It’s been very interesting following the Phillies prospects in the early major league spring training games. Position players Andrew Knapp, Roman Quinn, Jorge Alfaro and Tyler Goeddel along with Jake Thompson and Daniel Stumpf have stood out.
Yesterday, I went to the Phillies/Astros game at Bright House. Catcher Andrew Knapp continues his torrid hitting in the three games so far. He singled batting left-handed off of the Astros Doug Fister who has won 65 games in the major leagues. Watch HERE. Then he then singled batting right-handed. Watch HERE.
But the real reason I went to the game was to watch starting pitcher Jake Thompson. He amazed me last season in the Eastern League playoffs when he went 2-0 giving up only one run in 16 innings. He reminds me of a right-handed version of Clayton Kershaw. Yesterday, he did have his big curve working but his fast ball was up in the zone in his two innings of work. Using his curve as his out pitch, watch his strikeout HERE and getting his final out in the second inning on a soft fly ball out. Watch HERE.
Thompson has the chance to be something special. His fastball was sitting in the 90-93 range and his curve was at 77-82 mph. Though he should be the fifth starter in the Phillies rotation, I would expect that he will be sent to Lehigh Valley to start the season to delay free agency down the road.
Over in Tampa against the Yankees, Quinn homered and tripled as the starting centerfielder. Roman just missed another homer in Sunday’s game. Alfaro is living up to his can’t miss catching status going two for two with two RBI’s. He made an amazing throw to get a runner trying to steal second on Sunday in the University of Tampa game.
It’s a very good possibility the Phillies will be carrying two Rule Five players on the 25 man roster this season. In the Yankees game, right fielder Tyler Goeddel went 2 for 4 with an RBI and lefty Daniel Stumpf pitched two shutout innings striking out the side in order in the seventh inning and getting three ground ball outs in the eight.
So far so good for the Phillies young players as we go into weekend games. We hope to see the minor league pitchers and catchers first official workout at the Complex on Saturday morning. The first official game for the minor leaguers is Sunday, March 13th against the Canadian National team.