It’s not often in the Florida State League we get to watch a batter out of the No. 2 hole with over 2,200 major league at bats and later the current top prospect in all of minor league baseball comes to the plate with the game on the line. However, that was Sunday afternoon baseball watching the Clearwater Threshers.
The Tampa Bay Rays sent down its center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on a rehab assignment to play for the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Then, they sent up to the plate with the game on the line in the ninth inning, Wander Franco, Baseball Reference’s No. 1 prospect in all the minor leagues.
The Threshers pitchers were up for all the challenges. Starter Alejandro Requena picked up the win in the 2-1 game. He got Kiermaier to ground out in his first at bat and then struck him out in the third inning.
Closer Tyler Carr came on for the save in a 2-1 game by inducing a fly out to center by Franco with the tying run on first base in the ninth inning.
It was a good weekend for Phillies starting pitching prospects in general. Spencer Howard struck out ten in only 4.2 innings in his AA debut Friday night and David Parkinson pitched a six-inning, four-hit shutout for the Reading win in Saturday’s game against New Hampshire. Right now they are several of the top starters in the Phillies minor league system who appear to be major league ready. Read about Parkinson from MiLB.com on its Prospect Roundup for July 27th, HERE.
After this weekend’s action, it’s clear that both Howard and Parkinson at least belong at AAA, getting ready for the call to the show!