The Phillies need right-handed bats who can go deep. We are keeping an eye on young right-handed bats in the system such as outfielder Cameron Perkins at AAA hoping he can hit the long ball for Lehigh Valley and we have blogged last few weeks about the pop of first baseman Trey Williams now headed for the NY-Penn league.
The Phillies have really never really replaced in the lineup the right-handed bats of Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth or switch-hitting Shane Victorino who were so important to the 2008 World Series win. Just ask World Series manager and now super scout Charlie Manuel who is reportedly in the Phillies Draft war room at Citizen Bank Park.
The latest controversy over right handed bats centers around former Phillies minor league outfield prospect Domingo Santana who is putting up strong numbers in AAA in the Astros system. The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Santana was included by mistake in a list of players that the Astros could select from as a player to be named later in the Hunter Pence deal. See Here. This account has been denied by the Phillies Front Office and Santana’ name was always on the list. Others have suggested the right handed bat on the TBNL list should have Leandro Castro who continues to put modest numbers at AAA for Lehigh Valley.
The Phillies fifth-round pick yesterday was 21 year old first baseman Rhys Hoskins from Sacramento State. Ryan Howard was a fifth round pick back in 2001 out of college so the fifth round can be very productive. Hoskins is a right handed batter. The 6-4, 225-pound, primarily a first baseman, hit .319 with 12 home runs, 53 RBIs and a 1.001 OPS. He has played the outfield and infield corners in college and in the Cape Cod League.
What caught my eye was Hoskins play in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer where he was an All-Star. He came close to hitting for the triple crown there where he led the League in runs batted in, tied for homers and was fifth in batting average. In three playoff games he hit .385 going 5 for 13 with 3 doubles and 3 RBIs. He struck out only 33 times in 211 CCBL plate appearances, an excellent 6.5-1 ratio.
Those of us who watch the MLB channel can always catch a glimpse of one of their most replayed baseball movies about the Cape Cod League called Summer Catch. In the movie actor Freddy Prinze Jr. plays Ryan Dunn, a left-handed pitching prospect, who eventually is signed by the Phillies. It’s a fun movie to watch because if no other reason it is littered with MLB and Phillies players making cameo appearances including Pat Burrell, Dick Allen, Mike Lieberthal, Doug Glanville, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr. and a character actor John C. McGinley who plays the late legendary Phillies scout Hugh Alexander.
We will be watching this summer Rhys Hoskins to see if indeed he is another Phillies “Summer Catch” out of the Cape Code League who can provide some pop from the right side of the plate.