We wanted to see what was going on in extended spring training this afternoon at the Carpenter Complex. The Yankee Extenders were in town to battle Andy Tracy’s future Williamsport Crosscutters on Ashburn Field. I was going to watch a couple of innings then go over to Carlton Field to see Roly DeArmas’ future GCL team battle them. I must admit I got caught up in watching Tracy’s guys especially the kid in center Carlos Tocci.
I had seen Carlos Tocci before but not in a game situation where I did not at first even recognize him. When I saw this youngster in the stands at a couple Thresher games, I thought what was that teener ball guy doing here. He should be some where playing 13-15 age ball. It turned out he was the Phillies $759,000 international signing from Venezuela who turned 16 last August. Young Carlos is a teenager and he goes now about 6’2″, maybe 160 lbs. He is even younger looking in regular teenage clothing than a baseball uniform.
In today’s game the first time up Tocci stayed in on a hanging curve ball and lined it to left for a base hit. His best play was running down a long drive to left center which he caught just as he climbed the fence in stride to brace himself. What made the play so ironic was that hefty left fielder Larry Greene ambled over to watch him make the catch. Two Carlos Toccis seemed to equal one Larry Greene. Baseball Betsy who was standing next to me at the time said that Tocci’s speed on the play reminded her of a cheetah-the fastest land animal in world- as he ran down the long drive to left center.
It will be interesting to see if young Tocci goes north to start the NY-Penn season with the Crosscutters. In any event the extended spring team made up of likely Crosscutters hit the ball hard and often this afternoon against the likely Staten Island Yankee team. 2011 top pick Larry Green had a single to left and a bases loaded double over the the left fielder’s head. Most of Greene’s hits go to the opposite field. Second baseman John Black, third baseman Mitch Walding, shortstop Tyler Greene, right fielder Heris Rodriquez, DH, Yan Olmo all had hard hit base hits in the three innings I watched. The catcher was Kyle LaFrenz who hit a gap double to left. He is down from the Clearwater Threshers on a rehab assignment. Likely Williamsport catcher Chace Numata was catching in the GCL game over on Carlton Field. Both of them were under the watchful eye today of minor league catching coordinator Ernie Whitt.
While the hitters were roughing up Yankee pitching, young Aussie righthander Josh Warner was impressive in the three innings we watched him handle the young Yanks. Warner was getting strikes on the corners with his fastball and slider. He gave up only a couple of hits and struck out three. Canadian Steven Inch game on in relief after Warner exited.
After watching about an hour of extended spring training this afternoon at the Complex, I believe Williamsport might have a very interesting team to watch especially with the hitting they showed today against the Yankees. The most interesting thing to watch will be if 16 year old Carlos Tocci makes the trip north with them to Bowman Field. Without a doubt he is the best 16 year old Phillie I have ever seen. Though he might be the only 16 year old one I have ever seen. The Nationals can have their 19 year old Bryce Harper, I’ll take the Phillies 16 year old Carlos Tocci!