“Chicks might dig the long ball” but I was brought up digging the long ball hitting too. It started by watching Maris and Mantle battle in 1961 working to break Babe Ruth’s home run record and I will never forget it.
The Phillies farm system had a robust 2016 hitting the long ball. Phillies farmhands won home run titles in the Eastern and South Atlantic Leagues.
The Phillies big boppers were led by outfielder Dylan Cozens (L) who hit 4o homers and first baseman Rhys Hoskins, who mashed 38 long balls, in the regular season for AA Reading to finish one-two in all of the minor leagues in home runs. Jose Pujols hit 24 shots out-of-the-park for Lakewood to lead all of low A.
Called the Bash Brothers, Cozens and Hoskins were helped by the friendly confines of their home park in Reading but they were still impressive numbers to lead minor league baseball. On the other hand, Pujols’ home park is one of the most difficult to hit it out.
At A+ Clearwater, first baseman Kyle Martin (L) hit 19 home runs in 448 at bats to lead the Threshers and was fourth in the Florida State League. He had a big August when he hit six homers in only 86 at bats. Infielder Derek Campbell (R) hit 11 dingers including an amazing 7 over in a nine game stretch in July. Derek had only 190 at bats for the Threshers last season.
Jiandido Tromp (R) left the park 20 times equally divided between Lakewood and Clearwater, while Andrew Pullin (L) homered 14 times, 4 with the Threshers and 10 with Reading. Also Mitch Walding (L) hit 13 homers with 10 for Clearwater and 3 for Reading.
Don’t forget catcher Jorge Alfaro (R) for Reading who homered 15 times plus two more times in the Eastern League post season.
At the rookie level, big right-fielder, 6’3 235 lbs. Jhailyn Ortiz (R) hit eight homers in 173 at bats for third most in the Gulf Coast League. The real long ball dark horses could be two big left handed bats, first baseman Darick Hall (L) ,6’4″ 236 lbs, who hit six homers in his last 26 games with Williamsport and finished third in the NY-Penn League with nine homers. First baseman/outfielder Greg Pickett (L), 6’4″ 230 lbs. who played only in Fall Instructs. We saw Pickett hit two “no doubt about it” homers in the Instruct games we attended.
The Phillies have a nice blend of right handed and left handed bats at the corner positions and behind the plate who can hit the long ball. They should be stacked with power hitters at all four minor league levels to start the season. The above guys are the ones we will be watching to power the ball over the fences at the Carpenter Complex in the March minor league camp.
Below are the rankings of current Phillies minor league players who hit 11 or more home runs in the 2016 regular season and the best half season rookie/instruct ball home run hitters. Also included are at bats, slugging percentage and a sample 2016 HR Video for each.
Name HR/AB/SLG Home Run Video
- Cozens (L) 40/521/.591 Watch HERE
- Hoskins 38/498/.566 Watch HERE
- Pujols 24/498/.440 Watch HERE
- Tromp 20/458/.483 Watch HERE
- Martin (L) 19/448/.433 Watch HERE
- Alfaro 15/404/.458 minor league only Watch HERE
- Pullin (L) 14/335/.522 Watch HERE
- Walding (L) 13/420/.429 Watch HERE
- Williams (L) 13/497/.427 Watch HERE
- Green 12/354/.432 Watch HERE
- Stassi (L) 12/375/.437 Watch HERE
- Campbell 11/190/.489 Watch HERE and HERE
- Hall (L) 9/195/.518 half-season rookie league Watch HERE
- Ortiz 8/173/.434 half-season rookie league Watch HERE nearly a HR
- Pickett (L) Fall Instructs only Watch HERE and HERE