The first mile stone of spring training is always pitchers and catcher reporting. Today was the day. Baseball Betsy and I put together a video of today’s events and you can watch it HERE.
It was good to see the guys. Some are very special to us. We have watched first baseman Rhys Hoskins from the very beginning in Williamsport. There he was taking throws at first base in pitchers fielding practice. Could this be his year he breaks in to MLB?
Pitcher Elniery Garcia is like a son to us. He had a breakout year in 2016. The 22-years-old made the Phillies 40-man roster after a 13-4 season finishing up winning a playoffs game for Reading. As I told him today he is right now the No. 1 starting left-handed pitching prospect in the Phillies system. We have watch him from his GCL rookie days to Lakewood, Clearwater and he is now oh-so-close to the Show.
Then, I rushed over to Spectrum Field to see Tommy Joseph launch several high drives in batting practice that went deep and out to left. Finally, Andrew Pullin finished up the morning hitting the BP pitches hard.
In the afternoon we went back to the Carpenter Complex where several minor leaguer ,not invited to the major league camp, began their workouts.
Mitch Walding put on quite a show in the batting practice. I counted more than a half-dozens balls leaving Roberts Field off his bat in his brief batting practice. Those BP pitches he hit left his barrel head like rockets. Mitch looks poised for a big season likely in Reading to start the season.
Not to be out done, a player I had never seen before put on quite a show for us. He was big left-handed hitting first baseman Caleb Eldridge. He matched Walding with long balls leaving Robert Field. He lofted at least eight BP pitches out which he hit with the prevailing breeze blowing to right.
We saw a small sample of what catcher Austin Bossart could do from the right side with the bat at the end of the last season with Clearwater. In BP today he was able to cut through the wind and hit four shots out to left.
Cord Sandberg was working on driving to ball to the outfield gaps in his BP session. He hit line drive after line drive to the outfield gaps.
We saw could see several other minor league pitchers in camp throwing on the seven mounds bullpen under the watchful eyes of minor league director Joe Jordan and his staff. They included Will Morris and Mario Hollands among others.
All and all it was good to see the boys back in town!