Darick Hall Continues To Power the Phillies High A Team At Ashburn Field.

The Phillies High A team has played five home games on Ashburn Field since the start of the 2017 Spring Training Minor League Schedule last Tuesday.  First baseman Darick Hall hit his third home run of spring training on Ashburn Field in this Tuesday’s 1-0 win over the Braves.

As Richie Ashburn liked to say to his play-by-play colleague Harry Kalas, “Hard to believe, Harry”.

Darick Hall

What is even more amazing is that of Hall’s three homers, one was hit to center, right and in yesterday’s game to left.   His first two homers to center and right came in last Wednesday’s game against the Pirates and then the one yesterday went out to left against the Braves.  Click HERE to watch the three Hall home runs so far in the minor league spring training games.

Yesterday’s game was a thing of beauty in that the young Phillies did it in all facets of the game with shutout pitching, great defense and the timely long ball.

Zach Eflin came over from the major league camp to pitch the first three innings and was followed by Seranthony Dominguez for the middle three innings, Watch a strikeout out HERE, and Jose Taveras for the final three innings.  Watch HERE for the final out with the tying run on second in the top of the ninth.

We saw great defense including two double plays and two caught stealing by the catchers at second base to stifle all scoring attempts by the Braves.

All the Phillies High A team needed offensively was the long ball by Darick Hall for the 1-0 win.

Hall appears to be ticketed for the first base job at Lakewood in Low A.  After the first week of the spring training games, the Phillies 14th round, 407th overall, 2016 draft pick is earning the chance to be the opening night first baseman for the High A, Clearwater Threshers.  Let’s see it he will be rewarded!




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Lots Of Homers and Triples For The Phillies In Yesterday’s Minor League Spring Games

The long ball was in fashion along with high socks yesterday at the Carpenter Complex as Rhys Hoskins, Harold Martinez and Andrew Pullin all went deep on Ashburn Field in the AAA game and Grenny Cumana, Jiandido Tromp and Herlis Rodriguez tripled on Schmidt Field in the AA game.

Rhys Hoskins Homers

All of these guys are having  good camps.  Incredibly, Hoskins still leads the major league Phillies in OPS with a 1.181 thanks to his two double and two home runs in themajor league spring games.   Now, he is hitting bombs on Ashburn Field in AAA games.

Harold Martinez’s three-run home run Sunday a week ago might be one of the reasons that David Whitehead’s name is no longer listed on the spring training pitchers’ work group list.  Harold went deep again yesterday.

Andrew Pullin drove a high blast that went over the left field fence.  On Saturday, he went 3 for 4 as he continues have a strong spring.

Grenny Cumana triples

In the AA team Grenny Cumana hit a triple and double on Schmidt Field.  Eventually Cumana looks like the second baseman for the high A Threshers.  Watch his double HERE.

Jiandido Tromp squares up a triple

Tromp is having a big camp.  In addition to his triple yesterday. Watch his triple, HERE . He tripled on Saturday and went 3 for 5 in Friday’s game.  He is making a run to stick with the AA Reading team but most likely will open the season in the Clearwater outfield.

Herlis Rodriguez is fighting for an outfield roster spot somewhere. He hit his second triple over the last several days, yesterday.

High stirrups and/or high socks are back in style for Phillies minor leaguers and they seem to be working for them.

Ranfi Casimiro racking up strikeouts in relief

Ranfi Casimiro has been on fire as a middle reliever for the AA team. In his last two relief appearances he has pitched four shutout innings striking out seven.

Matt “Hock in Socks”Hockenberry

Matt Hockenberry looked distinctive on the mound yesterday with the stirrups while getting a strikeout.  To see Hock in Socks, Watch video HERE. 

For daily game recaps check in with the BlueClaws Blog.




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Franklyn Kilome and Darick Hall Standout In Phillies Sunday Minor League Spring Training Action

It was an exciting day in Phillies minor league spring training at the Carpenter Complex.  I was ready to watch the No.1 Phillies minor league starter loosen up to get ready to pitch against the Pirates in A ball action.

But it was not to be.  The Phillies Way of minor league player development is to start a veteran LOOGY free agent trying to make the major league team, pitch him for two innings and then bring on your top starting minor league pitching prospect in the third inning trailing 3-0.

Franklyn Kilome

That’s what happened yesterday on Ashburn Field.  Kilome came on in relief of Sean Burnett.  Franklyn pitched a strong three innings giving up no runs, two hits and striking out three Pirates.   Watch his three strikeouts HERE.

At one point Kilome struck out three in a row getting the last two outs in the fourth inning and the first batter in fifth.  He then gave up two seeing eye base hits but ended his outing by inducing an inning ending double play. Watch the DP HERE.

Darick Hall goes oppo, ball just left the bat

Darick Hall goes oppo after squaring it up


At bat it was Darick Hall again who stood out.  But it was not his single and double to right field that I will remember.  Watch those hits HERE.  It was his ability as a left hand hitter to hit one of the longest balls I have ever seen hit on Ashburn Field just foul to the opposite field in left.  The ball seemed to hit a picnic table well beyond Ashburn Field’s the left field wall.  Watch HERE.

The Phillies high A team would go on to lose to the Pirates 4-2 but it will be the Ryan Howard-like blast to just foul the opposite field off the bat of Darick Hall and Franklyn Kilome coming in as a third inning long reliever that I will always remember from yesterday’s game.


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Mickey Moniak Comes Up Big and Saves the Day for the Phillies Minor Leaguers

I always looks for some type of storyline when I go the Carpenter Complex to watch the Phillies Minor League guys.  Saturday afternoon it looked like I did not have one.

The two A ball level teams were mired in a run scoring drought about half way through the two games. In the game on Ashburn Field, all I had to go on was two innings from lefties Nick Fanti and two innings from Will Stewart.  Fanti just returned from the WBC, playing for Team Italy. Will Stewart may  be a good LOOGY someday. See Will Stewart get an out HERE. Watch Fanti’s strikeout of his first batter HERE and a great play in the hole by shortstop Arquismedes Gamboa on his second out HERE.

Over on Ashburn for the second day nothing but zeros were up on the new scoreboard for the Phillies.  Oh yea! I did see Darick Hall hit a high pop fly double down the left field line  but he was stranded there in the first inning.  They could only manage two more hits in the rest of the game.

Finally, back on Schmidt Field the action was picking up late in the game. Mickey Moniak was up with the bases loaded and two outs.  The Mick drilled one to right that made it to the fence for a double clearing the bases.   We finally had a storyline. “The Mick Comes Through in the Clutch To Save The Day For the Phillies A ballers”.  Watch Moniak’s double HERE.

Up until Moniak’s double, I was going to use the dreaded negative storyline that the Phillies two number one picks are off to slow starts in the spring training games.  You see, 2015 No. 1 pick Cornelius Randolph had struck out twice in the game on Ashburn and 2016 No. 1 overall pick Moniak had popped out to center and grounded out to second in his two earlier at bats on Ashburn.

While Moniak’s big three-run RBI double saved the day for the Phillies low A bats on Schmidt, not much more happened over on Ashburn. The high A Phillies team lost to the Yankees 2-0, making it the second straight spring game they have been shutout, losing on Friday 1-0 to the Blue Jays high A team.

I also got a good look at potential closers for Lakewood and Clearwater.  Grant Dyer and Jose Nin get strikeouts HERE and HERE.

Another great event for took place on Saturday afternoon for Baseball Betsy and me.  Our house guest from the 2016 season Ranfi Casimiro, when he was with Clearwater, made his first appearance ever in the Phillies major league bullpen.

While I was over at Carpenter Complex, Casimiro was invited over the to Phillies major league bullpen for the first time in his seven year Phillies career for the Pirates game.  He even got to warm up in the third inning when Jeremy Hellickson was on the ropes-though he did not get in the game.

Ranfi is in the middle of a change. He was a starter for almost six years in his Phillies minor league career.  He was yanked from the starting rotation late last season and is now trying to make it as a reliever, hopefully for Reading this season.

Ranfi Casimiro warming up in the bullpen during the Phillies game vs Pirates. (Photo courtesy of Comcast SportsNet)

Ranfi came of age out of the pen on Thursday, striking out four in two innings of a shutout relief appearance against the AA Blue Jays.  Watch HERE.

So, all and all, it was a good day for us watching Phillies baseball!










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Phillies Loaded With Power Left handed Hitting First Baseman Down On The Farm

We all know about Phillies right handed hitting first base prospect Rhys Hoskins who hit 38 homers in the regular season for Reading in 2016.   But from the left side they have some power bats as well.

Last season from the left side Kyle Martin hit 19 homers good enough for fourth highest  in the Florida State League.  He likely will be the starting first baseman for Reading where Hoskins hit 38 homers in the regular season and one more in the playoffs.  He homered in Wednesday’s spring game.

Darick Hall

In spring training we have been following two other big left handed bats who play first base Darick Hall and Greg Pickett.  Wednesday was a special day for both of them in spring training games at the Carpenter Complex.  They both hit two home runs.  Hall’s long balls were hit on Ashburn Field against the Pirates watch HERE and Pickett ‘s blasts were against a JUCO team on Roberts Field according to the BlueClaws Blog .

Hall was third in 2016 with 9 homers in only 195 at bats in the half-season New York-Penn League.  He led the league in slugging percent and OPS. Also he was tied for first with 19 doubles.  Watch one of his homers from the NY-Penn League HERE.

Greg Pickett

Pickett did not play last season because of injury but hit two long balls that we watched in Fall Instructs at then called Bright House Field.  Watch HERE and HERE.

Thursday, we were focused in on Hall again and he almost took one deep again against the Blue Jays on Ashburn Field.

The Jays up 1-0 and managing the game as if it were the seventh game of the World Series, they brought in a lefty to face Hall with the tying run on second.  Then, Darick hit a long drive to the deepest part of Ashburn Field just to the right of the Batter’s Eye in center. The wind blowing out to left held it up long enough for the outfielder to make the catch at the base of the fence.  Click to watch the video HERE.

We knew Hall’s ball was hard hit just by the sound of it off the bat.  It sorta reminded me of the Clint Eastwood movie back in 2012 “Trouble With Curve”, the anti Moneyball movie. Here is an excerpt about Eastwood’s character from the movie.

He disdains sabermetrics — he observes that “anybody that uses computers don’t know about the game” — and he is prideful of his ability to “spot talent from an airplane.” Yet the mere sound of a ball coming off a bat will tell him all he needs to know about a hitter’s ability.”  Read HERE.

Clint Eastwood’s character in the movie, scout Gus Lobel, would have liked the sound of the ball coming off of Darick Hall’s bat yesterday even it it was caught!








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Pitcher Seranthony Dominguez and First baseman Darick Hall Pitch and Power The Phillies High A Team To Victory Over the Pirates

It was a cold day at Ashburn Field with temperature in the high 50’s on Wednesday but the pitching of Seranthony Dominguez and the power bat of first baseman Darick Hall heated up the day and led the Phillies high-A team to an 8-3 win over their counterparts from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Seranthony Dominguez

Dominguez came on in relief of Adam Morgan with the Phillies down 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning to strikeout the side. Watch HERE.  He would go on and pitch the sixth inning giving up only one hit and no runs in his two innings of work.

The 22-year-old Dominguez is in his sixth season with the Phillies organization after being signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic.  Last year with Lakewood he went 5-2 in the regular season as a starter with a 2.42 ERA striking out 50 in 48.1 innings.

His name kept coming up last Fall as one of the players the Phillies could lose in the Rule 5 Draft.  Right now Dominguez looks like a strong candidate for the Clearwater Threshers starting rotation.

Darick Hall

Darick Hall broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth with a long two- run homer just to the right of the new scoreboard in right field and then followed up with another long homer in the bottom of the sixth to the left of the batters eye in left center.  Watch HERE

Hall is built like a football linebacker.  He will turn 22-years-old in July and was a 14th round draft pick last year out of Dallas Baptist.  If he keeps up his power bat he just might skip Lakewood and be a force in the Florida State League with the Clearwater Threshers.

He finished the season strong with Williamsport hitting .333 and four home runs in his last ten games in the New York-Penn League.  In 57 game for the Crosscutters he hit nine homers which was the third highest in the League.

Yesterday’s game was all about the fifth and sixth innings when the Phillies scored six runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth in the 8-3 win.  The shutdown, strikeout pitching of Dominguez and the power, long ball bat of Hall in those two innings were the keys to the win.







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Young and Tromp Caught My Attention On The First Day Of Phillies Minor League Spring Training Games

The Toronto Blue Jays AAA and AA teams visited the Carpenter Complex to scrimmage the Phillies AAA and AA teams.  The high and low A Phillies returned the favor and traveled four miles up Belcher Road to the Bobby Mattock Complex in Dunedin.

Baseball Betsy and I said good bye at the Carpenter Complex to Franklyn Kilome who was the scheduled High A starter along with Seranthony Dominguez who was ready to chart the game and the next starter up for Tuesday’s high A ball game against the Pirates at Carpenter.

We decided to stay and watch the AAA and AA  games on Ashburn and Schmidt Fields.  Another interesting game was taking place on Roberts Field where the rookie ball Phillies were taking on the Junior Canadian National team made up of the best 16 to 18- year-old ball players from across Canada.

Baseball Betsy focused on a rehabbing Blue Jay, Josh Donaldson. She  wrote a detailed blog on his appearance which you can read HERE. I moved over to watch Kyle Young pitch on Roberts Field.

Kyle Young

Those of us regulars who cover the Phillies minor league spring training are fascinated by tall, lefty Kyle Young.  He pitched well in the Gulf Coast League Final game last September in which he held a lead 2-1 lead in when he left after five innings.  The game and GCL championship were eventually won by the GCL Cardinals, 4-2.

The big debate is whether or not  Young has grown an inch over the winter.  He was listed at 6’10” on the Fall Phillies Instructional League roster.   Young replaces Ranfi Casimiro who was listed at 6’8″ when he pitched for Clearwater last season, as the tallest Phillies player in the organization.

The tallest pitcher I have ever watch pitch for the Phillies uniform was 6’8″ Gene Conley when I was just a youngster back in 1959 and 60.  He won 20 games for them over two years and went 12-7 in 1959 to earn an All-Star invite.

A 22nd round 2016 draft pick,  19-year-old, Young was impressive against the young Canadians.  He pitched two innings striking out the side in his first inning of work.  He added a fourth strikeout in the his second inning.   He allowed an ground ball single and record two ground ball outs in his second inning of work.  Watch all but his first strikeout HERE.

Jiandido Tromp

The other player who caught my attention was outfielder Jiandido Tromp.  As the AA game was wrapping up in the ninth inning Tromp lined a triple to the gap in left center on Schmidt Field.  It’s alway fun to watch him round the bases.  It seems automatic if he can get the ball in the gap to  right center field Trump can leg out a three-base hit.  The toolsey Tromp is always worth watching!







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