If you said that Brian Pointer is putting up the best offensive numbers in the Phillies system then you know Phillies baseball. This 28th round draft pick from the 2010 draft class is leading every player in the system in home runs, RBIs, and OPS. No one can top his four homers, 12 RBIs and .995 OPS from the big league team all the way down to Pointer’s Lakewood roster. He is Mr. Offense down on the Farm after the first 15 games or so of the 2012 season for the entire Phillies organization.
Perhaps it says more about the lack of offense than anything else but after watching the Phillies go 7-8 after 15 games I get the feeling that it is going to be a very difficult season for Charlie Manuel and the boys to score runs and not much help is on the horizon in the organization. I personally can only take so much small ball and relying on pitching and defense to win games. What ever happened to a bloop and a blast or the three run dinger?
Brian Pointer is only in A ball and is a long way from every playing at Citizens Bank Park but he still stands out. Hunter Pence is leading the Phillies with two homers and 7 RBIs. Reading’s Leandro Castro is leading the system in RBIs with 14 to go along with his one home run. Lehigh Valley is doing it with good pitching and Reading is tied for first with a balanced attack of pitching and hitting but not one player is really standing out hitting the long ball and driving in runs anywhere in April.
Still Pointer is a guy who has flown under the radar. Last year with GCL Phillies he did hit six homers and drive in 25 runs in 46 games but did not stand out. He is a 20 year old left handed bat and arm who plays the corner outfield positions. He hit .278 last year and is hitting .296 so far this year with the BlueClaws. His biggest claim to fame might be he has never been thrown out on the bases going 8 for 8 last year and so far this year is 3 for 3 in stolen bases. I remember him as a smallish outfielder in the minor league camp this spring who could drive the ball but did not seem to be an outfielder who could jump up the prospect list and project as the leading Phillies power hitter for the start of the 2012 season.
When I saw Pointer this spring he did sorta remind of one of the great Phillies of all time, Johnny Callison, who was the Phillies right fielder of the sixties. He is similar in size to the great Callison who wore No. 6 and was listed as 5’10” 195 lbs during his career with the Phils . Callison’s best years were in 1964 when he hit 31 home runs and drove in 104 runs and in 1965 hitting 32 homers and 101 RBIs. He will forever be known for hitting the walk off home run in the 1964 All Star game at Shea Stadium. If Pointer can reach the numbers Johnny Callison put up he will definitely find a role in the Phillies outfield for a long time in a few years.
With a severe power outage in the Phillies system to start the season, I thought it might be time to see Pointer play on TV. Yes, to my surprise the Lakewood-Hagerstown game was being televised on MiLB-TV on Friday night. So Baseball Betsy hooked up AppleTV and we watched. I guess I should have not been surprised that the TV production of the game consisted of one stationary camera situated on the roof behind home plate of the old Hagerstown ball park. That was it but remember it was only A ball. It reminded me of what it must have been like to watch a baseball game back in the early 50’s on TV. The good news though I did see, I think, Pointer hit his fourth home run of the season which he drove over the center field wall.
It’s hard to believe that after the first 15 or so games of the season only one player in the Phillies system has more than two home runs and it is a smallish, 28th round draft pick on the Lakewood roster. Who knows when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will be back for the big league team but in the meantime few players seem ready to step up at any level to supply the offensive numbers the Phillies system needs to start scoring runs.