As you know if you read this blog, I am a Saturday morning baseball guy. Nothing beats getting up early and watching ten o’clock Saturday morning baseball and this morning was no different.
When Baseball Betsy and I headed down to the Carpenter Complex, we did not know what to expect to start the final week of the Phillies minor league camp. That’s what mades it so interesting.
We were not disappointed when a home run derby contest broke out between Cody Asche, Dylan Cozens and Mitch Walding.
We got there just in time to watch Cody hit a majestic bomb over the right fence on Roberts Field against the Toronto Blue Jays AAA team. It’s the first time we have seen Asche in action in weeks since a lower back injury.
A few minutes later on the adjacent Carlton Field, Walding launched one over the right field fence to go deep against the AA Blue Jays team. Watch HERE. Mitch has looked like a different hitter in the spring training games from previous seasons. He is hitting the baseball long, far and often.
Not to be out done, Dylan Cozens matched Asche on Roberts Field with a long blast over the the right field wall.
The home run derby was tied among the three of them at one a piece.
Just as I turned around and looked back on Carlton Field, Walding launched another one. This time he hit the netting above the fenc to the right of the batter’s eye in center field. It fooled the base ump at first who couldn’t see the net but then his arm began the home run arm circle with an apology. He did not know the net was there.
This was the second home run of spring training that fooled me and the umps at Carlton Field. Phillies young outfielder Greg Pickett had the same call a week earlier when he hit the net to the left of the batters’ eye in center for a home run which was initially ruled a double.
With Asche done and Walding now up 2-1 in homers, Cozens did what he does so well. He went with the other way with a pitch and lined it over the left field wall for his second homer of the game.
Now tied 2-2 in the homer contest Walding gave it one last try in his last at bat to win the long ball Derby. He got a pitch he could handle up and in and just got under it to hit a long fly ball down the line in right that was caught just short of the fence. Watch HERE.
Great action for two fascinating Saturday morning baseball games. Five long balls hit, two each by Walding and Cozens and one by Asche, in the two games.
I gave the home run derby contest win to Mitch Walding on a tie breaker for almost going yard for a third homer.
For a summary of the four games from Saturday . Read HERE.
The Phillies top left-handed pitching prospect Elniery Garcia continues to come into his own. Not a strikeout pitcher last year, Garcia struck out seven in 3.2 innings Saturday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. The best I can calculate he has now struck out 15 in 9.2 innings in spring training games.
It was long ball baseball with some good pitching thrown for the Phillies prospects in watching Saturday morning baseball.