Each Wednesday of the three week Instructs schedule, the Phillies play an intra-squad game. It gives us a chance to watch most of the players in action in a nine inning game.
Though no score was kept on the Bright House scoreboard, Team Henson appeared to defeat Team Borders as Tyler Henson was given a surprise water ice bath in front of the first base dugout after the final out of the game.
Thursday’s Phillies game at Bright House Field against the Yankees will signal the end of 2016 Instructs. It will be the sixth Instruct game we will have attended over the three week Florida Instruction League season.
The Instructs position players who have impressed us the most have been Greg Pickett (RF, 1B), Rodolfo Duran (C), Simon Muzziotti (CF), Cornelius Randolph (LF/PH) and Luis Encarnacion (1B). According to his Facebook page, Luis underwent successful surgery on Tuesday for a leg injury suffered in game action last week.
These same four hitters had the best at bats again in Wednesday’s game.
Pickett hit a line drive home run over the fading 1980 World Series sign in right field and singled to right yesterday. This was the second home run we have seen him hit in Instructs. Watch video of his long ball HERE.
Muzziotti looks like a top prospect. He hit .317 in 17 games this summer for the Red Sox in the Dominican Summer League. The Phillies were able to sign him for $750,000 on July 6th because because MLB said that the Red Sox had violated International signing rules. He hit .278 in his last ten games with the DSL Phillies after a slow start with them. Watch HERE, his single up the middle despite a great play by second baseman Jesus Henriquez.
Duran just won’t stop hitting when we are in the stands. He hit a rbi double into the gap in left-center and went to third on the throw to the plate as the run scored. Watch HERE.
He had a stretch of five at bats in row over three Instructs games while we were in the stands hitting three doubles, a single, where he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double and a walk.
Randolph homered in the first Instructs game of the season which he started in the outfield. However, we have seen him bat only in two games since then, both late inning at bats. Last week we watched him double to right against the Blue Jays and Wednesday he doubled to left. Watch HERE.
It is not easy to get a read on all the pitchers used in the intra-squad games. They pitch usually one or two innings each. We were impress with the one inning start of Francisco Martinez, the Phillies top international pitching signing this year and this year’s second round draft pick, Kevin Gowdy. Watch Gowdy’s strikeouts HERE and HERE.
In today’s final game of the Instruct season, top left-handed pitcher Nick Fanti is scheduled to be one of the pitchers who will see action. The Phillies break camp on Friday. That will be it for the Phillies in Clearwater until pitchers and catchers report in mid-February.