As you know if you have read our blog, we like offseason baseball. We know personally many of the guys who play from our time watching them in spring training, extended spring, Gulf Coast and Florida State League games over the years at Bright House and the Carpenter Complex. We even broke bread with a few of them at Monty’s Pizza, the Dominican Market, Casa Tina and especially Chipotle in Clearwater/Dunedin area. And yes, even a very few times at McDonald’s.
Most of the games from the Caribbean and Australia can be found on video in some fashion so you get a good feel for what is going on all Fall and Winter long. The Aussie games are the toughest to watch live because most of them start at three in the morning Clearwater time.
In September the Phillies had three teams make it to the post season: Reading, Clearwater and Williamsport. Only Reading won a first round series but were eliminated in a deciding Game Five to Bowie in the Eastern League playoffs.
In the Offseason Leagues, the Phillies were represented in post season games in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Logan Moore’s Licey team lost in the Dominican Finals as did Indios de Mayaguez in the Puerto Rico League Finals where Dylan Cozens, Jesmuel Valentin and Hoby Milner played.
The only Phillies organization player to play and win a Championship in the 2015-16 offseason was Herlis Rodriguez. He had a strong season with Lakewood during the summer. Herlis served as a last inning defensive replacement left fielder for Tigres de Aragua in most of the games in the Finals. He caught a line drive hit right at him to end Game Four in a 6-2 victory. Watch HERE.
Aragua went on win the best of seven Championship of the Venezuelan Winter League four games to two games on Thursday night. Other Phillies prospects who played earlier in the season for Aragua were centerfielder Carlos Tocci and reliever Alexis Rivero.
Another player who won notoriety for his catching in the VWL was Gabriel Lino. He was recognized as the best defensive catcher in the League playing for Cardenales de Lara. Read HERE.