We debated whether we would journey across the Causeway to Tampa to watch the Threshers take on the Tampa Yankees. But we did and fought our way there through a wind driven mist on a nippy night at George Steinbrenner Field. We were glad we did. Not only did the Threshers break a nine game losing streak but the top catching prospect in the Phillies organization proved he can catch in the advance A Florida State League.
You see Deivy Grullon only turned 18 years of age on February 2. Baseball Reference says that make him 4.7 years younger than the average position player in the FSL. The Phillies had a catching emergency when AAA catcher Cameron Rupp pulled his left oblique in his first at bat on Sunday. That caused call ups in the system. The Threshers back up catcher Chad Carmen went to Reading to replace the Fightins backup Sebastian Valle who got the call to Lehigh Valley. So all of the sudden the top catcher in extended spring training who was not injured got the call to back up Logan Moore with the Threshers. Two more experienced catchers in extended spring Chace Numata and Corey Bass are still injured.
Last night Deivy Grullon proved that he belongs and can catch at a very high level for his age. In his first pro season after getting a big international signing bonus, we watched him catch and DH for the GCL Phillies. But when Roy Halladay came down to pitch in a rehab assignment start for the GCL team last season, a more experience Jose Mayorga caught him and Deivy served as the designated hitter.
Against the Yankees last night Deivy had a good night going one for four at the plate with a rbi single. He did a good job behind the plate receiving the ball, framing pitches and he called his own game. After catching starter Jon Pronsinski to a 7-2 lead after five innings, Jon tired in the sixth inning and Kevin Walter came on but had control problems. He was charged with three wild pitches including one in the dirt and another up and in to the batter that got by Deivy.
The score was tied up 7-7 going into the ninth. After some sloppy play by the Yankees, the Threshers pushed a run across to regain the lead. Deivy worked with Colton Murray on the mound who relied on a 92 mph fast ball and a big 76 mph curve ball to close out the Yanks in the bottom of the ninth for the rare Threshers win.
So it was a nice debut for the young Phillies catching prospect. After Deivy’s base hit they rolled the ball toward the Threshers dugout to acknowledge his first Florida State League base hit. It won’t be his last hit at that level and he will have many more with the Phillies someday.