Threshers’ Williams and Hernandez Shine Despite Loss to Stone Crabs And Passed Over For Futures Game

Congratulations to IronPigs starter Enyel De Los Santos for getting picked to pitch for the World team in the upcoming Futures game. He currently leads all of AAA with a 1.89 ERA, second in wins with nine and third in WHIP at 1.08.  Enyel was acquired from San Diego over the winter in the Freddy Galvis deal.

Hard to believe no player originally signed by the Phillies was selected for the Futures Game. Phillies third round draft pick from 2015, Luke Williams has been outstanding, slashing .333/.351/.622 with six homers in June with Clearwater.  Though a third baseman by trade, he has played well just about everywhere in the field.

Luke Williams

Luke will turn 22-years-old next month. He has put on a hitting clinic just about every night since he started to hit the ball to all fields. Last night it was two hard hits up the middle. Watch one HERE.  Last week it was a single to right. Watch HERE.  Several of his home runs have landed in the Tiki Bar seats in left. Watch HERE and HERE.

Another player who was first drafted by the Phillies last year and pitches in relief for Clearwater is 22-year-old, left-hander Jakob Hernandez.  With his over the top release point he has been strong over his last ten outing with a 1.06 ERA allowing only two earned runs in 17 innings while striking out 22.  His release point has been difficult for batters to pick up this season with the Threshers. Watch HERE.

Jakob Hernandez

Though not picked for the Futures game, both Williams and Hernandez have bright futures as Phillies originally signed prospects.

 

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July 4th Is a Good Time to Get Caught Up On Prospects In the Low Minors and Can You Believe What Willie Garcia Is Doing?

The July 4th holiday was always a time to take stock of how things are going with guys we have followed in the low minor leagues.

In our town back in south central Pennsylvania, the local town team always played a morning and afternoon doubleheader and for good measure the Phillies were always on TV. So the 4th of July always brings back special memories for me.

On this July 4th, I ventured over to Robin Roberts field at the Carpenter Complex to see how several of our favorite low minor league players were doing in a morning July 4th game.   Two of my favorites, Carlos De La Cruz and Greg Pickett, were suited up for the GCL Phillies East team who were taking on the GCL Blue Jays.

Carlos De La Cruz in Fall Instructs

We watched De La Cruz impress us in Fall Instructs last season and Pickett seems like he has been here forever hitting long balls for the Baseball Betsy cameras.   Nothing ever changes in the Gulf Coast League especially the umpiring.  We were quickly reminded of that fact when both our guys were called out on high up and out of the zone “strike threes”.

But they both rallied in later at bats.  De La Cruz hit one to the fence in left and Pickett did the same in right.  However, both long balls were caught on the track and the other against the fence.  Watch HERE and HERE to see their frustration!

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to go deep in the hot, humid and stagnant weather we have in the summer time in Florida.  Long fly balls that normally go out in the fall and spring, die in these summer time conditions.

The Phillies downed the Blue Jays 4-2 thanks to the bats of second baseman, Nicolas Torres who went 3 for 4 with a couple of doubles and a RBI, watch HERE and catcher Juan Aparicio who drove in a run with a double, watch HERE.  Torres is hitting .455 in 27 at bats while Aparicio is hitting .524 with a couple of home runs in 21 at bats to start the GCL season.

A couple of pitchers who came on in relief impressed me as well.  Alejandro Made pitched two shutout innings to get the win by striking four, Watch a strikeout HERE. Lefty Taylor Lehman also pitched two shutout inning to get credited for a hold.  Watch an out of his HERE.

After I got back to our house, I decided to check up on one of our favorite Clearwater Threshers from last season and the start of this season, Wilson Garcia.  The “experts” in the Phillies minor league department traded him away to the Baltimore organization to start the month of May.

He had a big game on July 4th. Read and watch HERE.

Wilson Garcia Stats Last 10 Games for Frederick Keys

The Phillies Front Office apparently had no need for a 24-year-old, switch hitting, power bat who can catch, play first and DH.   I was pleasantly surprised to read that Willie in his last “eight” games has gone 15 for 32 with 9 home runs, 18 RBIs for the Frederick Keys in the High A, Carolina League.  With 6 RBIs with Clearwater and now 52 RBIs  with Frederick, he is second in all of Advanced A with 58 RBIs this season.  His 16 home runs with Frederick puts him only three behind the leader in Advanced A who has 19.   In last year and this year so far Garcia has hit 28 home runs combined against right handed pitchers.  “Way to go Willie!”

 

 

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Luke Williams, Mickey Moniak and Adonis Medina Come Up Big In Clearwater’s Win in the Battle For First Place

It was a big game last night.  The Threshers downed the Lakeland Flying Tigers 7-3.  They are now only a half game off the pace in the battle with them for first place in the FSL North in the second half and a playoff spot.

Three players caught my eye in the game for the Threshers: Luke Williams, Mickey Moniak and Adonis Medina.  They will be key if they stay but don’t be surprise if they get the call to Reading at some point before Labor Day’s end of the season arrives.  Why? Because they deserve the call-up if they continue to play as they have done recently.

The real story this season for the Threshers has been the rapid development of swing man Luke Williams.  He has not only started to hit but has played all over the field.  Normally a third baseman, he has also started games at 1b, 2b, cf and lf this season.

Luke Williams

It has been his bat which has captured scouts attention who sit game after game in section 111 at Spectrum Field.  After hitting .145 in April and .200 in May, Luke tore the cover off the ball in June hitting .333 with a .973 OPS. His six homer in the month was more than the three homers he hit in his first three season in the Phillies system.  Far and away, June was the best month of his four-year minor league career.

To open July last night, Luke went 3 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI.  What impressed me last night was his one of his base hits where he went with the pitch and drove a RBI single to the opposite field in right.  He has become not just a power hitter but showed how he is recognizing the pitch and location.  Watch HERE.

Williams is still young and turns just 22 next month.  He has a bright future ahead of him!

Mickey Moniak

Moniak seems ready to breakout.  He showed last night that the power is coming.  He hit a line drive off the centerfield wall for a triple. I forget that the ‘Mick” just turned 20 years old in May.  The best is yet to come. Watch his triple, HERE.

Adonis Medina

What can I say about Medina?  He is playing at baseball age 21 this season and in his last ten starts has gone 6-0 striking out 62 in 54 innings.  He has a mid 90’s fastball with a major league slider. This is why he is MLB Pipeline’s second highest rated player in the Phillies system.

Last night Medina did give up two back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning but he came back and struck out three in the fifth inning, Watch HERE.  He threw a quality start over six innings with nine strikeouts to go 8-2 on the season.

Williams, Moniak and Medina are why the Threshers are only a half game out of first place in the second half.  All three of them are showing that they are ready to move on up in the Phillies system and soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The “Sunday Slugger”, Home Run Henri Lartigue, Does It Again For The 2-0 Win.

If it’s Sunday, it must be another game winning home run for Clearwater Threshers catcher Henri “The Hero” Lartigue.

Last Sunday, it was a Lartigue tape measure, walk-off home run to right at Spectrum Field in a 6-5 win over the Dunedin Blue Jays.  That homer went over the three barriers you need to clear to get it completely out of the park!

Henri Lartigue Goes Deep

This Sunday it was his two-run homer that landed on the berm just over the right field wall at Spectrum Field in the third inning that was enough for a 2-0 win over the St. Lucie Mets.  Watch HERE.  Note the little kid picking up the home run ball and raising it in celebration.

I got a ball!

For Henri it was his fifth homer of the season.  He is hitting .394 in his last ten games.

In addition to Lartigue, it was the pitching of the Threshers that was important for the win.  Four pitchers, three of them just called up from Lakewood over the last two weeks, combined to pitched a five-hit shutout.

Ramon Rosso first FSL win

In the first two innings, Clearwater’s starter, Ramon Rosso, struck out four of the first five batters he faced in his FSL debut, watch HERE.  He struck out nine over six shutout innings to get the win.  Kyle Dohy came on with the bases loaded in the ninth and one out to get a pop out to short and a game ending strikeout for his first FSL save.  Watch HERE.

Clearwater’s 2-0 win broke a three game losing streak after a 6-0 start in the second half of the FSL season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clearwater Threshers Maurico Llovera vs. the Phillies Aaron Nola In June

I am a big fan of Clearwater Threshers pitcher Maurico Llovera.  Looking at June splits he measures well up in the FSL to Aaron Nola in the MLB though Nola is 3-0 and Llovera is 0-3 for the month.

I spent last night watching Aaron Nola pitch brilliantly over 7.2 innings as the Phillies downed the Nationals 4-3. He wraps up the month pitching 30.2 inning allowing 24 hits, 8 runs, walked 13 and struck out 33.  Batters hit .216 against him and he gave up 2 homers.  His WHIP was 1.21 and ERA 3.23 for June.

Mauricio Llovera

Tonight, Llovera is scheduled to start for the Threshers. So far in June he has pitched 23.1 innings allowing 14 hits, 8 runs, walked 5 and struck out 28.  Batters have hit .167 against him and he has allowed 1 homer in the month. His WHIP is 0.81 and ERA is 3.09 for June.

In Llovera’s last start Saturday night against the Dunedin Blue Jays, he struck out seven in five innings.  He struck out the side in turn in the third inning relying on a 95-96 mph fastball and an 84 mph off speed pitch.  Watch HERE.

As we can see Llovera has matched up well against Nola so far in all categories in June other than wins/losses and he has major-league stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

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Can Clearwater Threshers’ Grenny Cumana Become The Outfield Version of Jose Altuve?

Since added to the Clearwater Threshers roster on June 11th, Grenny Cumana has started in 13 games. The Threshers have won 11 of the games.  Grenny has hits in all but one of those games.  He has hit .431 (22 for 51) with two home runs in that time period.

Grenny Cumana homers at Spectrum Field

Cumana’s play in left field has been outstanding. He has made several catches and throws that helped provide the victory margins in several of the games. In 11 games in left field he has three outfield assist including throwing  a runner out at the plate which was provided the winning difference.

His clutch bat has been the key in the last two wins where he served as a DH..  In yesterday’s 4-3 win, it was his single that allowed the winning run to score in the 11th inning. In today’s 5-4 win over the Daytona Tortugas, Cumana’s three-run homer in the eight inning brought the Threshers back to a 4-4 tie.

Even with his strong play in left field and contributing to the team’s 6-0 start in the second half, he has not played in the field in his last two games because the Phillies Front Office made way for former first round draft picks, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley, to play in the outfield along with Jose Pujols. Moniak only recently returned to the Threshers lineup.

What’s amazing is that Cumana has hit two home runs in only 51 at bats while Moniak has hit only one homer in 223 at bats and Haseley has gone deep only 3 times in 291 at bats.

Can Grenny be the outfield version of Jose Altuve, since both are from Venezuela?  That remains to be seen-but it looks promising over the last ten games each of them has played.

Cumana matches up well with the bat vs. Altuve over their last ten games. One, hit .390 (16 for 41) with two homers in the Florida State League compared to the other one who hit .382 (13 for 34) with two homers for the Houston Astros in the American League. Grenny stands only  5’5” compared to Altuve at 5’6″and the FSL is not the AL.  But we can hope that Grenny Cumana can someday soon be the outfield version of Jose Altuve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Phillies Prospects Connor Seabold and Zach Green Move On To the Minor League Leader Boards

As I have blogged in the previous posts, the leader boards for the four full season minor league teams tell us how the top Phillies minor league players compare to the other 29 MLB teams’ prospects.  It becomes more difficult to compare them with player movement increasing at halfway point in the season but we still get an idea how the Phillies prospects rank in minor league baseball.

The Phillies system has eight players who are currently on the Top Five lists in ten different categories at each level as compiled by MiLB with rank below:

AAA, Beato, Saves ( 20, 1st); Irvin, Wins (8, 2nd), WHIP (1.04, 3rd); De Los Santos, Strikeouts (85, 5th), ERA (1.73, 1st), WHIP (1.07, 4th).

AA, Home Runs, Green ( 15, tied 2nd).

Advanced A, WHIP, Seabold ( 0.99, 3rd).

A, Parkinson, ERA (1.13, tied for 1st); Stewart, ERA ( 1.13, tied for 1st); WHIP (0.87, 1st) Rosso, ERA (1.32, 3rd); WHIP (0.93, 3rd).

Note;  Listi still ranks third in Advanced A in batting average. He has since been call up to AA.   Russ still ranks third in saves in A.  He has since been called up to Advanced A.

Zach Green has hit five homers in his last seven games with Reading to move into a tie for second place with 15 home runs at AA.   He has hit 10 of his 15 homers on the road.

Also at AA is Darick Hall had hit 11 home runs for Clearwater in April and May. In June, Hall has hit six more long balls for Reading, evenly divided between home and away, He leads the Phillies system with 17 homers. Plus Darick is hitting .417 in his last ten games for Reading.

Connor Seabold has pitched 16 innings in his last two starts for Clearwater allowing only six hits and one walk to lower his WHIP to 0.99 which is third best in Advanced A.

Enyel De Los Santos has been the best Phillies minor league pitcher.  Austin Listi was the best hitter at .343 at Advanced A.  However, he is hitting only .241 in 29 at bats with Reading.

It would seem to me Zach Green and Connor Seabold are the most ready prospects for a call-up to the next level in the second half of the minor league season.

Last night I watched on MiLB-TV the Reading game.  Green made a great stop on a hard hit ball behind the bag at the third for an infield single. The play would be key in keeping the score 1-0 in the eight inning. Reading went on to win the game 1-0.

Connor Seabold in his last two starts has been dominating allowing only three runs while striking out 15 and walking only one in 16 innings.  Included was a rare nine inning, 105 pitch, three-hit complete game.

The players above are the best the Phillies have based on first half performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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