Alec Bohm Goes Deep For His Second Home Run in His Last Five AFL Games

After going 0 for 7 his two games prior to the Fall Stars game, Alec Bohm is heating it back up for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League.

Bohm doubled and walked in his two at bats in Saturday night’s Stars game. In two games since he has gone 4 for 7 with two doubles and a home run. The homer was his second in his last five games.

In his last two games Alec has raised his batting average from .327 to .356 good enough for seventh place in the AFL. He started off the AFL season hot, hitting .435 (10 for 23) in September. He has trailed off a bit in October going 11 for 36 so far this month.

Bohm was back at third in last night’s game where he threw out two batters on ground balls. He played in the Stars game and Monday’s AFL game playing first.

According to MLB.com he homered on his first pitch he saw in the second inning on a change-up and hit it 410 ft to left center with an exit velocity of 104.6 MPH. Watch HERE.

Alec Bohm hits a homer in AFL (Photo Courtesy of MLB.com)

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Still Looking For The Next Great Phillies Left handed Starter. Could It Be Ethan Lindow or Erik Miller?

We came to the Clearwater area back in 2012 just as the Phillies great run was coming to an end. We never saw it coming, thinking the greatness would never end but it did. One of the reasons has been the inability to develop a left handed starting pitcher.

We focused on the Phillies minor league system from our perch in Clearwater. We expected the flow of Phillies left handed starters  to never end. On opening night of the 2012 season we watched Adam Morgan make his Florida State League debut. He would be followed by other lefties in the Threshers rotation that season such as Jesse Biddle and Austin Wright, but it was not to be.

As long as I have been a Phillies fan, they always seem to have a great left handed pitcher anchoring the rotation from Curt Simmons, to Chris Short to Steve Carlton to Cole Hamels. Then it all ended when Hamels was traded back in the 2015 season and no lefty starter could be found to take his place in the Phillies rotation since then.

Our search for a lefty starter watching from here in Clearwater has never ended. We have watched the likes of lefty starters Elniery Garcia, JoJo Romero, Ranger Suarez and Cole Irvin start for the Threshers in the interim and either burnout or move to the bullpen. Still no lefty starter in the Phillies major league rotation other than a 36-year-old soft tosser given away by the Mets last season and a journeyman recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Erik Miller pitching in Instructs

Our watch may be coming to an end. Though we only saw Phillies left-handed starting prospects Ethan Lindow and Erik Miller start one game each this season.  That was enough for us to put them high up on our lefty watch list. Remember, you get only one chance to create a good impressions and we were impressed by both of them.

In Lindow’s only home start for Clearwater in late August, he pitched a six-inning, six-hit shutout against the Braves farmhands. My eyes lit up. Could he be the left-handed Phillies starter of the future? He just might be the one.

Lindow was a fifth round pick in the 2017 draft out of high school in Georgia. Today, October 15th, Lindow turns 21-years-old. In his three starts in the Florida State League, he pitched 16 innings, walking 2 and striking out 16 and put up a 1.69 ERA.

Miller’s only appearance that we saw was in Fall Instructs where he struck out three in one inning of work.

Miller was a fourth round pick in the 2019 draft out of Stanford University. Miller will play at baseball age 22-years-old in 2020. He started games in the Gulf Coast League, Williamsport and Lakewood in 2019. In his 11 appearances, he pitched 36 innings, walking 15 and striking out 52 for a 1.50 ERA.

I would not be surprised to see lefties, Lindow and Miller in the Clearwater Threshers 2020 starting rotation. It’s like the 2012 season all over again as the Phillies keep looking for that elusive MLB, left-handed starter of the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Alec Bohm Listed As One of the Top Ten Players in Saturday’s AFL’s Fall Stars Game

The Phillies 2018 first round draft pick Alec Bohm always seems to receive a lot of accolades as he did on Saturday in the AFL Stars Fall Game. He scored two runs by getting on base with a hard hit single to right and a walk as his East team won the game 4-2. The MLB minor league experts rated him eight of the Top Ten performers in the game.  Read HERE.

When we take a closer look at the play of Bohm in the AFL so far, some concerns keep coming up. He did hit his first homer in 13 AFL games last week. However, after a hot start he has fallen to a slash line of .327/.345/.442.

The Phillies need a third baseman of the future but he played at first base in the Stars  game. He has struggled defensively at third in the AFL committing three errors in eight games for a .824 fielding percent. On the other hand, he has committed only one error for a .976 in five games at first base.

Alec Bohm played with the Clearwater Threshers in May and most of June.

Bohm ended the regular season with Reading where he committed eight errors in 44 games at third for a .920 fielding percent. In 12 games at first he committed only one error for a .986 fielding percent.

The Phillies have been looking to replace Michael Franco at third. Franco this season committed eight errors at third but in 110 MLB games for a .970 fielding percent. The MLB fielding average for third baseman in 2019 was .962 according to Baseball Reference.

Clearly the Phillies are on the horns of a dilemma. Is Bohm a future major league third baseman or not?  To me, he looks more like a first baseman of the future than a third baseman in the MLB!

 

 

Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phillies Losing All Five Games in The Washington Series In Late September With John Middleton In the Stands Probably Was Final Straw Leaving Him With No Other Choice But To Fire Gabe Kapler

After watching and reading about one of the most interesting days in Phillies history on Friday, my take is that losing the five game series in late September against the Washington National was likely the coup de grace for Gabe Kapler. No team still in the fight for a “wild card” can possibly lose five straight games to a division rival and expect no changes to be made.

Since moving to the Clearwater area full-time eight years ago, the one saying we always heard around the Complex was “finish strong”. No matter what kind of season a player or a team had, it was always essential for them to “finish strong”. The Phillies did not do this after two straight Septembers fading from contention. They had the fourth worst record over the last two Septembers in major league baseball under Kapler.  Enough said!

Phillies Managing Partner, John Middleton, really had no other choice but to fire Kapler. My disappointment is that his team’s President, Andy MacPhail and General Manager, Matt Klentak appeared to disagreed with him on “Kap’s” eventual termination.  This might not be good for a better Phillies future since they seem not to be on the same page.

We have watched too many games of the Phillies organization over the last eight years from Clearwater on on MiLB TV and MLB TV. This season was no exception.  We were completely frustrated to such an the extent we showed up for only the last game of the four Clearwater Threshers final home games.  We did return for Fall Instructs and I must say our baseball batteries were recharged with the talent we saw in six September Instructs games at Spectrum Field. So we will soldier on for another year of Phillies baseball as hope springs eternal.

The current General Manager needs to hire a manager who has more experience than he does.  This is what concerns me. The Phillies can not go through another season with a manager and his hitting and pitching coaches all with marginal credentials at best as they did with Kapler and his top staff for two seasons.

In the field, the Phillies have the potential to have a strong lineup if they re-sign Corey Dickerson in left, put Andrew McCutchen in center and keep Bryce Harper in right.  I would stick with Maikel Franco at third. I like Mikey! Then, keep Jean Segura at short, put Scott Kingery at second and keep Rhys Hoskins at first.  It’s important to sign an extension for J.T. Realmuto, the best in the business behind the plate. They simply do not have a major league catcher ready in the farm system. Few teams ever do!

Move Alec Bohm full time to first base at AAA. He will not ever field at a major league level at third base. If Hoskins continues to hit under .200, he should be gone quickly!  I was impressed with Bryson Stott.  He is the shortstop of the future.  Start him at Clearwater and move him up quickly to eventually replace Segura.

The Phillies have three major league quality starters in Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta and Zach Eflin. Give Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold chances to start with the major league ball in spring training. They will be pitching at baseball age 24 in 2020.  Teams in the post season were using starting pitchers younger than Howard and Seabold. Why not the lowly Phillies!

In a dream scenario to get to the 2020 World Series the Phillies would need to sign free agents Anthony Rendon for third base and Gerritt Cole on the mound and go over the the salary cap.  Middleton said he would be open to going over the salary cap to win a World Series. Of course do it! It’s not my money and we both want to win it all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Top Prospects Spencer Howard, Connor Seabold and Alec Bohm Selected To Team USA in the Premier 12 Olympic Qualifying Tournament

Congratulations are in order for pitchers Spencer Howard and Connor Seabold and corner infielder Alec Bohm for their selection to Team USA. Read HERE. This team will represent the country in the Premier 12 Olympic qualifying tournament. Only the Boston Red Sox, who have four representatives, have more players than the Phillies on the 28-man roster. Read HERE.

They will begin the WBSC Premier12™ in Guadalajara, Mexico, from November 2-4 as a member of Group A with the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands. The top two nations from Group A will advance to the Super Round in Tokyo from November 11-16.

Spencer Howard pitching in first game of the playoffs vs Trenton (Photo courtesy of MiLB.tv)

The three Phillies prospects are now playing in the Arizona Fall League. They play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. In yesterday’s game, Howard went 4.2 inning allowing two runs on two hits. He struck out six.  One of his strikeouts came on a 98.5 foul tip, fastball according to GAMEDAY. His fastball was sitting between 94.7 and 98.5. He has struck out 19 in 14.1 innings and his WHIP sits at 0.98 after his four AFL starts. Watch HERE.

Connor Seabold in the AFL (Photo courtesy of MiLB.tv)

The real surprise in the AFL has been Connor Seabold. In his four AFL starts he has struck out 22 in 17 innings with a 0.59 WHIP. He leads all starters in ERA at 1.06. He leads the AFL in these categories above for starting pitchers.  GAMEDAY had his fastball topping at 94.4 in his third start.

Alec Bohm hit his first and only home run this week in AFL action. His .347 batting average is good enough for seventh of those players in the league with at least 30 at bats. He continues to struggle defensively committing four errors in his 12 starts.

Alec Bohm

Clearly Howard, Seabold and Bohm are the three top prospects in the Phillies system and among the top prospects in all of MLB based on their selection to Team USA’s Premier 12, Olympic qualifying team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Could The Phillies Pitching Prospect Connor Seabold Be The Next Charlie Morton?

In any sport we always look for comps. Who is the latest Phillies phenom most like?  My latest comp for the Phillies pitching prospect Connor Seabold is Charlie Morton.

To wit:  In Seabold’s last start in the AFL, he pitched five innings striking out eight including the last five batters he faced. He allowed four hits and one earned run.  In yesterday’s ALDS game for the Rays, Morton in his five innings, struck out nine including  four in his last two innings. He allowed three hits and a run. In their starts, both Seabold and Morton threw fastballs topping at 94 mph to go with great change ups and sliders.

It’s amazing how similar Seabold and Morton are on the mound. Read about Seabold’s start and what he was throwing HERE and HERE.  Read about Morton’s start HERE and HERE.

Connor Seabold is a top candidate for that much maligned Phillies pitching rotation in 2020. He is proving he deserves it by pitching in the AFL using Charlie Morton as a comp.

Seabold gets a swing and miss on a pitch,”down and in”, in the Arizona Fall League. See below:

Connor Seabold in the AFL (Photo courtesy of MiLB.tv)

 

Posted in 2019, September | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Do the Phillies Have a “Big Three” in Their Rotation? Do They Even Have a No. 1 Type Starter?

After watching the Nationals and Astros in the post season, I am convinced a team needs not one, not two, but three No. 1 caliber starting pitchers. The Nationals have Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. The Astros have Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zach Greinke. All would be No.1’s in just about any other team’s rotation.

Who do the Phillies have as a No.1? Is it Aaron Nola? In Nola’s last seven starts in the regular season with the post season on the line, the Phillies lost all seven of his starts. The Phillies players did not seem to have much interest in playing more than the required 162 games when he pitched and they finished fourth in the five-team National League East because of it.

Reports have it that the Phillies could have had Patrick Corbin who was a free agent last winter but the Nationals outbid them by adding an additional year to his offer. How did that work out for the Phillies Front Office?

With Cole a free agent when the post season ends, it is a no brainer that the Phillies need to sign him.  Of course, his agent is Scott Boras’s firm. Should be interesting. Read HERE.

Spencer Howard hits 99

Connor Seabold

 

In addition to watching other teams play in the MLB post season, I have focused on the Arizona Fall League’s GAMEDAY feature on MLB.com. I have learned that the Phillies do have two pitchers who could be top of the rotation pitchers, Connor Seabold and Spencer Howard.

I have been hanging on their every pitch. Seabold has been stunning. In his last start, he struck out the last five batters he faced in the fourth and fifth innings and had eight K’s in the five inning of work, overall. He leads or is second in the AFL in just about every starting pitching category after three starts with his 0.75 ERA. He has pitched 12 innings allowed only five hits, one earned run, walked two, struck out 18 for a 0.58 WHIP. He has been stunning! Those numbers are Gerrrit Cole-like! Read HERE.

On the other hand, Howard has not been as impressive. He did manage to strikeout seven in 3.2 innings in his last start but gave up a walk, a triple and two doubles which all figured in the three runs he allowed. Overall, Howard in his three starts has pitched 9.2 inning for a 2.79 ERA.  He has allowed the three runs, six hits, walking four, striking out 13 for a 1.03 WHIP.

In every category, Seabold has out-pitched Howard. As the AFL reaches the half way point, Seabold has been great and Howard has just been good. A difference is that Howard can throw in the high 90’s while Seabold has topped at 94.4 and 94.1 in his last two starts.

The Phillies do have two young starters who have the potential to be top of the rotation starters. Seabold turns 24 years-old in January and Howard does the same in July. The 2020 season has to be the breakout year for both of them. It is the time for them to show what they can do at the MLB level and join Nola at the top of the Phillies rotation, if the Phillies have any hope of reaching the post season.

 

 

Posted in 2019, October | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment