The day started early today. The first pitch was at ten in the morning so the Phillies minor league brass could get together and make final assignments to start the 2014 minor league season. Players are still coming down from the major league camp. Top prospect Maikel Franco was just cut and is on his way over to the Carpenter Complex. With 40 players still in the major league camp more players will filter down and others will be released.
Baseball Betsy and I headed over to the Blue Jays complex to see the A ball level teams battle this morning. The lineups were still in a state of flux. The High A team had right hander Jonathan Prosinki on the mound with Logan Moore behind the plate. Zach Green was at third, J.P. Crawford at short, Casey Serna at second and Willians Astudillo at first. In the outfield Sam Hiciano was in left, Carlos Tocci in center and Larry Greene in right. Hard to believe that would be the starting lineup for the Clearwater Threshers in some cases. On the bench or DHing were catcher Jose Mayorga, infielders William Carmona and Anthony Phillips, outfielder Brian Pointer and first baseman Art Charles.
The low A team started Alejandro Arteaga on the mound with Gabe Lino catching. At third was Jan Hernandez, Angelo Mora at short, Robinson Torres at second and Logan Pierce at first. In the outfield was Cord Sandberg in left, Dylan Cozens in center and Jose Pujols in right. On the bench or DHing were catchers Jake Sweaney and Deivi Grullon, infielders Malquin Canelo and Sam Dove and first baseman Wilmer Oberto.
So it was hard to get a read on where many of the players stood. Clearly the Phillies minor league department knows and the lineups today will not be the opening day lineups for the Threshers or BlueClaws in many instances.
In any event it was interesting watching Dylan Cozens play in center. I never saw him play there until last week. Maybe it means the Phillies are not satisfied with the current centerfield crop in the organization. In any event this morning Cozens had two more hits and one of them drove in Jan Hernandez who had doubled.
Tomorrow is a camp day for the Phillies at the Complex and maybe we will get a better idea of the actual makeup of the teams. Three of the five teams head north next weekend while the Threshers and the Extended Spring teams remaining behind so the final shape of the rosters will be near ready as we blog.
Below are several of Baseball Betsy’s pictures from this morning’s actions against the Blue Jays in the A ball games from Dunedin.
Third baseman Zach Green is making a run at the Clearwater third base job after a big year at Williamsport. Here he squares up a ball.
Below, Cord Sandberg came to the minor league camp looking bigger and stronger than last year. He is a good defensive outfielder and has been playing a lot in left and center for the low A team.
Above, J. P. Crawford is making a run at the Clearwater shortstop job. If he is assigned to the Threshers it would be a quick rise up the Phillies ladder for last year’s first round pick.
Dylan Cozens is struggling a bit with a learning curve in centerfield but the young phenom has never played that position before until last week. Above he makes a grab of a sinking line drive for the low A team.
Carlos Tocci did not hit much at Lakewood last season but the Phillies appear to be pushing him up the system no matter what. He played center for the high A team this morning. Hard to believe the light hitting Tocci might be ticketed for the Clearwater Threshers centerfield job.
Jan Hernandez whacks a double into the left field corner at the Englebert Complex. He has been outstanding at third base in camp for the low A team. He is going to be a good one.
Alejandro Arteaga started the game for the low A team. He is going to be another good one with his low 90’s fastball and sharp breaking slider. But he was a little up in the zone this morning and he had little defensive support with at least three infield errors and a poor outfield play in right behind him resulted in several unearned runs while he was on the mound.
Like to see Cozens stay in center for Lakewood this season as he gets ready for the next Arteaga pitch. The Phillies need a player at the major league level with a big power bat and a strong arm to go along with good foot speed in center for a change. Cozens just might be their man some day.