Just finished watching a Preliminary Final game of the Australian Baseball League from Perth. Phillies minor league Brian Pointer came up big for the winning Perth Heat with strong defense in left and had two hits including a two out run-scoring single. The Heat eliminated the Sidney Blue Sox 9-2 to win both games of the best of three series. Perth will travel to Adelaide for a best of the three Finals next weekend. The first game will be televised live on the MLB channel at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Friday morning.
Pointer played last season with the Clearwater Threshers and finished the Florida State League with a strong second half, slashing .272/.363/.500 with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases in 66 games. He is a good defensive outfielder with a strong arm mostly playing the corners. For the season he had 13 assists and had only two errors for .992 fielding percent for the Threshers. He just turned 23 year old a few days ago and should get a chance to play for Reading this season.
Another Phillies prospect Maikel Franco had a winter ball season to remember. Read Here He helped power his Gigantes team to the DWL championship with a dramatic two home run, seven rbi game in a 12-5 win to clinch the best of nine finals last week. His team will represent the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series against Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico and host Puerto Rico starting this Tuesday at Noon ET.
Franco put up some the best numbers anywhere in the offseason leagues. In the DWL he finished second overall in the regular and post seasons in home runs with 11 total. He led the league in playoff RBIs with 16 in 22 games. He slashed at .337/.363/.500 to be the runaway leader in post season OPS. What Franco did in the 60 games he played in the regular and post seasons of the DWL would project to a 30 home run 120 rbi season over 162 games in the MLB.
Apparently Franco did not impress the talent evaluators at MLB.com though who released their top 100 major league prospect list yesterday. The had Maikel ranked only 55th. Read Here. He is showing in the DWL that he is one of the top young talents in baseball.
The 2014 season is now moving into the second month of 2015 for Brian Pointer and Maikel France. Pointer just turned 23 and Franco will not turn 23 until late August. They both give us something to looks forward to in spring training. Certainly they will be more exciting that the many veteran minor league free agents the Phillies Front Office has brought in to try to entertain us in the upcoming Grapefruit League games.