It was one of those minor league spring training games where every time we watched the Phillies AA third baseman Mitch Walding bat, he drove-in runs. We saw him bat four times in yesterday’s game and he hit for the Cycle to drive in six runs in the 9-3 Phillies win over the Tigers AA team.
The first time we saw him bat, he hit a double down the line in left for a RBI. Next time up, he tripled down the right field line for a RBI. Then, he lined a three-run homer to left center and in his fourth and final time up he beat out an infield single with the bases loaded for his sixth and final RBI of the game. Watch Walding’s four hits in a row (double, triple, homer and single) for the Cycle HERE.
We were late arriving at Schmidt Field for the Thursday game which started at 11:00 a.m. We expected it to start at the 1:00 o’clock scheduled time but this is the minor league spring training–so anything can happen. We have no idea what Mitch did in his first at bat but we do know he had four hits in a row while we were there for the Cycle.
Even in minor league spring training games, hitting for the Cycle is a rare feat. Quite frankly, I do not recall ever watching or playing in a game where the cycle took place at any level.
Walding had a breakout year in 2016, his fifth season in the Phillies organization. Between Clearwater and Reading he hit .269 with 13 home runs for 62 RBIs and his .795 OPS were all career highs.
With the friendly confines of Reading’s First Energy Stadium and Mitch’s ability to hit the ball to all fields, I see no reason why he can’t put up big numbers at Reading this year.
Also, if Mitch can gets off to a strong start in Reading, I see no reason why he can’t play the second half of the season at AAA for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. For me, he is a late bloomer who keeps getting better and better. He will be playing the 2017 season at baseball age 24 so he still has time to be a major league impact player.