We always like to get up early on Saturday mornings to watch Phillies development baseball. The extended spring training team plays either at the Carpenter Complex or the Blue Jays Complex in Dunedin on Saturday mornings. In any event we live about equidistant from both facilities. We are always on the lookout for new talent who catches our eyes in the Phillies system. If they can make it on Saturday mornings after a full week of workouts and games they can make it it any day.
These guys are playing for their next assignments. Some will go to the two short season teams, Williamsport in the NY-Penn League which begins play on June 19th or the GCL Phillies at the Complex starting up June 22nd. Others will go back to the Dominican or Venezuelan Academies. Still others might be release.
The Phillies will be drafting tenth in the June 8th North American draft which means that over 20 more prospects will be reporting to the Complex or heading directly to Williamsport. The Phillies are expected to the active in the international free agent market with them being linked to a big right handed power hitter Jhailyn Ortiz. Read Here. They are reportedly ready to pay him a reported four million dollars to sign on July 2nd. Read Here.
Many of the guys we were watching Saturday morning are just fighting for jobs in the Phillies system. One who stood out was 20-year old pitcher Seranthony Dominguez. He is in his fourth season in the organization and was used exclusively in relief for the GCL Phillies last season. He was a starter in his first two years in the Dominican Summer League. He started in the game and pitched four innings of shutout ball striking out five. His fastball was sitting at 94-95 and topped at 96 mph against the Blue Jays. I was able to get on video a swinging strikeout in the third inning on what looked to be a sinker. Watch Here. He also showed an excellent slider to get his last strikeout in the fourth inning.
Another player who has caught my attention in extended spring training has been 19-year old center fielder Juan Luis. He hit a long home run in a game on Wednesday. Saturday morning he hit a hard ground out to first in one of his at bats on Saturday. Watch Here. Also in the same game he threw out a runner at the plate who tagged up on a shallow fly ball to center.
Extended spring training games ends for the Phillies the second week of June but still big games remain of interest as these guys fight for roster spots for the start of the half season leagues. One of the most interesting games will be 1:00 pm Tuesday at the Carpenter Complex when Baseball America’s No. 10 top Phillies prospect Franklyn Kilome is scheduled to start against the Yankees. That will be a must see game.