Yesterday was interesting at the Complex. Wednesdays are always intrasquad days at the Carpenter Complex. Get there by noon and you can see the young players in action, many of whom have come up from the Phillies academies in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Others are rehabbers and young players awaiting assignments to the two half-season teams which start play the third week in June.
This does not mean no major league talent is there. My favorite prospect as a No. 1 Phillies starter someday is 19 year- old Franklyn Kilome. Our buddy is always around with a good story to tell about his fastball velocity and the movement of his curve ball from his last start. I told him Baseball Betsy and I will be there for his first start if he is assigned to Williamsport. He is scheduled to start at Pirate City today in Bradenton for the Phillies extended spring team.
Another friend of ours who pitched yesterday was 20- year old right-hander Felix Paulino. Keep an eye out for him to likely be on the pitching staff for the GCL Phillies. He went three innings and had three strikeouts. His low to mid 90s fastball and sharp breaking pitch were impressive. He struck out 46 in 57 innings in the DSL last season.
Outfielder and left-handed hitting Juan Luis is the one at the Complex who has caught my attention in the field with his speed and at the plate with his bat the most. Though he is built similar to the IronPigs Domonic Brown, he goes back on a fly ball very well. Yesterday against the wind on Ashburn Field, Luis drove the ball over the right field wall for a homer.
We then hustled over to Bright House Field to catch the Threshers afternoon game but not in time to see J.P. Crawford’s two run homer in the third inning but in time to watch starter David Whitehead strikeout the side in the fifth inning. Watch Here, Here and Here. It turned out Whitehead would strike out swinging five hitters in a row having struck out his last two outs in the fourth inning. He would go on to get the win against the Brevard County Manatees, the FSL team of the Milwawkee Brewers.
Yesterday and today will go down as important days to have followed potential young starting pitchers in the Phillies organization. Yesterday, we saw Felix Paulino and David Whitehead toe the rubber and today in an extended spring game Franklyn Kilome will get a start. Tonight Brandon Leibrandt for the Threshers will also take to the mound in Daytona. All of them are top pitchers to watch as the season continues.