Congratulations to pitcher Ethan Lindow and corner infielder Alec Bohm for winning the Phillies minor league players of the year. Of course, we fans all know that Spencer Howard is the real minor-league pitcher of the year.
Stil,l we were impressed by Lindow in his home debut back on August 18th for the Clearwater Threshers. He threw 80 pitches in a six inning, six hit, four strikeout shutout. He kept his game WHIP at 1.00 by not walking a batter.
That game was the only one Lindow pitched at Spectrum Field this season. His other two Threshers starts at the end the season were on the road. That home game was his most innings and pitches he threw in one game all season, including Lakewood.
In an interview with Tom McCarthy and John Kruk during Saturday night’s Phillies game, Lindow indicated the is going to go through his normal off season workouts. He should be Clearwater’s opening day 2020 starter.
Alec Bohm will be busy this Fall heading to the Arizona Fall League which begins play on Wednesday. T-Mac seemed to indicated he will then go on and play for Team USA starting Nov. 2 in Guadalajara, Mexico in the Olympic qualifying WBSC Premier 12 tournament. The Olympics team can be made up of only non-40 man MLB roster players.
B0hm finished up the season with the Reading Fightin Phils where he hit .269 with an .844 OPS in 63 games. He did hit 14 home run and had 42 RBIs with them. In the three games in the playoffs, he hit .200 (2 for 10), striking out 4 times in 10 at bats. His defense still needs work at third base. First base seems to be his likely position if he can hit enough to play there.
Our Phillies 2019 minor league pitcher of the year was an easy choice in Spencer Howard. Watch him pitch in Game One of the Eastern League semi-finals and Bohm who was unable to make a play at third in the same game which resulted in the only run Howard would give up, HERE.
We awarded Howard our 2019 Phillies Playoff C0-Pitcher of the Year. He needed only 99 pitches in a seven inning, two-hit gem. He struck out 12 against the eventual Eastern League champion, the Trenton Thunder.
Howard is a true big game pitcher. In his three playoff starts in his short career, including a nine-inning no-hitter last post season for Lakewood, he has pitched 21 innings allowing only 2 runs, 5 hits, three walks and struck out 27. Why the 23 year-old has not pitched above AA already is incomprehensible to us.
We will be gathered around our laptops, when Howard makes his first AFL start, which is believed to be Friday night in the desert for the Scottsdale Scorpions. He is the true Phillies 2019 minor league pitcher of the year, no matter what the minor league department says.
We have confidence that Howard will be the No. 1 starting pitcher in the Phillies rotation sooner than later, bumping Nola to No. 2. The only problem is the Phillies probably will not place him on the opening day 2020 roster so that they can control him an extra year before his free agency would kick in. Nothing against Aaron Nola or Ethan Lindow but without a doubt, Spencer Howard is the best they have!