Who would have guessed that Drew Anderson would be tied for the team lead in strikeouts or Brock Stassi, Scott Kingery and Rhys Hoskins would be in the top five in Phillies OPS as Phillies spring training wrapped up on Sunday?
The 22-year-old Anderson has been the biggest surprise of them all having only pitched in A ball after battling arm problems in his five years in the Phillis organization. In his two appearances in the spring he has struck out 7 in 5 innings of work to tie Nick Pivetta for the team lead in strikeouts. Pivetta will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.
With all the starting pitching in the organization look for Anderson to start either at Reading or Clearwater to open the season.
Only Stassi has a chance of making the Phillies opening day 25-man roster. He leads the Phillies in the spring with a 1.810 OPS. Kingery is third with a 1.257 OPS and Hoskins is fifth with a 1.181 OPS.
The three sluggers each have hit two homers and a double playing in only 7 0f the first 11 spring games so far. Watch the Hoskins homer on Sunday, HERE .
Twenty-five spring games remain but look for cuts to start soon and expect Kingery to start the season at second base in AA and Hoskins to start at first in AAA. They will be reporting soon to the Carpenter Complex to get ready for the minor league season.
The Carpenter Complex was buzzing Sunday and Monday with 150 or so minor league players reporting for the beginning of minor league camp.
One hitting group on Carlton Field quickly drew my attention. The group was made up of Jose Pujols, Jiandido Tromp and Cornelius Randolph. After Cozens’ 40 homers and Hoskins’ 38 homer, Pujols was third with 23 homers and Tromp was fourth with 20 homers in the Phillies minor league regular system in 2016. Watch video HERE.
On Monday with the wind blowing to left at Carlton Field, Pujols and Tromp were hitting the ball far and deep to left in batting practice. At one point six Phillies coaches almost encircled the batting cage watching them swing including minor league hitting coordinator Andy Tracy.
On Sunday we did get a chance to talk briefly with the No. 1 pitching prospect in the minor league camp, Franklyn Kilome. In between saying a few word to us, he autographed copies of his baseball card for the ever present dozen or so autograph seekers who were drawn to him. One guy even gave Baseball Betsy a “Kilome card” for him to sign for her.
Baseball Betsy and I also put together another video over on our YouTube channel with photos and our thoughts about the first two days of minor league camp. You can watch it HERE.