Last season we had chances to see three of the best breakout seasons ever by Cody Asche early with the Clearwater Threshers, Darin Ruf late with the Reading Phillies and Tyler Cloyd all season at AA, AAA and with the Phillies. Asche was a hitting machine right out the box and Ruf had an historical home run month in August. Both went on to hit over .3oo combined at different levels and made themselves into legitimate major league prospects. Who will ever forget Cloyd out dueling the Reds 19 game winner from last year Johnny Cueto. In 2011 we watched Derrick Mitchell have a break out first half hitting .288 and in the top five in Eastern League RBIs. He was called Mr. Clutch in the Reading’s late June game day program that season for his .300 plus batting average with runners in scoring position at the time. Who will have a breakout season this year in the Phillies farm system?
Last night Baseball Betsy and I had the privilege along with the rest of the Threshers season ticket holders of being introduced to the 2013 team at Brighthouse. Two new Threshers Maikel Franco in the second half at Lakewood and Chris Serritella in Williamsport, had breakout seasons last year so they will not offer any surprises when they provide the needed pop in the middle of the Threshers lineup this season.
One new Thresher player is poised to have a breakout season in 22 year old Kyrell Hudson. Last night was the first time I saw him close up. Along with his powerfully built arms he is an already plus defender with speed in the outfield. Watching him in the minor league camp this year I saw him repeatedly square up and hit the ball hard.
It seems like the Phillies minor league director Joe Jordan saw the same thing in Hudson that I did. He told Jeff Schuler of the Allentown Call that Hudson had a “tremendous camp” and was starting to come into his own before a finger injury ended his 2012 season. Hudson played in only 68 games with Lakewood and hit only .226 with one home run last season. He has plus speed in the field and stealing 23 bases in 30 attempts with the BlueClaws. As the Threshers center fielder this year I will not be surprised to see him in the Florida State League’s All Star game come June.
Another player to watch for a break out year is pitcher Brody Colvin. A highly prized draft pick back in 2009 Colvin struggled last year at Clearwater and Reading. But pitching for Reading in the Route 222 Classic against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Tuesday night he picked up the win as the starter by pitching four innings of one run ball striking out six AAA players. Colvin told Mike Drago, beat writer for the Reading Eagle, “For me, it’s extremely important,” he said, “because throughout my career I’ve been so up and down. To start off like that is just really great. For me, it’s all about confidence; pitching like that tonight, going into the season, is great.”
So my two guys to watch for breakout years in Phillies farm system in 2013 are Clearwater Threshers center fielder Kyrell Hudson and Reading starting pitcher Brody Colvin.