Reading’s Mitch Walding is Having a June To Remember

The Reading Fightin Phils third baseman Mitch Walding is having a June to remember.  Last night he provided the go ahead run with a two-run homer in the 5-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators.  Watch his homer HERE.

Mitch Walding’s home run in Harrisburg last night. (Photo courtesy of MiLB.TV)

It was his 17th home run of the season. He now is tied for second in the Phillies organizational with Rhys Hoskins and Dylan Cozens.  Cozens also homered last night in a Lehigh Valley loss to Pawtucket. Just called up to Lehigh Valley, Scott Kingery leads with 18 homers

But Walding has hit his “big flies” in only 209 at bats compared to 283 for Kingery, 270 for Cozens and 266 at bats for Hoskins.

More importantly Walding is having the best month of his professional baseball life.  For June, he is slashing at an amazing .309/.373/.813 for him.  Compare this to his slash lines for May of .192/.289/.397 and April of .180/.329/.393.  Has to be one of the biggest slash line month to month turn arounds ever!

He has hit 11 home runs in June with still six games left to play in the month.  He hit only three homers each in April and May.

The key for Mitch now will be to have big months of June and August to get the coveted September Phillies call up!  No wonder rumors are circulating in Philadelphia that its current third baseman Maikel Franco can be had in a trade.




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The Hitting Twins, Wilson Garcia and Jiandido Tromp, Both Just Finished Up Hitting .343 with 4 Homers Over Their Last 10 Games

I have been watching a couple of players emerge within the last two weeks as major league prospects in the Phillies organization.  For Clearwater it was first baseman/catcher/DH Wilson Garcia  and for Reading it was outfielder Jiandido Tromp.

They made it look so easy last week.  They each hit four homers for their teams in five game stretches to catch my attention.

Both of them have passed through recent Rule 5 drafts unnoticed. Garcia is now in his seventh season and Tump is in his sixth season in the Phillies system.  They played at an exceptional high level last week. Now it will be interesting to see if they can maintain it for the rest of the season.

Wilson Garcia

Garcia’s long balls have been timely resulting in several Threshers wins because of them and Tromp not only has been going deep but his best play was a left field to first base, 7-3  double play I saw on MiLB-TV in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game.  He caught the ball coming in from left just as the shortstop was coming out toward him and threw a strike on the line to double up the runner at first.

Garcia reminds me of a Venezuelan version of Yogi Berra.  He is a free swinger who always seems to make contact.  In his last five games he is 7 for 19 with 4 homers and 11 RBIs.  He has struck out only three times and walked once during that stretch.

He almost single handedly won the first half for the Threshers with his three-run homer in the final game against Bradenton only to fall a game short when Tampa won its final game of the first half. Watch HERE from MiLB-TV.  The next night he hit another three-run blast to get the Threshers on the winning track in the first game of the second half.  Watch HERE.

Jiandido Tromp

Both Garcia and Tromp have been tearing it up in their last ten games. Garcia is hitting .343 going 12 for 35 with 4 homers and 14 RBIs.  Not to be outdone, Tromp also hit .343  going 12 for 35 with 4 homers with 7 RBIs in his last ten games.  Watch two of Tromp’s homers HERE and HERE.

These are the kind of guys we root for.   Both passed over in Rule 5 drafts. We have watched them since they have come stateside and now we are watching them blossom into legitimate major league prospects.

Both 23-years-olds, Garcia and Tromp finish the first half strong and now only need to finish strong in the second half to move on up.  The time is now for them to shine if they hope to make the Show.






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Clearwater Threshers’ Starter Edgar Garcia and The Top of the Lineup, Sandberg, Campbell, Marrero and Wilson Garcia, Set Up The 8-3 Win

The Clearwater Threshers are off to a strong start in the second half of the Florida State League. They have outscored division rival Daytona Tortugas in winning the the first two games by a combined score of 17-5.

Edgar Garcia

Friday night it was the strong start by Edgar Garcia that set the pace in the 9-3 win.  A converted reliever, Garcia pitched a strong 5.1 innings allowing only two runs to get his first win as a starter. Watch his two strikeouts HERE.  So far in June he is now 1-1 in four starts with a 2.25 ERA.

The Threshers have been scoring runs and getting on base.  The top four hitters in the Threshers’ order (Cord Sandberg, Emmanuel Marrero, Derek Campbell and Wilson Garcia) were on base 13 times in the game with 8 hits, 3 walks, and a hit by pitch. They scored 6 runs and drove in 4 runs.

Cord Sandberg

Sandberg, getting a rare start in center field, went 4 for 5 with two runs scored and a RBI.  He is now hitting .371 over his last 10 games. Watch his RBI double HERE.

Cord Sandberg and Jose Pujols score while Marrero made it to second.

Emmanuel Marrero doubles in two runs as he goes to left as the catcher sets up off the plate.


Marrero continuing to show range at shortstop was 1 for 3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. He scored three runs and hit a two-run double.  He is now hitting .324 in his last 10 games. Watch his double HERE.

Playing right field, Campbell singled, walked and scored a run.  Watch his base hit HERE.

Wilson Garcia

First baseman Wilson Garcia had two singles and a walk. He is now hitting .375 with 12 RBIs in his last 10 games.   Watch his RBI single HERE.

To go with the timely hitting and good pitching the Threshers played errorless ball.  This is  a sure fire formula for winning baseball.




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The Threshers’ Waguespack, Marrero, Campbell and Wilson Garcia Come Up Big To Start The Second Half and Ranfi Casimiro Does Not Miss A Beat In His Reading Debut!

If the guys on Clearwater Threshers were down over just losing the first half northern division championship in the FSL by one game they did not show it last night.  In the first game in the second half they were too much for the Daytona Tortugas as they downed them 9-2 at Spectrum Field.

They were paced by another strong five inning start by Jacob Waguespack,  two runs scored each by Emmanuel Marrero and Derek Campbell and a four RBI night by Wilson Garcia.

Jacob Waguespack

Waguespack gave up two runs on five hits over five innings to go 3-0 since since joining the rotation five  starts ago.  In those five starts relying on his 94-95 mph fastball, he has a 1.50 ERA, and 0.88 WHIP striking out 20 and walking only five. Opponents are hitting only .190 against hime. Watch his strikeout on a 95 mph fastball from last night HERE.

Shortstop Emmanuel Marrero has gone 8 for 17 in his last four games including going 3 for 5 and scoring 2 runs last night.  Marrero now has his average at the highest of the season at .291. Watch his double HERE.

Derek Campbell catches the first out of the game.

Second baseman Derek Campbell on the disabled list since the end of last season made his 2017 debut last night.  He walked twice, was hit by a pitch singled last night and singled.  He scored two runs last night. Watch his base hit HERE.   With Reading’s Scott Kingery expected to be called up to AAA, it will be interesting to see how long Campbell stays with Clearwater.

Wilson Garcia watches the ball sail over the fences.

Wilson Garcia is quietly heating up. He has homered in his last two games and has now gone deep four times with 16 RBIs in June. Last night his home run ball appeared to clear the second fence in right and went down into the alligator pond. See HERE. So far this month he is hitting .276 with an .813 OPS.

In other news, the Threshers lost three players yesterday to call ups to Reading and one of them, Ranfi Casimiro, did not miss a beat.  After pitching three shutout innings, striking out six in his final appearance for Clearwater earlier in the week, Ranfi went on pitch two more shutout innings, striking out four in his Eastern League debut last night.  In his last two relief appearances at two different levels, he has pitched five shutout innings, allowing only two hits, with no walks and striking out ten.

Ranfi Casimiro



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Clearwater Threshers Just Missed Out On First Place But Ranfi Casimiro, Herlis Rodriguez and Drew Stankiewicz Are Moving On Up!

The Threshers fought right down to the end but came up a game short of winning the first half of the Florida State League’s Northern Division..

Going into the final three game series, the Threshers were tied with the red-hot Tampa Yankees.  The Yanks swept the team with the worst record in the Florida State League, the Florida Fire Frogs, while the Threshers won two of three against the Bradenton Marauders, one of the top teams in the Southern Division.

Though the Phillies minor league department seems to down play minor league playoffs,  I do not. Nothing beats playing with a little pressure in must win situations.  These guys below came up big in the final first half, three game, must win series for the Threshers:

Centerfielder Mark Laird broke out of a slump to go 7 for 15.

Right fielder Herlis Rodriguez went 5 for 1o with three walks.

Shortstop Emmanuel Marrero hit 5 for 12 and made several great plays in the field.

First baseman/DH Wilson Garcia hit a long three-run homer to provide the winning runs in last night’s 5-4 win.

Infielder Drew Stankiewicz  commanded the strike zone to work five walks.

Cole Irvin pitched a brilliant seven innings outing allowing five hits, a run and striking out six to get the win last night.

Ranfi Casimiro pitched his strongest game in his career as a reliever by pitching three shutout innings in the first game of the series striking out six for a hold.

Jeff Singer was old reliable out of the pen picking up saves in both of the wins pitching 2.1 shutout inning striking out three.  He struck out the final batter last night, according to Bradenton’s  MiLB-TV coverage, on a 96 mph fastball for strike two and a slider for the swinging strikeout and his 14th save of the season.


Ranfi Casimiro

Herlis Rodriguez

Drew Stankiewicz

It’s good to learn that Herlis Rodriguez, Ranfi Casimiro and Drew Stankiewicz have just been called up to Reading.  They did it the old fashion way.  They earned it!





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The Battle For the Phillies “First Baseman of the Future” Between Rhys Hoskins, Darick Hall and Greg Pickett Begins Now!

The battle for the Phillies “First Baseman of the Future” has heated up in the last two weeks as the minor league season enters the half way mark.

Rhys Hoskins went deep twice in Monday’s game for Lehigh Valley to retake the home run lead from teammate Dylan Cozens.  Rhys now has hit 17 home runs. Watch HERE and HERE.  He now leads the International League in homers, RBIs, and OPS.

Darick Hall In 2017 spring training

Not to be out done, Darick Hall hit his 10th homer for Lakewood last week despite missing 19 games of the season in April with an injury.  Watch HERE.  (Start video at 1:55) Still, he currently leads the South Atlantic League in RBIs.

Greg Pickett in Fall Instructs hitting high heat deep

A new candidate has just entered the first base picture with the start of the New York-Penn League on Tuesday.  Power hitter Greg Pickett went deep opening night for Williamsport in State College.  Watch HERE.

With the Phillies showing no interest in calling up Hoskins, it looks like the “first base three” will battle in the second half of the minor season for the title of the Phillies “First Baseman of the Future”.



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Timely Hitting Of Marrero, Shutdown Relief Pitching Of Casimiro and Singer Keep Threshers In Playoff Contention

What a game! With the first half playoff crown on the line, the Clearwater Threshers Emanuel Marrero with the bat and Ranfi Casimiro and Jeff Singer out of the pen came up big in a 3-1 win over the Bradenton Marauders last night at Spectrum Field.

With the win the Threshers eliminated the Marauders from playoff contention in the Florida State League’s Southern Division.

The Threshers remained in a tie with two games to go with the Tampa Yankees for first place in the Northern Division. The Threshers hold the tie breaker.

The Threshers jumped out to a lead with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings.  Marrero drove in the first run on a base hit and was key in setting up the third run with his second base hit of the game.  Watch HERE including a nice play by him at short.

Starter Franklyn Kilome continues to pitch in and out jams in his starts.  In this one he went five innings again and allowed the only Bradenton run of the game in the fourth.

Overall, Franklyn gave up five hits and walked two.   He recorded a key strikeout with two outs in the fifth inning on 95 mph heat with the bases loaded to preserve the 3-1 lead. Watch HERE.  He is now 4-2 on the season.

But, it was the Threshers bullpen pitching in the end that made the difference by throwing four shutout innings, striking out eight down the stretch to preserve the win for Kilome.

Casimiro was his most dominate of the season, pitching three shutout innings, striking out six for his fourth hold of the season. He was topping out at 92-93 mph with his fastball. Watch HERE.

Ranfi Casimiro

Casimiro has been brilliant over his last ten games in middle relief pitching to a 1.23 ERA, allowing only 11 hits and striking out 21 in 22 innings of work.

Jeff Singer

Then, Jeff Singer came on in the ninth inning striking out two for his league leading 13th save of the season. He made a nice catch of a line drive hit back at him on the mound to end the game. Watch HERE.

The Threshers continue their playoff quest tonight at Spectrum Field. Only two games remain on the first half schedule. FSL All-Star game winning pitcher, Jose Taveras, will be on the mound to face the Marauders.



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