Baseball Betsy and I have spent our summer days and evenings and for that matter for most of them our springtime watching the guys on the rosters of the GCL Phillies and Clearwater Threshers. Yesterday was the final home game for both teams.
Betsy was busy getting signatures on baseball cards. The GCL guys do not rank high enough in the pecking order to merit a card but she was able to Dan Child to sign his Clearwater Threshers card and Nick Ferdinand signed his Williamsport Crosscutters card over at the Complex. In a reversal our good friend the GCL’s Elniery Garcia gave us both one of his signed Crosscutters cards.
Before and after last night’s Threshers season final Betsy got cards signed from most of the Threshers. I went down after the game and gave and “atta boy” to my favorite pitcher Colin Kleven and shook hands with Jordan Guth for making it worth while to go to Threshers games when he was the starting pitcher. Earlier I gave a “good game” shout out to Miguel Nunez as he walked by over at the Complex for his outstanding eight inning start on Sunday.
The GCL team made us feel good as they ended the season going 18-5 in August and they had the third highest winning percentage in the 16 team league. They did not make the playoff finishing a game and a half behind the Yankees1 team in the Northwest division. problem was that only the four division winners make the playoffs.
However, the good news is that some of the guys will be back in two weeks for Instructs. See Instructs schedule. Yesterday’s winning pitcher Franklyn Kilome and the lefty with the best curve ball on the team Elniery Garcia are two 19 year-old pitchers who are expected back for Instructs.
For me it was a long season for the Threshers but certain players kept me coming back for the games. So the rest of the blog is a “thank you” using video plays from Thursday night’s final game of several of them for making the spring and summer Florida State League games interesting for us. The videos include the following:
Herlis Rodriquez. Why he did not have a regular outfield position somewhere in the organization is one of the great unknown questions of the Phillies minor league season? It’s not that the Phillies system will have a great minor league won-loss record. Currently they have the worst winning percent of the 30 MLB minor league systems. His bags were alway packed in the 2014 season. He was on the rosters Williamsport, Lakewood and finally Clearwater this season. Not playing much anywhere. He really started coming into his own playing left field with the Threshers the last couple weeks of the seasons. In his last nine games Herlis is hitting .414. See his two hits in last night’s game, Here, Here.
Art Charles. As anyone who follows my blog knows my favorite play will always be the long ball out of the park. I always paid attention when Art Charles came to bat this season. We just never knew when Art was going to go deep. He leads the team with a career high 19 home runs with still three games left to play. Last night he beat the shift by getting an RBI single to the left of second base. See HERE.
J.P. Crawford. J.P. is a lock to be the heir to the Phillies shortstop job whenever Jimmy Rollins retires. The 19 year-old will be soon the top power hitting shortstop in baseball for a long time. In only 60 Florida State League games he has hit eight homers which would be on pace for 21 homers in an 162 game MLB season. He has hit 7 of his 8 Florida State league homers at Bright House which has similar dimensions to Citizens Bank Park. We have seen most of them and they have gotten out of the park quickly. Last night Crawford showed his quick bat as he lined a double down the first base line. See Here.
Colin Kleven. What can I say. He is my favorite pitcher. I have a bias for power pitchers who can throw the ball passed the batters. Colin does that. He fought back from a back injury from last season and finished strong this season averaging almost a strikeout an inning in the second half of the season. In last night’s game his first four outs were by strikeouts including six of his first nine outs by swinging strikeouts by Tampa Yankees hitters. He was just that overpowering. He wound up with seven K’s in five innings while giving up a run. He did run out of gas in the sixth inning but in the first five innings I saw a major league arm that with one exception dominated the Yankees high A team. See Kleven’s first four “strike threes” in a row HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
The bottom line from both Baseball Betsy and me is thanks to “all the GCL Phillies and the Clearwater Threshers boys of summer” for giving us an interesting 2014 season to watch.