Following Fanti, Pivetta, Cozens, Williams, E. Garcia and Tirado in Phillies Spring Training

With action on all four fields of the Phillies Carpenter Complex forces us to pick and chose who to follow in spring training. Almost like following a foursome in a golf tournament .  We focused as you can guess on the young players in camp who are mostly close to major league ready.

One week is in the books and the Phillies major league spring training is moving on to the next step.  They will actually play games starting Thursday against the University of Tampa and then on to Tampa to play the Yankees, Friday.

Yesterday, more of the same took place such as defensive drills, live batting practice and the never ending pitchers’ bullpens.

More and more minor league guys are showing up to get a head start when the minor league camp opens for real in March.  They work out in the afternoon working on fielding and taking live and coaches batting practice.

Nick Pivetta

Nick Pivetta

Nick Fanti

Nick Fanti

With the World Baseball Classic starting next month, we had a chance to watch Team Canada’s Nick Pivetta and Team Italy’s Nick Fanti get some work in.  Both teams have  tough draws with Italy playing Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico starting March 9th in Jalisco, Mexico while Canada opens with the,Domincan Republic then the USA and Columbia in Miami.

Nick Williams

Nick Williams

Dylan Cozens

Dylan Cozens

Two other young players we have been following in camp have been outfielder Dylan Cozens and Nick Williams.  They looked good in live batting practice and will start the season with the IronPigs at AAA.

Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia

Alberto Tirado

Alberto Tirado

We have been bird dogging two, 22 year-old starting pitchers Elniery Garcia and Alberto Tirado and they struggled somewhat in live batting practice yesterday.  They both had command problems throwing strikes.  Garcia will start at AA with Reading and Tirado likely will open with the Threshers in the high A Florida State League.

Today is an abbreviated workout with the team’s golf tournament taking priority.

To watch our video summary of yesterday’s activities, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, Nick Williams Make BP Fun To Watch, Provide Hope For The Future

On Sunday the Phillies ran through the normal infield and outfield drills but it was the coaches batting practice that was fun to watch.

It was Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn and Nick Williams in the cage who made watching spring training fun and interesting.

Seems like these guys own Roberts Field and yesterday was no different.

Dylan Cozens smashes a homer over the new Robin Roberts scoreboard.

Dylan Cozens smashes a homer over the new Robin Roberts scoreboard.

Cozens hit one to dead center that banged off the very top of the batter’s eye.  Williams hit the ball long and deep to right and Quinn popped the ball hard from both sides of the plate.

Roman Quinn

Roman Quinn

The fans at Lehigh Valley should have a fun season watching IronPigs games with them in the outfield along with Rhys Hoskins at first who was with J.P. Crawford and the AAA infield batting group on Schmidt Field.

Once upon a time spring training was for players to win jobs for the regular season but no longer.

Nick Williams

Nick Williams

In my opinion Cozens, Quinn and Williams belong with the big team but apparently not to start the season according to the Phillies Front Office.  Philly fans will be stuck watching baseball age 30 something journey men such as Howie Kendrick and Michael Saunders who will stop off in Philadelphia to open the season in the outfield.

I would be excited with a major league outfield made up with the three young guys I watched on Roberts Field yesterday. Kendrick and Saunders not so much.

All the Phillies fans have to root for is a better future.  They can do that with Cozens, Quinn and Williams who were on display yesterday on Roberts Field.

For more on yesterday’s spring training watch our video HERE.

 

 

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The Phillies Young Starting Major League Pitchers Were On Display Saturday At The Complex

Vincent Velasquez

Vincent Velasquez

Vince Velasquez, Jarad Eickhoff , Aaron Nola and Ben Lively threw live batting practice Saturday morning at the Carpenter Complex.  Along with veteran starters Jeremy Hellickson and Clay Buchholz, they hold the keys to much of the success for the Phillies in starting pitching roles this season.

We also watched relievers Edubray Ramos and Hector Neris pitch live BP.

Also the team spent part of the Saturday workout on base running and pick off drills.

The most interesting hitting took place on Roberts Field.  There, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams and Roman Quinn provided most of the long ball power in coaches’ pitching batting practice.  The balls were flying out to left and right fields with ease.

The minor leaguers already in camp received a well deserved afternoon off as we said “hello” to Miguel Nunez, Kyle Young and Nick Fanti as they went by and headed out.

Fanti will be pitching for Team Italy in next month’s World Baseball Classic.

For more on Saturday’s Phillies major league camp click HERE to see the video.

 

 

 

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Phillies Spring Training Moves Into The Live BP Stage

It was one of those Chamber of Commerce days in Clearwater: 75 degrees, little wind and blue skies.  It’s a day the late great Ernie Banks would say “let’s play two.”  That’s exactly what I did, only I watched a spring training workout doubleheader.

It was the first day when all players on the major league spring training roster reported though most of them have already been in town for a while.    They worked out until about one o’clock with the pitchers throwing live batting practice for the first time. Watch our video about yesterday’s spring training HERE.

Two players we are following in the spring camp Elniery Garcia and Rhys Hoskins each had a good day.

Garcia threw about 25 pitches. He faced Aaron Altherr, Freddy Galvis and Maikel Franco and gave up only a line drive to right by Freddy Galvis on Ashburn Field.

Hoskins squared up and barreled a long ball that appeared to go over the Schmidt Field fence in left.

Dylan Cozens smashes a homer over the new Robin Roberts scoreboard.

Dylan Cozens smashes a homer over the new Robin Roberts scoreboard.

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Dylan Cozens hit a memorable long ball way out of Roberts Field at the end of the morning BP off one of the coaches.  He became the first Phillies player to hit one out over the top of the newly installed Robin Roberts Field scoreboard sign in left center.

Then, it was time for the second workout in the afternoon on the Roberts back field. This group is composed of early arrivals to the minor league camp. The first pitcher up was 22-year-old, undrafted, free agent, left-handed reliever Jeff Singer. He has an electrifying fastball. He faced two left-handed bats in his afternoon session of live BP and they both struggled to make solid contact.  I would not be surprised to see Singer in a major league spring training game in relief.

We watched Singer pitch in relief for Clearwater at the end of the Florida State League season but he seemed to come into his own in the Arizona Fall League where left-handed hitters went just one for ten against him in his AFL relief appearances.

 

 

 

 

 

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Garcia and Tirado Do Their PFPs While Joseph Keeps An Eye In Hoskins In BP As Phillies ST Moves On.

Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia

On Thursday we concentrated on two of the top Phillies starting pitchers in the minor league system lefty, Elniery Garcia and righty, Alberto Tirado.

Alberto Tirado

Alberto Tirado

Both have been added to the 40-man roster for the first time in their careers.

Both were born in the month of December 1994 in the Dominican Republic.

Combined in 2016 they went 20-6.

You can watch them in the ever exciting pitchers fielding practice (as well as the rest of the day’s activities) by going to our Baseball Betsy and Ross YouTube channel.  Watch HERE.

Tommy Joseph

Tommy Joseph

Then, I moved over to Spectrum Field to watch batting practice focusing on Tommy Joseph, Rhys Hoskins and Roman Quinn.  What caught my eye there was how Joseph was keeping a close eye on his first base competition in Hoskins.

With the opening of the full major league camp today,  we hope to see live batting practice for the first time.

Check back for updates.

 

 

 

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Day Two of Phillies Spring Training

It was a beautiful day at Phillies spring training.  More and more players have reported both minor and major league as the spring drills continue at the Complex and Spectrum Field.

I was impressed with batting practice at Spectrum Field. Both Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins looked ready for the upcoming spring games.  They sent drives that left the yard several times in BP. They will be the two to watch in the early games before they get sent to the minor league camp.

Dylan Cozens

Dylan Cozens

Baseball Betsy put together an overview of the day’s activities and video. You can get the video from the blog, HERE.  Watch the video as Betsy was almost right in the middle of the action on catcher’s pop up practice as a strong wind out of the south almost sent the pop up over the first baseline protective screen.

Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery

Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery

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Phillies Pitchers and Catchers Have Reported

The first mile stone of spring training is always pitchers and catcher reporting.  Today was the day.   Baseball Betsy and I put together a video of today’s events and you can watch it HERE.

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins

It was good to see the guys.   Some are very special to us.  We have watched first baseman Rhys Hoskins from the very beginning in Williamsport.  There he was taking throws at first base in pitchers fielding practice.   Could this be his year he breaks in to MLB?

Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia

Pitcher Elniery Garcia is like a son to us.    He had a breakout year in 2016.  The 22-years-old made the Phillies 40-man roster after a 13-4 season finishing up winning a playoffs game for Reading.  As I told him today he is right now the No. 1 starting left-handed pitching prospect in the Phillies system.  We have watch him from his GCL rookie days to Lakewood, Clearwater and he is now oh-so-close to the Show.

Then, I rushed over to Spectrum Field to see Tommy Joseph launch several  high drives in batting practice that went deep and out to left.  Finally, Andrew Pullin finished up the morning hitting the BP pitches hard.

In the afternoon we went back to the Carpenter Complex where several minor leaguer ,not invited to the major league camp, began their workouts.

Mitch Walding put on quite a show in the batting practice.  I counted more than a half-dozens balls leaving Roberts Field off his bat in his brief batting practice.  Those BP pitches he hit left his barrel head like rockets.  Mitch looks poised for a big season likely in Reading to start the season.

Not to be out done, a player I had never seen before put on quite a show for us.  He was big left-handed hitting first baseman Caleb Eldridge.  He matched Walding with long balls leaving Robert Field. He lofted at least eight BP pitches out which he hit with the prevailing breeze blowing to right.

We saw a small sample of what catcher Austin Bossart could do from the right side with the bat at the end of the last season with Clearwater.  In BP today he was able to cut through the wind and hit four shots out to left.

Cord Sandberg was working on driving to ball to the outfield gaps in his BP session. He hit line drive after line drive to the outfield gaps.

We saw could see several other minor league pitchers in camp throwing  on the seven mounds bullpen under the watchful eyes of minor league director Joe Jordan and his staff.  They included Will Morris and Mario Hollands among others.

All and all it was good to see the boys back in town!

 

 

 

 

 

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