillies organization left handed bats in home runs for the combined season.

With the wind blowing from in from first to third for most of this season, it was knocking everything down hit to right at Bright House so Cozens has started slowly with the long balls.

But this week the wind has come in off the Gulf  helping left handed power hitters going to right.  Cozens looks ready to put up some big long ball numbers for the rest of the season much like Art Charles did last year with the Threshers.

If the Phillies ever get back in contention in the National League East, they need a left handed hitting power bat in right field.  Dylan Cozens is showing he can be that guy especially after this week so far in Clearwater.


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

The GCL Phillies: Where The Phillies Stars Of Tomorrow, Such As Falter, Kiest, Randolph, Arauz, and Luis, Play Today

The GCL Phillies have the second best record in all of rookie baseball.  Going into today’s game the Phillies are 20-6 trailing the AZL Royals at 19-5 of the Arizona League.  They are tied for second in batting average and fourth in ERA in the Gulf Coast League.

On Monday they beat the Yankees2 team 7-5 on Robin Roberts Field and again yesterday at the Yankee Complex 3-0. We were at Monday’s game and shot some interesting videos of the key plays in the game.

We watched 18-year old starter Bailey Falter, the Phillies fifth round pick and their top pitching selection in the draft.  He struck out four in two innings and has struck out 12 in 9 innings of work in three appearances so far in the GCL.   Though he gave up all five Yankee runs on eight hits in only two innings you can see his potential.  Watch HERE.

Tanner Kiest came on to pitch three shutout innings. See one of his strikeouts HERE.

Tanner Keist

Tanner Kiest

First round pick Cornelius Randolph continues to hit with runners in scoring position.  He is hitting .440 with 16 RBI’s with RISP in 23 games.  Watch him drive in another run on a double on a ball ball lined just to the right of the batter’s eye. HERE.

Cornelius Randolph hits a RBI double.

Cornelius Randolph hits a RBI double.

A middle infielder of the future, 16-year old Jonathan Arauz continues to hit.  He went 3 for 5 and was in on two double plays from second base in the game.  Watch one of his base hits HERE.

The turning point in the game was centerfielder Juan Luis hitting a three run homer with the Phillies trailing 5-4 in the bottom of the eight.  See HERE.

On Monday we watched the stars of tomorrow playing.  It’s rewarding to look into the Phillies future and see a Bailey Falter, Tanner Kiest, Cornelius Randolph, Jonathan Arauz and Juan Luis playing today.



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

Aaron Nola Makes His Major League Debut Tonight At Citizen Bank Park.

It was almost 13 months ago when Baseball Betsy and traveled to Lakeland Fl. for a special game to watch the Clearwater Threshers battle the Lakeland Flying Tigers.  Aaron Nola was making his Florida State League debut after being drafted in the first round by the Phillies in that year’s June draft..

Below is our observations of his debut from our blogs at the time.  Tonight, Nola is scheduled to make his major league debut for the Phillies against the Tampa Rays at Citizen Bank Park.  We wish him nothing but the best as he starts his major league career.

“Later in the evening the Phillies 2014 first round draft choice, Aaron Nola, made his first professional start for the Clearwater Threshers against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. After he walked the first batter he faced See Here, he was in control in the first and second innings striking out three with a fastball topping at 93-94 and off speed pitches at 76-80 on the pitch speed board at Joker-Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. See Here.”

“Nola opened the third inning by giving up a home run on a loopy curve ball, See Here, lost his normal pin point control and finally gave up a bases loaded clearing double to end his first outing of his professional career”

You can read Baseball Betsy’s story on the FSL game and see her pictures HERE.

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

The Baseball Ross “Phillies Minor League Top Ten NOT On The Baseball America’s Top Ten List” Is Out!

An old hockey coach once said when watching a rookie camp workout and asked how he determines whether or not a player is going to make the NHL, “you know it when you see it”.  Of course today it is fashionable in baseball to rely on sabermetrics to determine that question. But I still like to “put some eyes” on the guys.

Baseball Betsy and I have watched hundreds of games this season  from the back fields of the Carpenter Complex to Bright House Field in Clearwater to outposts in Hickory North Carolina and Savannah Georgia.  When we can’t be there we have been glued to MiLB-TV to see some of the Lehigh Valley and Reading games and the few Lakewood games as well.

Baseball America recently did an updated listing of the Phillies Top Ten minor league prospects.  Read Here.  With the pending major league debut of Aaron Nola on Tuesday, I thought I better weigh in on my thoughts before it is too late.

Baseball America did a drive by on these guys. Tom Windle was the only one that was over rated.  Windle was ineffective as a starter is now a middle reliever where he has been able to get some outs. On the other hand, Franklyn Kilome will be a No. 1 in the ML rotation someday soon. He is the only one with top of the rotation stuff to go with his makeup.

My Top Ten guys we have watched this season who are not on the BA list include: 1) Rhys Hoskins, 1B;  2) Andrew Knapp, C;  3) Jonathan Arauz, 2B; 4) Aaron Altherr, OF; 5) Edubray Ramos, RRP; 6) Kyle Martin, 1B;  7) Cord Sandberg, LF;  8) Elniery Garcia, LSP; 9) Dylan Cozens, RF; 10) Alexis Rivero, RRP.  Several other starting pitchers that we have watched this season need to mentioned for strong performances at times this season: Brandon Leibrandt and Matt Imhof coming off injuries.  Mark Leiter Jr. and Colin Kleven who are adjusting to pitching at a higher level.

As said in previous blogs, I like to look at prospects by positions so any order above is subjective.  We have watched all of them in person with the exception of Altherr this regular season.   Videos from this season on them are available on the Baseball Betsy’s Youtube channel except for Altherr  (CLICK HERE).


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

Rhys Hoskins and Alexis Rivero Show Major League Potential In Clearwater Threshers Win

I always go to a minor league game and ask the question, “does this guy have a major league bat or stuff?”  In last night’s game with Clearwater Threshers first baseman Rhys Hoskins in his five at bats and newly arrived reliever Alexis Rivero in one inning of work the answer is “yes”.  Both started the season with the Lakewood BlueClaws.

We have been on a Hoskins watch since we watched him hit some long fly ball outs in last year’s Williamsport home opener.  Then instructs last Fall when he put a shot on to the top of the Tiki Bar roof in a game.  We have continued to follow him this year in the minor league spring training camp, a series with Lakewood back during the first week of May in Savannah Georgia and now last night at Bright House Field.  He has not disappointed us.  He can hit a baseball and hit it hard and far.

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins

Last night he was in his 19th game with the Threshers after spending the first half of the season with Lakewood.  He was leading the Sally League in OPS before his call up to Clearwater and he has not missed a beat showing there is not much difference between the Florida State and the South Atlantic Leagues other than one is listed as A- and the other is at the A+ level.

Last night against the St. Louis FSL farm team he had and RBI in each of his first three at bats on a single, sacrifice fly and a long home run which hit on the berm in left center. Watch HERE, HERE and HERE.  His last two times up he backed the left fielder up to the wall in left just missing another long ball and in his final at bat he made the left fielder leave his feet on the warning track to pull down a line drive. Watch HERE and HERE.

Hoskins is 22-years old which makes him only about seven months younger than the Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.  Both are right handed hitting power hitters.  While one is an every day third baseman in the major leagues the other is still stuck in A ball in the Florida State League likely for the rest of the season.

In Hoskins’ minor league career which spans 157 games so far he has a slash line of .280/.360/.473. with 22 home runs and 102 RBI’s.    Franco in his minor league career of 554 games had a slash line of .280/.329/.456 with 70 homers and 362 RBI’s. Sounds like two good .280 hitters to me!

Alexis Rivero Clearwater Threshers Debut

Alexis Rivero Clearwater Threshers Debut

We have just gotten to know Alexis Rivero from minor league spring training and Lakewood. The 20-year old has impressed us.  Last night, he made his Florida State League debut after his call up from Lakewood against the Palm Beach Cardinals at Bright House.  It was in a mop up role in holding a 9-1 Threshers lead in the ninth but he was impressive.  He had a good slider and a fast ball that sat in the high 90’s in striking out two and giving up only a one base runner on a walk.   See HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Could it be someday soon we will see Rhys Hoskins at first base taking throws from Maikel Franco and Alexis Rivero coming out the pen throwing heat to set up Ken Giles for the save in another Phillies win?



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Phillies Middle Infield Prospect Jonathan Arauz Heats Up With the Bat In GCL Action

I am becoming more and more impressed with GCL Phillies’s left handed hitting middle infielder Jonathan Arauz.

Baseball Betsy and I watched the 16-year old Panamanian go 2 for 5 with a RBI in the 3-1 GCL Phillies win Monday over the Tigers at Ashburn Field. He will turn 17 on August 3rd and he is going to be a good one.

Arauz has gone 11 for 26 with 5 rbi’s in his last six GCL games. He has a nice .810 OPS in 15 games and 60 at bats so far. He has yet to be charged with an error.  Watch three of those recent hits, one Friday against the Pirates watch Here and two more yesterday against the Tigers watch Here and Here.

We watched him hit a long home run to right against the Yankees in the first GCL game of the season over at the Yankee Complex three weeks ago and he tripled at Ashburn Field also in Friday’s Pirates game.

Though they had him at short yesterday, one would project Arauz to be a good one at second base to team with J. P. Crawford up the middle at the final level some time down the road.

This Just In Update:  Jonathan Arauz went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBIs this afternoon in the GCL Phillies 8-2 win over the Tigers in Lakeland.  Over the last seven games he has gone 14 for 31 to raise his average to .308 for the season.


Posted in July 2015 | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment