The baseball season never ends. Just as the Arizona Fall League is coming to an end, the Australian Baseball League is just starting up. Phillies prospects are playing in both leagues which are at each end of the player development spectrum.
The AFL is like a finishing school. The players there are only a step or two away from the big leagues. Darick Hall and Luke Leftwich have distinguished themselves. They both have earned shots at the Phillies major league spring training camp and at AAA to start the 2019 season with their play there. Leftwich needs to be added to the 40-man roster to be protected from the December Rule Five Draft.
Hall is finishing strong with the Scottsdale Scorpions. In Monday’ game he showed he can come off the bench. He hit a pinch hit, RBI single, which contributed to the three runs in the bottom of the ninth for the 5-4 win. Darick is finishing strong going 7 for 16 with two home runs and five RBIs in his last five games. Watch HERE.
Leftwich came on in relief in the seventh inning and pitched 1.2 inning of one-hit relief. He has pitched in eight AFL games compiling 10.1 innings of scoreless relief. In Monday’s game he threw 20 pitches, 17 for strikes.
The Australian Baseball League opens up Thursday. Phillies teenage prospects, catcher Mitch Edwards and second baseman Curtis Mead, are on the Adelaide Bite roster. Edwards starred for Team Australia in the recent U23 tournament in Columbia where he went 5 for 10 with a homer from each side of the plate. Mead played in a recent exhibition game and hit the ball hard for the Bite. Read HERE.
A top Phillies pitching prospect, Kyle Glogoski, will pitch for New Zealand’s first professional baseball team, the Auckland Tuatara. Read HERE. He will be limited to 25 innings after pitching in the Gulf Coast League this summer. Read HERE
Phillies prospects, first baseman Rixon Wingrove and veteran Phillies minor league pitcher Nick Fanti, will play for the Sydney Blue Sox. Here is a segment from the story by Danny Eid Lawyers on Rix:
Rixon has spent the off-season playing his first minor league season for the GCL Phillies West after signing a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in April. We’re very excited for Rixon to join us for his second season in a Blue Sox uniform and bring with him the knowledge and experience of playing in the USA.
Blue Sox Manager Tony Harris said, “Rixon is a young power man with a huge offensive up side. He will get his chances this year to show the great Sydney fans what he can do with the bat.”
So while baseball is coming to an end for the 2018 season in the USA, it is only beginning “down under” in Australia and New Zealand.