Only 24 more days until Phillies pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater and finally the 2013 baseball season is over for all Phillies players. Last night Los Mochis was eliminated from the Mexican-Pacific playoffs and Phillies minor league catcher Sebastian Valle can now rest up for catchers and pitchers at the Carpenter Complex. Freddy Galvis continued his torrid play in the Venezuelan Winter League as his Zulia team wraps up the post-season there.
Both Valle and Galvis put up nice numbers in winter league play. They both hit over .300 in both the regular and post seasons there. Valle had the most unusual experience. He was dropped from the Phillies 40 man roster, put on waivers and no other MLB team were interested. He winds up back in the Phillies system with an invite to the major league spring training camp. Valle likely wind up back in AA to start the season.
Valle is a mystery to me. Baseball Betsy and I watched him play a key role in leading Lakewood to the South Atlantic League championship in 2010. He hit 27 home runs that year including 16 in the regular SAL season, 3 in the post season and 8 in the Mexican Pacific League that year. We all thought he was the Phillies catcher of the future with that kind of power. But he never equaled those long ball numbers again though he did hit 16 homers this season between Reading and the Mexican league. Still only 23 years old, the 2014 season is big for him.
Galvis on the other hand is now a legitimate major league player. He looks to be a utility guy off the bench with the Phillies this season. His bat was quite impressive in the VWL post season where he is hitting .375 and is second with 17 RBIs in 14 post season games. Freddy was always a good hitter with runner on base and hit around .300 from both sides of plate in winter ball.
The biggest disappointment this winter was the lack of hitting from Maikel Franco in the Dominican Winter League. His .226 average was last among those players who qualified for the batting championship in the DWL. He hit only three homer during the regular season and continued to struggle in the playoffs where he hit only .227. In his defense he did have over 700 at bats and obviously wore down in his native country’s league. No one can argue though with the fact that Franco did hit a combined 34 home runs in 2013 and could provide someday the right-handed power bat the Phillies need.
Another item caught my attention over the weekend. The fact that Charlie Manuel will remain in the Phillies organization and work with the young hitters in the minor league system was good news. The problem I have is that Charlie, who lives in nearby Winter Haven, will not be coming to spring training because he does not want to be a distraction.
Charlie would be a welcome addition in my opinion to the minor league camp especially working with the young left-handed power bats who will be there like Art Charles, Dylan Cozens, Larry Greene, Cord Sandberg, Wilmer Oberto and Kelly Dugan when he comes down from the major league camp. And I am sure the young right-handed power hitters like Zach Green, Jan Hernandez, Luis Encarnacion, Jose Pujols and Aaron Altherr, when he comes down, would all benefit from Charlie’s coaching. Reading, Clearwater and the GCL Phillies were team leaders in their respective leagues in home runs in 2013. The Phillies do have many young power bats in their organization who will benefit from Charlie’s coaching. He should be at the minor league camp to work with all of them.