Perhaps it is a bit of an overstatement that two players on the Phillies Gulf Coast League team, pitcher Ricky Bielski and first baseman Wilmer Oberto, are in the midst of breakout seasons but it sure looks that way after this past week of action.
Baseball Betsy and I like watching the young prospects in GCL action. We saw Bielski record his first career save on Monday against the Tigers on Ashburn Field and during three games this week at the Carpenter Complex we watched Oberto drive in a total of nine runs with a couple of singles, two doubles, a triple and a home run.
In his second season in the GCL the 18 year old right-handed reliever Bielski picked up his first career save with a two strike out inning on Monday. On Saturday against the Braves at DisneyWorld Ricky picked up his first win of the season. He came on and pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the eight and finished up with a clean two strike out inning in the ninth for the 4-3 win.
The left-handed hitting, 20 year old first baseman, Oberto, has just completed week to remember. In his last six games for the week he went 10 for 25 with four homers including a grand slam on Thursday to drive in 18 runs.
Bielski was a 12th round draft pick in 2012 as a 17 year old out of California. In his first season in the Phillies organization last year he was 1-0 with a 3.07 ERA but walked seven and struck out only five in 14.2 innings in 11 games of relief. As a lean, lanky, 6’3″ reliever, he relies on his mid 90’s fastball and a breaking pitch which he is controlling this year. This season in seven games in relief over ten innings he has yet to give up a run. He has been touched for only six hits and two walks while striking out ten.
Oberto had spent three seasons with the Phillies team in the Venezuelan Summer League. His numbers were good but nothing special. However, this season Wilmer leads the GCL in RBIs with 26 and in OPS. He is tied for first in homers in the league with his four. He is hitting .344. The stocky built Oberto is the same height as Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, standing only at 5’11”, but weighs about 100 lbs. less than the Tigers power hitting first baseman.
One week does not make a season but both Ricky Bielski and Wilmer Oberto have had a breakout week in the GCL. They made our trips to the Phillies home GCL games worth while especially last week. Now we will watch to see if they can keep it up.