It was a beautiful Fall day for baseball as the Phillies Instructs took on the Pirates Instructs at Bright House Field on Tuesday. It’s like Fall Training for the “kids” as one F.I.L fan calls them. Section 111 behind home plate was filled with scouts from other organizations and Phillies minor league brass seemed to be every where. You never know who you might see on the field. There was Freddy Galvis starting at short coming off a back injury and a drug suspension. He seemed not to have missed a beat even if he had no chances at short in the game. He did bat in each of the first several innings before leaving the game. In one at bat he hit a grounder up the middle just getting thrown out at first on the play. He looked ready to compete for a job, likely at second base in spring training, if Chase Utley is moved to third for the 2013 season.
Another player who caught my attention was named Pujols, not the one now with the Angels, but 16 year old Dominican left fielder Jose Pujols. Though listed at 6’2″ he looked taller at a lean 165 lbs. He could swing the bat. He single to center and on his next at bat stayed in on an off speed pitch and flew out to center. Though his outfield play looked like a 16 year old who won’t be 17 until the 29th of this month, his right handed bat was more mature than his age would lead you to believe. He will be one to watch.
I like high 2012 draft pick Dylan Cozens from the Gulf Coast league games I saw this season . He started in right field. On one play he showed a strong arm on a one hop strike to home plate. Though the throw was late he showed that he has a major league arm. At the bat he showed that he is a good situational hitter going the other way and hitting a long sac. fly to left to drive in one of the five runs the Phillies instructs scored in the 8-5 loss.
Would not be surprised to see Chris Serritella jump over Lakewood to Clearwater next season. Big left handed hitting first baseman had a big year at Williamsport this season. He drove a hard ground ball single to right in one of his at bats. Andrew Pullin making the transition to second base from the outfield is a professional hitter looping a double down the right field line and punching a single to left. Mitch Walding played some at third spelling Harold Martinez who moved over to first late in the game. Walding has talent but struggled on a hard hit ground ball that short hopped him at the hot corner.
None of the pitchers particularly stood out. High draft pick Mitch Gueller started and struggled followed by Andrew Aizenstadt, Andrew Anderson, Zack Cooper and Richard Bielski. Logan Moore who finished the season with Williamsport and Lakewood’s Josh Judy did the catching.
After the game Betsy and I ran into Cody Asche and Adam Morgan at a local sports restaurant and chatted briefly with them. We were all excited about Darin Ruf’s first start in the major leagues which would happen a few hours later in Philadelphia. Cody is working out at the Complex getting ready to start the Arizona Fall League in two weeks. Adam is at the Complex to for some non-game instructs with three other top prospect southpaws for the week: Jesse Biddle, Austin Wright and Ethan Stewart.
The Phillies compete in the Northern Division of the Florida Instructional League against the nearby Blue Jays, Yankees and Pirate instructs. They play a 14 game schedule against them over the next three weeks. It will be interesting just who will stand out and make strides to move up the Phillies system next season. We hope to see some of the games and of course give our opinions.