Usually a 17th round draft pick who saw 502 other picks go before him in the 2017 Draft is forgotten by now. However, the Phillies 17th round pick from that Draft, Austin Listi, has turned the minor league baseball world upside down this season.
Last night was just another night at the ballpark for Listi. He hit two home runs and walked three times for the up and down Clearwater Threshers team. Despite Listi’s heroics, they still lost the Florida State League game losing in the bottom of the ninth inning to Daytona.
Lissti leads the FSL for the season with a .471 OBP and an OPS of 1.047. He is either second or third in many other offensive categories including second with a .353 batting average. He will appear in the Florida State League All-Star game in two weeks.
When the season started it appeared the so called “experts” in the Phillies minor league department did not know what to do with him. Where ever they plugged Austin in the lineup, he produced. He has started 7 games in left, 16 games at first base and 29 games as the DH. In April he hit .365, in May he hit .322 and now in eight games in June, he is hitting .435.
Listi’s season has taken off even more than ever when first baseman Darick Hall was called up to Reading on June 1st. Austin now has the first base job and has made it his own.
The results are compelling while Hall is hitting a rather ordinary .241 for a .739 OPS in his first week in AA, Listi has taken off. He has a .435 batting average over the same period for the Threshers with 4 homers and a rather gaudy 1.7o1 OPS, not counting a June 1st continuation game from May. (See below*).
Most of the season Listi hit in the three hole in front of Hall. Now that Hall is gone, Listi has walked 14 times in his eight games in June without Hall behind him in the order. He has adapted and still has gone 10 for 23 in the month so far.
Watch a two-run homer Listi hit back on June 1st HERE. It resulted in a 2-0 win. The long ball was hit against the Florida team, Braves farm team, at Spectrum Field. It was the first of five homers he has hit in June but credited in May. See Below*.
*Please note the June 1st game was the first of a doubleheader in Clearwater and the continuation of a o-o game postponed by the weather in the top of the sixth inning played in Kissimmee on May 19th. The game’s box score record is listed and its stats are credited to May 19th but completed on June 1st.
Let’s hope the 24-year-old, Listi, gets the call-up to Reading to join his teammate and soon! He has earned it!