We have been blogging about the need for the Phillies to draft a power starting pitcher prospect with the seventh pick in the upcoming Draft on June 5th. Well, they may have already found one yesterday. He is our good friend Ranfi Casimiro.
Against the Rome Braves he had a coming out of sorts. He pitched the best game of his professional career when he struck out eight in six innings including the South Atlantic League’s leading hitter at the time on a called third strike. After going 0 for 3 against Casimiro, Victor Reyes no longer has the highest batting average in the Sally.
Casimiro was on fire. At one point in the third and fourth innings he struck out five in row swinging and picked up the win in Lakewood’s 8-3 victory.
The tall, lean 6’8″ right-hander will turn 22 July 16th. He has pitched two strong games back to back. In his last two starts he has pitched 12 innings giving up only two runs and seven hits while walking three and striking out ten for a 1.50 ERA.
Ranfi got off to a strong start to the season when he was nearly perfect in his first 4.1 innings before he ran out of gas. He struggled over his next five starts before hitting his stride in his last two outings.
We first met Ranfi last season in the Gulf Coast League. One of the highlights last season was traveling to Field Three of the Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex to watch him pitch against the GCL Braves. The other highlight was watching GCL Phillies first baseman Trey Williams hit a long home run to left in that game.
At the game we were able to sit behind a speed gun in the grandstand and 94 kept popping up on the gun during the time Casimiro was on the mound. Ranfi was the hardest throwing pitcher we saw in the GCL last season. All he needed was fastball command to go with improved secondary pitches and he would be a top prospect.
Yesterday, Ranfi Casimiro had a breakout game. His next start will be this weekend against the Pittsburgh Pirates’ West Virginia Power farm team. We will be following him with anticipation to see him build on yesterday’s start. We hope to see him pitch in person later on in the season as he projects into a major league power starting pitching prospect.