Clearwater Threshers Batters Hit Three Sacrifice Flies in a 7-5 Win Over The Tampa Yankees

Producing one run at a time takes patience but the first place Clearwater Threshers put on a clinic today on how to manufacture runs in downing the second place Tampa Yankees 7-5 in  Northern Division action in the Florida State League.

Cord Sandberg

Cord Sandberg

Four of the seven Thresher runs were scored on at bats without the benefit of a hit or error thanks to three sacrifice flies by Cord Sandberg, Kyle Martin and Mitch Walding and a fielder’s choice out on another at bat by Martin late in the game.

Mitch Walding

Mitch Walding

Martin leads the FSL in RBIs with 23 and Walding is second with 22.

Situational hitting is one of the reasons why the Threshers are leading the Florida State League with an 18-9 record.  Going into today’s game the Threshers had hit four sacrifice flies in 26 games.  They now have hit seven sac. flies after today’s action.

Hitting with runners in scoring position is how teams win games.  But it is not always long balls or base hits that make the difference.

Against the Yankees, sacrifice fly balls to center by Sandberg in the third and two more to right by Martin and Walding in the fifth inning accounted for three RBI’s.

Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

Later in the eighth, Martin hit the ball a hard up the middle which resulted in a force out at second but the seventh and final run scored on the fielder’s choice to give Martin his second RBI of the game.

At the major league level the sacrifice fly RBI record is five in one game and three in one inning which was aided by an error on one of the RBI’s.

The Threshers scored on three sacrifice fly RBI’s in today’s game and two of them were in one inning.

The first place Thresher’s now lead the second place Yankees in the FSL North by two games.  The second of the three-game series at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa takes place tomorrow night with Ranfi Casimiro on the mound for the Threshers going for his fourth win of the season.










Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Prospects Rhys Hoskins and Cameron Perkins Put Streaks Together In Unique Fashions

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins

Based here in Clearwater we get to see all the Phillies prospects as they pass through in spring training and with the Threshers.  Two familiar faces, Reading first baseman Rhys Hoskins, and Lehigh Valley outfielder Cameron Perkins are in the middle of two streaks:  Hoskins has hit in 19 straight games and Perkins has been on base in 16 straight games though one game was as a pinch runner.

Hoskins streak is the most fascinating.  After starting the season 0 for 12 and going hitless in his first three games of the season.  He has embarked on a long and very unique hitting steak since.   He has one hit in each of 17 of his last 19 games.  Only in two games during the steak this season has he had multi-hit games.

His batting average during the hitting steak is holding right at .300.  He has hit five homers and drive in 18 runs during that span.  Watch HERE for his hit to extend his hitting streak to 19 games last night in Manchester, New Hampshire and a homer, watch HERE,  over a “green monster” this the weekend in Portland, Maine.

Bet the sharp Boston Red Sox Front Office has taken notice how much Hoskins likes hitting with a  “green monster” staring at him in left.  In the three-game Portland series he went 5 for 12 with a double, two homers and seven runs batted in.

Perkins has been a pleasant surprise for Lehigh Valley.  After going 0 for 3 in his first game of the season.  He has hit 20 for 49 in the next 16 games.

In the two games during his on base steak where Perkins did not get a hit, he was a late inning replacement as a pinch runner and worked a walk in his only at bat in the other game.

Last night, Perkins singled and scored a run in making his debut in center field.  He is normally a left fielder.  He was charged with a field error in the game.  According to Baseball Reference this was only the fifth game he has ever played in centerfield in his five year Phillies minor league career.

Keep an eye out for the hitting and on base streaks of Hoskins and Perkins.  They are both off to interesting starts to the 2016 Phillies minor league season.  Hopefully, they will both get chances in the Show by the end of the season!









Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Pitching Prospect Tyler Viza Joins The MiLB “High A” Top Five Pitching Leader Board

Tyler Viza

Tyler Viza

We have seen a lot of strong pitching on the Clearwater Threshers staff in the Florida State League during April. And May seems to be shaping up the same way.

Yesterday, Tyler Viza pitched one of the strongest outings yet for the Threshers six-man rotation.  He threw 6.1 innings of four-hit, one-run ball, striking out 11 and walking only two.

He picked up his fourth win in as many starts as the Threshers downed the Lakeland Flying Tigers 4-2.

Tyler Viza

Tyler Viza

Viza got stronger as he went along after giving up only a homer in the fourth inning.  He had  a 93-94 fastball and a good slider.  Of his last seven outs in the game, six were by strikeouts, including striking out the side in the fifth inning. Watch his last six strikeouts: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Viza, who started the season as the fifth man in the six man Threshers rotation, pitched his best game of his four start.  In his starts he is 4-0 with a 1.14 ERA giving up only 3 earned runs in 23.2 innings while striking out 28.  He has walked only four including one intentional. His WHIP is under 1.00 at 0.93.

The 21-year-old, who was a Phillies 32nd round pick in the 2013 draft, has now made the MiLB Advanced A Top-Five Leader Board where he is tied for fifth in wins and with the fifth best ERA in all of A+ baseball.







Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Watch Why 19-year-old Edgar Garcia Is A Top Phillies Pitching Prospect

Edgar Garcia FIL 2

Edgar Garcia

Last season in the Gulf Coast League Edgar Garcia only started in two of his 12 appearances used primarily out of the bullpen as an 18- year-old.  This year might be different.  He has starter stuff.

Yesterday, against the little Bucs from Pirate City, Garcia was impressive pitching three shutout innings striking out five in an extended spring training game on Roberts Field at the Carpenter Complex. Watch his strikeouts HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

He showed a 92-93 fastball and used his off speed pitches to keep the Pirates hitters off balance. Last year in the GCL he averaged better than a strikeout an inning over 32.2 innings.

Clearly, he has the stuff at baseball age 19 to be a top pitching prospect in the Phillies minor league chain.

It looks like Edgar will open the regular season with Williamsport in the New York-Penn League and will be one to watch on the mound there.

Along with Will Stewart, highlighted in yesterday blog, the Phillies might have two of the best teenage pitchers around.  Stewart is likely to start the season in the Gulf Coast League.


Posted in April 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Watching Young Phillies Pitching Prospects, Victor Arano and Will Stewart, Develop With The Clearwater Threshers And In Extended Spring Training

It’s only three weeks into the minor league season but an early moving day has already come for the Clearwater Threshers.  Closer Miguel Nunez is off to AA Reading.

We first saw Nunez as a starter two years ago with the Threshers.  Last year he was a middle reliever for them.  This season he morphed into one of the best closers in the Florida State League with his 96 MPH heat.

The Threshers are deep in good arms out of the pen.  The next up to try his skill set in late inning relief will likely be Victor Arano.

Arano was a starter last season for the Threshers.  He had an up and down season with a 4-12 record and a 4.76 ERA.  He pitched well in relief in the Mexican-Pacific League over the winter and has adapted well so far in that role for the Threshers.  He has struck out 14 in 10.1 innings.

Last Sunday he picked up his first hold to go with an earlier save.  With Nunez moving up, Arano’s role will be expanded out of the pen.

In Sunday’s game against Brevard County Arano racked up four strikeouts in two innings of middle relief.  Watch him strikeout the side in the 7th inning HERE, HERE and HERE.

With the Threshers on the road this week, we have had some time to watch some Extended Spring Training games on a far back field of the Carpenter Complex.

Will Stewart

Will Stewart

Will Stewart put on a show for us there.  The 18-year-old left hander had little difficulty in dispatching the “Baby Bombers” who came over from the Yankees Complex on Tuesday. Watch his final two strikeouts in three innings of work HERE and HERE.

Stewart already seems like a “Yankee Killer”.  In his last appearance in the GCL last season against the GCL Yankees he struck out five in three innings.  Last Fall in Instructs he struck out four Yankees in two innings, watch HERE.

It looks like Stewart along with fellow lefties Nick Fanti and Bailey Falter will form part of  what is shaping up to be a strong starting staff for the GCL Phillies when the Gulf Coast League season opens in later in June.

If the Phillies use their No. 1 overall draft pick to select a left handed pitcher as has been rumored, it will be interesting to watch some of the best young left-handed prospects in baseball pitch for the Phillies in the Gulf Coast League this summer.





Posted in April 2016 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Middle of the Threshers Line Up Comes Up Big Again in 5-2 Win Over Brevard County

Not saying the middle of the Clearwater Threshers lineup ranks with the “murderers’ row” of the 1927 Yankees fame but for the Florida State League they rank up there so far in 2016.

Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

If the Threshers are to score it is because of the four, five and six hole hitters,  Kyle Martin watch HERE, Mitch Walding watch HERE and Zach Green, watch HERE.

They accounted for three runs scored and four RBIs going a combined 5 for 10 with a walk in  yesterday’s game  as the Threshers downed the Brevard County Manatees 5-2 at Bright House.

The Threshers have won six in a row and 10 0f 11 to vault into a two game lead in the FSL Northern Division and the best record in the Florida State League at 13-5.

The Threshers version of “murderers’ row” has accounted for all 12 team home runs and 43 runs batted in of the team’s 69 runs scored.

Walding is second in the FSL in homers with five, Martin has four and Green has three long balls so far in April.

Martin leads the FSL in RBIs with 16 and Walding is second with 15.

Also pitching has carried the Threshers this season with a brilliant 1.90 team ERA and the only team with a WHIP under one at 0.96.  Lefty Elniery Garcia leads the League in ERA with at 0.47 and Tom Eschelman leads in WHIP with a 0.53.

Yesterday, it was the shutdown bullpen that was the key to victory as well.

Will Morris

Will Morris

After Will Morris pitched five innings giving up the two runs for the win, Victor Arano,  Alexis Rivero and Miguel Nunez came on throwing mid 90’s heat to close the door.

Alexis Rivero

Alexis Rivero

Arano struck out four and Nunez picked up his third save with 96 MPH gas to strike out the last two batters in the ninth. Watch HERE and HERE.





Posted in April 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quickly Developing Elniery Garcia Is Strong In A Tough Luck No Decision As Clearwater Pulls Out a 2-1 Win


Elniery Garcia

Lefty Elniery Garcia sat his fastball at 94 mph in his start last night to show his best fastball of the season.  Only a close safe call at second base on a pick-0ff play would eventually cost him his only earned run so far in his 19 innings this season.

Including over 20 innings during spring training, this was the only run he has allowed all season.

Though he would give up only one run, three hits and no walks while striking out seven over seven innings, he would leave with the score tied at 1-1.  That one run would raise his Earn Run Average to 0.47 during the regular season in three starts.  He has the lowest ERA of any pitcher in the minor leagues who has pitched at least 19 regular season innings this season.

Elniery Garcia

Elniery Garcia

The 21-year-old is rated as the 22nd best prospect on MLB’s Phillies Top 30 list.  He is the top rated young lefty on that List.

Watch Garcia’s seven strikeouts including striking out the side in the fifth inning:  HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Garcia put on a clinic on the mound last night.  His first strikeout came on all 94 mph fastballs.  He struck out the side in turn in the fifth inning and struck out the first two batters in the seventh inning on a 72 mph curve ball and a 93 mph fastball.

Still a starting pitcher can not do it alone.   With outstanding relief pitching the Threshers staff have compiled a 1.95 ERA for best in the league.  Jesen Therrien came on for a two innings win last night.

Timely hitting is also important as Kyle Martin singled, followed by Mitch Walding’s RBI single which scored the first Threshers run in the first inning.  The second Threshers run would score without the benefit of a hit on a HBP, an error and a bases loaded walk in the eight inning.

Great defense also matters.  The Threshers outfielders and a relay from an infielder were keys to throwing out Bravard County base runners at third and home in the game.  Scott Kingery made a great rely throw to get a runner at third in the sixth inning and Carlos Tocci  from center threw a runner out at the plate to preserve the 2-1 lead with one out in the ninth.








Posted in April 2016 | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment