Lots of “Pub” Today For Phillies Top Prospects Kilome, Eshelman, Fanti and Kingery

Franklyn Kilome (Photo courtesy of MiLB.tv)

Pitcher Franklyn Kilome of the Clearwater Threshers was just profiled on MiLB.  Lehigh Valley’s pitcher Tom Eshelman got the nod as International League Player of the Month and one of ten MiLB Top Players of May. Not to be outdone Reading’s Scott Kingery and Lakewood’s Nick Fanti joined Eshelman as MiLB Players of the Month for May.

Can’t do much better than that as an organization.

Read about Kilome HERE and HERE.

Read about Eshelman HERE.

Read about Eshelman, Kingery and Fanti HERE.

Baseball Betsy and I were at Spectrum Field last evening to watch Kilome. He was coming off a win in his previous start on the road against the St Lucie Mets where he pitched seven shutout innings giving up five hits and striking out six.

We waited through an hour weather delay to start the first game of a twilight night double header against the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Franklyn may not have had his best command but he pitched five shutout innings allowing only one hit and struck out four. Watch his four strikeouts HERE.

To start the game, he struck out former Phillies outfielder Peter Bourgos and then got former Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos to ground out.

Eight of Kilome’s ten outs on balls in play were grounders including inducing a double play in the third to help keep the Stone Crabs off the board.

He did not factor in the decision as the Stone Crabs went on to win the game 1-0 scoring a run in the seventh inning.

Kilome is a battler and even when he struggled, throwing 93 pitches only 53 for strikes last evening, he still kept the other side off the scoreboard and gave his team a chance to win.  He now has pitched 15 straight shutout innings over his last three starts.

With the likes of Kilome, Eshelman, and Fanti on the mound and Kingery at second base at the minor league levels, the Phillies are getting well stocked with prospects for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jose Taveras, Wilson Garcia, Cornelius Randolph and Austin Bossart Play Key Roles in Threshers 3-2 win

FSL All-Star Jose Taveras is the ace of the Clearwater Threshers pitching staff.  He proved it again Saturday night despite maybe not having his best stuff.  Normally a strikeout an inning pitcher, he struck out only two including former Phillie, Peter Bourjos.  Watch HERE. and he gave up two solo home runs.

But the Threshers still won 3-2 over the Charlotte Stone Crabs as Jose  picked up his fifth win of the season.

Jose Taveras

Taveras is only the third pitcher in the FSL this year to pitch all nine innings for a complete game win.  Though he gave up two home runs to the Stone Crabs second baseman, Brandon Lowe, in his first two at bats, he struck him out his third time up.

Wilson Garcia shakes Cornelius Randolph’s hand as he crosses the plate.

A fan on the berm in right snags Wilson Garcia’s homer.

Wilson Garcia went deep in the second inning for his second home run in three games to get the Threshers on the board for their first run.  Watch HERE.

Then Garcia would get on base by an error by Brando Lowe in the fourth inning, move to third on a double by Cornelius Randolph watch HERE and come in to score on a ground ball RBI by Grenny Cumana.   Randolph would score on what turned out to be the winning run on a safety squeeze bunt by Austin Bossart. Watch HERE.

Manager Shawn Williams and pitching coach Aaron Fultz congratulate Jose Taveras after his complete game win.

The 3-2 win kept the Threshers two game up in the fight for the first half FSL Northern Division championship over the Daytona Tortugas.

The Threshers magic number to clinch the first half championship in the North is now 13 games.  After a rainout on Sunday they play two with the Stone Crabs on Monday night at Spectrum Field.

 

 

 

 

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The Threshers Add On To Its FSL North Lead Led By Edgar Garcia, Jeff Singer, Jan Hernandez and Grenny “Walk Off” Cumana

A quality start, a shutdown closer and a timely walk-0ff home run in extra innings does it every time to win ball games.  That’s was the Threshers formula to extend their Florida State League northern division lead to two games in a 3-2, walk off, extra inning win over the Florida Fire Frogs at Spectrum Field.

Edgar Garcia

Starting pitcher Edgar Garcia pitcher a strong five innings giving up only a run, on two hits, striking out five. Watch HERE.  He used a 93 mph fastball to set up his off speed stuff.  It you can get a quality start of three runs or less in six innings you usually win.  Garcia, making the transition from the bullpen did just that, only better.

The pen was strong too but the Fire Frogs went ahead in the sixth 2-1 and looked to win it going into the bottom of the ninth.  But with a double by Jan Hernandez watch HERE and a RBI single by Herlis Rodriguez, the Threshers managed to tie up the game to go into extra inning.

Jeff Singer

FSL All-Star closer Jeff Singer came on in the tenth, used three strikeout to shut down the Fire Frogs in the final two innings. Watch HERE.

Then it happened.  I alway look at the flags periodically during a game to find the wind direction and it was blowing straight out to left.  I knew it was time for a long ball to walk it off.

But Grenny Cumana was at the plate with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning.  He had hit only two home runs in his previous 1,178 at bats in the Phillies organization.  However, I seemed to recall seeing his first home run back in 2014 in a GCL game at Roberts Field so  I knew he could do it!

I looked up and the flags were still blowing out to left on the scoreboard.  I was about to yell out “from behind the net” to Grenny to “get one up in the wind”.

Grenny Cumana hits a walk off for his first homer of the season. Watch “launch angle”.

 

But Grenny did not need my “two cents”. He knew what to do with it!  He stepped up and put a beautiful swing on a pitch to take full advantage of the conditions. He hit the ball “high” and “deep” and it was “gone”. Game Over! Watch HERE.

Can’t tell you the MLB’s “launch angle’ or “exit velocity” was on it, but it was a majestic drive.  The lift on the ball allowed the wind to take it over the left field wall for the walk-off home run.

The blast extended the Threshers lead to two games with 15 games to go in the battle for first place in the first half of the FSL North.  Grenny Cumana put his third career home run in the books when it really counted.

Thursday night it was a grand slam by Wilson Garcia that provided the margin of victory. Friday night it was the long ball by Grenny Cumana that walked off the Fire Frogs. Doesn’t  get any better than that!

Celebration pictures below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Impressive Start by Jacob Waguespack And A Grand Slam By Wilson Garcia Propel Clearwater Back Into First Place In The FSL North

Nothing beats timely pitching and hitting if your team is in a battle for first place with only a couple of weeks remaining for the first half championship.  This is what happened for the Clearwater Threshers as they battled back into first place with a 7-3 win over the Florida Fire Frogs, Thursday night at Spectrum Field.

They were helped by Dunedin’s 5-3 loss to Jupiter.   The Blue Jays now fall into second place in the FSL Northern division battle with 16 games left in the first half.

Jacob Waguespack

The keys to the win were a strong four inning, six strike out start by Jacob Waguespack and a grand slam home run by DH, Wilson Garcia, in the third inning.  Watch Waguespack’s strike “threes” HERE and Garcia’s grand slam, HERE.

In addition to Waguespack’s start, the Threshers received strong relief efforts from Blake Quinn, who picked up the win and lefty Tyler Gilbert.  Gilbert has the makings of a strong left handed reliever.  Watch him strike out several left-handed hitters. HERE.

The three additional Threshers runs were driven in on a solo home run by Damek Tomscha in the first, and singles by Emmanuel Marrero in the second and Herlis Rodriguez in the eight. Watch his frozen rope base hit, HERE.

The Threshers need to win games continue with the Fire Frogs to finish up the fourth game series Friday night at Spectrum Field.  Edgar Garcia takes to the mound for the Threshers in a 6:15 start as the first half of the FSL season winds down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Phillies Baseball Interesting Again, Call up ScottyJetPax25

No player in the any minor league system could make the Phillies major league season more interesting than it’s own Scott Kingery.

All Scott has done after the first two month of the season is lead all of minor league baseball in home runs and runs scored.  No player right now has a better blend of power and speed than Reading’s second baseman, ScottyJetPax25.

No player has had a power surge this season as has Kingery. The 5’10, 23-year-old bundle of power and speed has been the the most exciting player in minor league baseball after the first two month of the season.

Two days ago he hit his 16th home run of the season and the tenth in the month of May.  See HERE and HERE.  Only the Yankees Aaron Judge with 17 homers has hit more homers in all of baseball this season.

15 APR 2017: Scott Kingery during the regular season game between the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Reading Fightin’ Phils at First Energy Stadium in Reading, Pennsylvania. (photo by Andy Grosh/milb.com)

He is balancing out the Reading home park long ball bias.  While the likes of Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins feasted in the home run friendly confines of Reading’s First Energy Stadium, Kingery has been an equal opportunity masher, at home and on the road.  He has hit eight home runs each on the road and at home.

Kingery hit only five home runs all of last season including two long balls in the final third of the season for Reading after getting the call-up from Clearwater.

What he is accomplishing is the the greatest story of all the 2017 minor league season so far.

He is proving to be a true five tool player who can hit for average and power.  Additionally  he can run, throw and field.

In addition to hitting .316, he has hit .475 over his last ten games.   Of his 59 hits, 30 have been for extra bases.  He is the only player in the Eastern League with a four digit OPS at 1.060.

He has only 30 RBIs because only 4 of his 16 homers have come with runners on base.

With Scott’s speed and ability to get on base, he leads all of minor league baseball in runs scored with 49.

Scott has been successful in 12 of 14 stolen base attempts.

He has committed only one error in 175 attempts at second base for a .994 fielding percent.

The ever timid Phillies minor league department did allow Kingery to hit one game recently where he did not lead off.  He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts hitting out of the coveted three hole then was quickly returned to the leadoff spot the next game.

Scott Kingery has been unarguably, The Minor League Player Of The Year for the first third of the season.  He is the perfect candidate to make baseball interesting again in Philadelphia because he is doing it all right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Can Clearwater’s Zach Coppola Be The Next Richie Ashburn For The Phillies?

Watching Zach Coppola play this season for the Clearwater Threshers reminds me of  the late, great Phillies Hall of Famer and legendary announcer Richie Ashburn.

They both hail from the Midwest about 250 miles apart by cart.  Zach comes from Des Moines, Iowa and Richie came from Tilden, Nebraska. Both similar in build and at  5’10” in height. They both hit left-handed and throw right-handed.  They both hit over .300 and their OBP is higher than their slugging percent.  Zach has hit one homer in his three seasons in the minors Watch HERE.  Richie hit 29 homers over his 15 year major league career.

They both make things happen with a catch or throw from the outfield and on the bases by scoring a key run or preventing a run from scoring with a great catch or throw.

For Ashburn, it was throwing out a Dodger at the plate in the last game of the 1950 regular season to preserve a 1–1 tie and set the stage for Dick Sisler’s pennant-clinching home run for the Whiz Kids.

For Coppola, it was using his speed to move along the bases in Sunday’s game against the St. Lucie Mets by hitting a single, moving to second on a passed ball, to third on a force out and scoring the only run in the game on another passed ball in Clearwater’s 1-0 win.

In Coppola’s last ten games, he has hit over .400 and moved into the top five in batting average in all of Advanced A baseball, now hitting .346.  He is second in batting average in the Florida State league trailing the leader by only five points.  Ashburn was the National League batting champion for the Phillies in 1955 hitting .338 and in 1958 hitting .350.

In all likelihood, Coppola will be a Florida State League All Star in theJune 17th game in Lakeland.  Ashburn was a five time National League All-Star.

Every time I watch Zach Coppola play, I see him being the next Richie Ashburn leading off for the Phillies and getting them to another pennant.

Richie Ashburn

Zach Coppola in 2017 spring training

Posted in 2017, May | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reading’s Scott Kingery Battling With Mike Trout For Baseball’s Home Run Lead, Game by Game

No sooner did Reading’s Scott Kingery hit a 400 ft. home run over the 380 ft sign yesterday at the ballpark in Manchester, New Hampshire for his 15th of the season than did Mike Trout hit his 16th homer for the Angels to retake the homer lead in all of  affiliated baseball. Read HERE.

Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery from spring training

This kind of performance is expected of Trout who is regarded as the best player in baseball.  He has now hit eight long balls in his last 13 games.

Not to be outdone, ScottyJetpax25 is right there with Trout.  After yesterday’s blast, the Reading second baseman has matched Trout homer for homer with also eight long balls in his last 13 games at AA!

Kingery’s blast yesterday sailed over the 380 ft. sign in left center and had to land over 400 ft. from home plate .  Watch HERE.

Trout leads the American League in OPS at 1.215 and extra base hits with 31.  To go with his 16 homers, he has 14 doubles and 2 triples.  He is hitting .342 with 36 RBIs.

Kingery has a 1.040 OPS to go with his 26 extra base hits (15 homers, 9 doubles and 2 triples). He is hitting .301 with 29 RBIs out of primarily the leadoff spot.  He does lead Trout in runs scored (45 to 36) and stolen bases (10 to 9).

It seems with almost a third of the Eastern League season in the books, the Phillies have a budding superstar in their minor league midst in Scott Kingery.  All he is doing is matching the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, for the home run lead almost “game by game”!

 

 

 

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