Baseball Betsy and I have had the pleasure to watch both Zach Eflin and Brandon Leibrandt pitch in their most recent starts. On Sunday we watched on MiLB-TV and listened to the call of the game by Reading’s play by play voice Michael Ventola as Zach Eflin pitched a masterful five hit, eight inning shutout. Last night we were at Bright House Field when Brandon Leibrandt shutout the Tampa Yankees for seven innings. Both games were gems and move the two to the top of the Phillies starting pitching prospect list.
Eflin was voted the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. In two starts he has pitched 14 shutout innings. He reminds me of a Greg Maddux who was not over powering but had great command of the strike zone. Eflin has walked only two and struck out seven in 14 innings but has 21 ground outs compared to only seven fly outs in his two starts.
Leibrandt on the other hand reminds of a more composed Cole Hamels. Leibrandt has a 88-92 fastball with excellent change-up and breaking pitches. See Here, Here. In his last two starts he has been brilliant pitching thirteen innings giving up two runs, striking out thirteen and walking one. He has one of the best moves to first in baseball. See Here. So far this year he has controlled and all but shutdown the opponents running game. In his three starts he has allowed only one stolen base compared to three caught stealings and has been credited with an amazing five pickoffs.
Three other players stood out in the Threshers 3-0 win last night. Dylan Cozens just missed a home run or perhaps an inside-the-park one and had to settle for a ground rule double as the ball got stuck in the left field fence. See Here. Aaron Brown hit a clutch two run rbi single. See Here. and Edubray Ramos showed off his 94-96 fastball and this case his slider in getting a strike out to earn the save in the game. See Here.
Back in the day, an old hockey coach was asked how does he tell if players in a rookie tryout camp game he was watching have NHL potential? He simply said, “you know it when you see it”. Zach Eflin, Brandon Leibrandt, Dylan Cozens, Aaron Brown and Edubray Ramos will play in the major leagues someday soon since “we know it when we see it!”