One of the things about living four miles from Bright House is that you get to see most of the Phillies young home grown players from day one. We get to see them in the GCL, Fall Instructs, minor league spring training and Ext. spring.
We even went to see Aaron Nola’s first game in the Phillies organization with the Threshers in Lakeland back in 2014.
We have watched three starting pitchers, now in the six-man Clearwater Threshers starting rotation, since the 2013 season: Ranfi Casimiro, Elniery Garcia and Tyler Viza. They all followed a very similar development path: GCL Phillies, Lakewood and now Clearwater.
It seems they just keep getting better slowly but surely. After yesterday’s win to go 5-2 this season, Casimiro is now 12-4 over his last 16 decisions from the second half in Lakewood until now.
Casimiro is a fierce competitor that gives all he has every start. At 6’8″ Ranfi reminds me of 6′ 10″ Chris Young of the Kansas City Royals.
The only lefty of the three, Garcia goes tonight in St. Lucie, is 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA. He studies Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and can top his fastball at 95 with a major league breaking pitch. And as Vin Scully always tells us about Kershaw “he is the best they have”
Viza is 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA and can sit his fastball in the mid 90’s.
These three starters, though they are the Nos. three, four and five in the Threshers six-man rotation, are a combined 13-4 this season. And are key reasons why the Threshers have the best record in the Florida State League.
The Phillies top home grown starter in its current five-man rotation is Aaron Nola, the first round pick (no. 7 overall) in 2014. Let’s see how they stack up at the high A level against him at the major league in 2016:
Nola Casimiro Garcia Viza
Record 3-2 5-2 3-1 5-1
ERA 2.89 3.35 2.27 1.77
K/BB 58-9 40-10 32-9 36-6
OPP. BA. .188 .227 .194 .250
WHIP 0.85 1.12 0.95 1.15
IP 53 37.2 35.2 35.2
Baseball age 23 24 21 21
It will be interesting to see if any of the Threshers Big Three get a chance to pitch at AA at some point this season. They all have paid their dues while working their way up the Phillies farm system.