Two things caught my attention last night while watching Reading’s doubleheader on MiLB-TV and following the Clearwater Threshers on internet. No, it was not watching Dallas Green sitting behind home plate for the entire doubleheader periodically signing autographs or Adam Brisco doing his “brisco disco” . It was following the unbelievable throwing out of of runners by Threshers center fielder Pete Lavin and Reading continuing to be all but unbeatable in one-run games.
Levin is not a imposing figure with his left-handed bat and throws . He has been described by others as an “organizational filler” which is the ultimate put down of any minor league player who hopes some day to play in the major leagues.
Yes, it has been only the Florida State League but Levin is putting up way better numbers than the Phillies incumbent center fielder Ben Revere in just about all offensive and defensive categories.
Most impressive are Pete’s 11 outfield assists at this stage of the season which leads all of professional baseball. He is on pace to rack up something like 40 outfield assists at his current rate. No major league outfielder has more than four assists so far this season.
Lavin simply throws strikes to the bags, plate or cutoff men from every where in center field to get runners who gamble on the base paths. Revere, who has not played in recent games due to the flu, has no assists yet this season.
You have to go back to the turn of the last century to find the record for outfield assists in a season. The National league record is 45. In the American League you have to go back to 1881 for its record which is 35. The top assists by an outfielder in a season has to be one of the oldest standing records in major league baseball.
Both Revere and Lavin are 26 years old and former college players but Lavin is playing far beyond what a FSL center fielder is expected to play. Now in his third year playing for the Threshers, Pete should be AA Readings center fielder but is blocked by a couple of 40 man roster guys, Aaron Altherr who is off to a slow start and Zach Collier who has been struggling to hit above the Mendoza line all season.
I have a real simple solution. Send Collier down to the Threshers and put Pete in Reading’s outfield some where. Maybe Dallas Green can recommend such a mind boggling move to the Phillies minor league department when he gets back to the Front Office.
The other thing that caught attention last night was the Reading Fightin Phils winning yet another one run game in the second game of the doubleheader. They are well coached under Dusty Wathan, play hard and are led by former college position players such as Cameron Perkins and Carlos Alonso.
Reading once had the best closer in AA in Ken Giles and his seven saves and now they have a shutdown bullpen led by Nefi Ogando (four saves), Tyler Knigge (two saves) and Colton Murray just called up from the Threshers.
Of Readings 23 wins this season 14 have been by one run. A 14-1 record in one run games is unheard of at any level of baseball. Mixing in a good manager, intelligent clutch players who never give up and a shutdown bullpen is the right recipe for such a one-run won-loss record.
As Rich Ashburn would say “hard to believe Harry” but Pete Lavin’s arm and the Reading Phillies winning “close and late” games are two of the top reason to follow the Phillies minor league system this season!