It was a rather nondescript Thursday on the four fields of the Carpenter Complex for Phillies minor league spring training. Standard workouts for everyone and not much was happening in the batters cages. The major league team was on the road against the Tigers in Lakeland so each of the four minor league work groups had a field to themselves.
We worked all four fields looking for our favorites to give a nod and wink. As we were about to wind up the morning at the Complex all of the sudden I stopped and watched a ball just jump off of someone’s bat on Roberts Field. It turned out to be Gustavo Pierre. He had just line a long ball over the left field fence. Any long ball catches my attention but he followed it up with two more line drives to the outfield off a coach throwing batting practice.
Pierre is part of the first work group made up of players likely to wind up in Reading to start the season. He looks like a leading candidate to play third. He played third base last season in the Blue Jays system including nine games for New Hampshire at AA after spending most of the season with the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League.
The 23- year old has size at 6’2″and looks easily over 200 lbs. He is a free swinger having walked only 13 times in 433 plate appearance total last season. He did have a big June hitting .350 in 80 at bats and finished hitting .260 overall with eight homers and 43 RBIs. His speciality is hitting left handed pitching which he did in 2014 at .326 clip in 86 at bats in the Florida State League.
Pierre’s problem has been in the field where he committed 25 errors at third base last season at high A. He should be interesting to watch to see if a change of scenery will help him develop after spending six years in the Blue Jays organization after being signed as an 18- year old out of the Dominican Republic.
The Phillies acquired Pierre in the last August trade for John Mayberry Jr. It looks like they have found a decent minor league bat who can hit lefties but struggles in the field at third base.