It’s a long winding trail to the major leagues. Though no exact formula exists to determine how many at bats a player needs to make it to the major leagues, Kelly Dugan finally reached the 1000th minor league at bat plateau in his climb to the major leagues last night at Brighthouse Field. That at bat for him will be one to remember also because, with his family and friends looking on, he hit one of his now patented “Oakley” sign line drive home runs to right. (Though I did not get a shot of his home run last night, included below is a shot of what we now call the “Dugan sign” in right that he uses to line up his home runs at Brighthouse. I recall two of his homers this season over the sign, including the one he hit last night, and one that landed on the berm front of it he hit earlier in the season)
Dugan is having a breakout year for the Clearwater Threshers. He is leading the Florida State League with his .340 batting average and is now leading the league among active players as well in OPS at . 981 which means he is hitting not only for average but power. The long ball was his seventh homer in only 39 games this year after coming off an injury to start the season. In right-field he has been a strong defensive outfielder all year. He has no errors in 75 chances including showing a strong arm with four assists.
What caught my attention about Dugan’s at bats was a misleading article that is now appearing on the Phillies web-site which proclaims that he and other draft picks are not leading up to Phillies expectations (see article HERE). They drafted him in the second round, 75th overall, back in 2009. He was the top Phillies pick that year because they did have a first round pick because of a free agent signing. After checking the Dugan’s stats that accompanied the article, I simply found it off base to make such claims that his pick should be included in a list of first round draft picks that have “not gone as well as they could for the club” as the article claims.
This season Kelly Dugan has been one of the most impressive Phillies prospects I have ever watched in my time following the minors. If he can continue even close to his current pace he will not be in Clearwater too much longer. But moving on up to Philadelphia! Let the record show that Dugan is one of the top Phillies draft picks and soon will be ready to prove his worth at Citizens Bank Park in right field. Yes. A need will soon exist to replenish the Phillies farm system in right field simply because Kelly Dugan will be in the major leagues!