After a well played GCL Phillies 2-1 walk-off win Saturday morning, we saw one of the worst played games of the season as the Yankees1 team knocked around the Phillies team in a must win GCL game on Monday.
The Yankees1 team squared up Elniery Garcia’s fastball from the first batter on which set the pace for a 16 hit attack, helped by poor fielding by the left side of the Phillies infield, in a 7-2 loss.
Had the Phillies won they would have been tied for first place with the Yankees1 and a playoff spot in the Northwest division of the Gulf Coast League.
I tend forget most of these guys will never play in the major leagues and after yesterday any scout could see why. The challenge of the big game comes even at the entry level. The GCL Phillies came up small and exposed the lack of major league prospects.
One of the GCL fans standing next to me at the game yesterday asked a good question. Which of these guys are major league prospect? I could not answer. I have been a big fan of shortstop Grenny Cumana but he ran the bases poorly and could not make the routine plays at short. I have also been a fan of catcher now first baseman Jesus Posso. Other than them it is a stretch to see any of the position guys even making much of a contribution at the higher levels of the minor league system.
Pitching might be a different story. Elniery Garcia has an sharp breaking curve ball but appears to not throw hard enough to get even rookie level players out with his fastball. He is only 19 so the jury is still out on him.
Several of the other starting pitchers are interesting but it is hard to make an evaluation against such low level competition because they do not throw all that hard such as teenagers Denton Keys and Lewis Alezones.
Certainly other teenage starters such as Franklyn Kilome can sit at 90 and Sam McWilliams throws in the high 80’s and are tall and still maturing so they may grow into their bodies and gain velocity.
This is why I was so surprised by the pitching on Friday of Josh Taylor. The 21 year old was throwing in the low to mid 90’s with a sharp downward tilt on his breaking ball and good command. He actually looked like a major league prospect.
But we should not expect too much from GCL baseball at the stage of the season. Most of the Phillies top prospects spent only a week or two here this summer before moving on to Williamsport and Lakewood. And the first two-thirds of the season we saw several rehabbing players each game off the major league roster.
Back in 2010 in the GCL championship game only a third baseman by the name of Maikel Franco remains in the Phillies system of those guys who were in the starting lineup from that game.
Three more games remain in the GCL season and if the GCL Phillies lose today to the Yankee1 they will be mercifully eliminated from the post season.
Update: Trailing 1-0 going into the top of the ninth today “the never say die” GCL Phillies scored three runs to down the Yankee1 team 3-1 at Tampa to trail them by one game for first place in the division with two games left to play. The Phillies visit Pirate City tomorrow in Bradenton and then they play the Pirates at the Carpenter Complex Thursday to end the regular season.
In today’s game big lefty Josh Taylor picked up his second win in three relief appearances. He pitched the final four innings of shutout relief. The recently signed free agent has pitched 9.1 innings of shutout ball giving up only five hits, four walks and striking out 13 in his first three professional appearances.