Baseball Ross and I were given a copy of the 2017 schedule for every team in the Phillies organization, including extended spring training.
At the last minute, Baseball Ross and I wee able to change our schedule and attend today’s GCL game between the Phillies and Yankees.
We were rewarded by having a chance to see three of the Phillies top prospects: Mickey Moniak, Jhailyn Ortiz and Cornelius Randolph play.
I’ve included some pictures for you to enjoy:
EDITED TO ADD:
Jhailyn Ortiz hit a two-run double seen here:
I was able to get a copy of the massive schedule that the team hands out at the Carpenter Complex. This schedule has every team in the organization: Phillies, IronPigs, Fightin’ Phils, Threshers, BlueClaws, Crosscutters, Extended Spring Training and Gulf Coast League Phillies.
Please remember that especially with the Extended Spring and Gulf Coast League games, time and location does change, especially when bad weather happens or is expected.
Baseball Ross and I have lived in Clearwater for the last two years. We moved here specifically for the baseball. From Spring Training, to Extended Spring Training, to Gulf Coast League, to the Fall Instructional League and the Florida State League Clearwater Threshers, there’s a lot of baseball to see.
For the ten prospects on the list, they are players I have watched and am excited to see progress.
1. Cody Asche. Recently called up to the majors, he has always been a guy that we’ve had our eyes on. He’s a solid third baseman and has the numbers to back that claim. We watched him most of last season with the Threshers before he was moved up to Reading.
2. Maikel Franco. He started the season here in Clearwater before moving to Reading. He plays third and what we like about him is that he has soft hands. He will field the ball, taking time to catch it, then will fire it with laser-like precision. He can also hit the long ball.
3. Jesse Biddle. This much-touted southpaw certainly has what it takes. During a game in April that we watched on MiLB.tv, he racked up sixteen strike outs in seven innings against Harrisburg. He also lead the Eastern League in strike outs at the all-star break.
4. Severino Gonzalez. He’s moved around a lot this season, Extended Spring Training, Lakewood and Clearwater. Gonzalez has been both a reliever and a starter this season and been successful no matter when he’s pitched.
5. Kelly Dugan. He started the season on the disabled list but has come back to amaze. He has a bat that most people notice, but what impressed me was his arm. I saw him catch a ball deep in right field and fire it to third with pinpoint accuracy. No bounce.
6. JP Crawford. A first round draft pick this year, he’s already shown why. He started in the Gulf Coast League and has already leap-frogged over Williamsport to Lakewood. This 18 year old short stop was hitting as high as .380 before being sent to Lakewood last week.
7. Cameron Rupp. Rupp played in Clearwater last season, started this year in Reading and has already moved up to Lehigh Valley. He’s a solid back stop. He hits and is a great defensive player. While he may not be the replacement for Ruiz next year, could he be a solid back up for the Big Team?
8. Roman Quinn. This shortstop had an on-base percentage of .669 and 32 stolen bases before being sidelined by a broken left wrist. He’s one of the fastest players we’ve even seen. While he’s been a little error-prone, his speed more than makes up for it.
9. Cameron Perkins. He is a solid outfielder with a very strong arm and bat. He was hit by a pitch during a game and suffered a broken wrist. He’s returned to the team though he is just getting his timing back and looks to finish the season strong.
10. Kenny Giles. This reliever is one to watch. Last season, we saw him hit 101 on the speed gun in Dunedin. While not quite as fast after his injury this year, he still has a fast ball that just can’t be hit.
Hobby Milner-This Threshers pitcher is one to watch. He’s one pitcher we will go out of our way to see. After his first three starts of the season, he’s become one of the most consistent pitchers. With 11 wins and is tied for the most wins in the Florida State League.
Finally, our ‘Unsung Hero’ award would go to Carlos Alonso. Alonso is spending his second year in Clearwater. He’s one guy that we truly admire, we can’t think of another player who plays as hard, every single play. He’s a solid second baseman who has only had two errors all season. He also has a knack for getting on base, drawing walks and scoring runs.
It’s a beautiful day here in Clearwater. Sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees away, I’ve never seen such a day…Wait that’s a song!
Roy Halladay is making his first rehab appearance with the GCL Phillies. They are playing the GCL Pirates with whom they are battling for first place in their division. It’s a key game and who better to have start than your ace?
Halladay pitched 6 innings: 6 hit, 3 runs, 3 walks, and 4 strike outs giving up one home run. The GCL Phillies were down 3-2 when Halladay left the game.
Will Morris pitched two great innings, shutting down the pirates. In the bottom of the 8th H Deivi Grullon smashed a long homer to right to score 2, giving the Phils a 4-3 lead.
Ricky Bielski came in in the ninth for a 1-2-3 shutdown inning, including a strike out to seal the win.
This game was important because the GCL Phillies and Pirates are neck and neck fighting for the lead in the Northwest division and the playoff spot that comes with it.
Today’s game is key is heading to the playoffs…it put the Phillies 1/2 game ahead of the Pirates.
Tomorrow, the GCL Phillies travel to Lakeland to take on the Tigers.
It’s been a tough year to be a Phillies fan. I love the Phils, but between the injuries and other mishaps and conundrums, it’s been rough.
There’s been suspensions (Ruiz, Mojica, Abreu), injuries (it would almost be shorter to list who wasn’t injured at this point) and all the other difficulties that a team would usually face…this year was unbelievably tough. Add to that the problems we have with the salary cap and players with huge contracts that are not attractive to trade and you have a recipe for disaster.
The problems are almost system wide and no team in the Pharm system looks like they’ll even come close to making the post season…save one…
The Gulf Coast League (GCL) Phillies
This team has battled back from a 2 and 10 start to take the lead in their division in the Gulf Coast League. Granted, with today’s win, it was a half game, but it IS A LEAD!
With players like JP Crawford, Wilmer Oberto, Cord Sandberg, Jan Hernandez, Herlis Rodriguez, Feliberto Sanchez, Ranfi Casimiro and Ricky Bielski we have a team that has heart and never seems to give up. It took them a while to get started and the turn around has been dramatic. I’ve seen them come from six down in the 7th and come back to win.
They’re like the Goonies, they never say die and THAT is what makes them so much fun to watch. It’s not easy with the majority of their games held at NOON in the Florida heat and humidity and many, if not all, of the practice fields where they play lack shade. Most have little creature comforts like water fountains, soda machines and at a few, it’s hard to find a restroom. Yet, despite all that, there are a group of die hard fans of rookie ball that manage to tough it out and it IS worth it. I’ve enjoyed these games more than any others I’ve seen this summer.
Being at so many games, Baseball Ross and I have been lucky enough to meet a good many of the players and they seem to be some great kids. A friend of ours is a locker room attendant at the Carpenter Complex and has worked there for fourteen years and he has said that this is the nicest bunch of kids he’s worked with.
The next two days could very well decide the season, with a home and home series against the GCL Pirates who are 2nd in the division. Ross and I plan to travel down to Bradenton tomorrow to root on our friend Ranfi Casimiro.
On Thursday, the Pirates cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the Carpenter Complex where a rehabbing Roy Haliday will start.
These two games are key in how the rest of the season will go and IF the GCL Phils can take these two games, they will be poised to head into the playoffs.
Cross your fingers!
It’s the All Star Break, official middle of the season and I looked at my stack of used tickets and was amazed. This isn’t even ALL of my tickets.
I vowed to keep them all just to see how many games I went to and while this is almost all of them, there are a few missing. A couple disintegrated in the wash and I lost 2 spring training tickets as well.
BUT this doesn’t include all the FREE games in Spring Training, Extended Spring Training or Gulf Coast league! It also doesn’t include at least 3 rain out games where we went but the games were postponed–those tickets will be given to friends so they can turn them in for another game.
I think I am going to do what a buddy of ours does, he buys a journal at the beginning of the season and he jots down every game he goes to, the date, teams and which players were there. I may stick my tickets in the journal as well.
I’ve only missed a handful of Threshers home games either due to illness or being out of town. Just think how huge the pile will be by the end of the season! The pile will also not include all the Fall Instructional games we’ll likely see.
For all those people who thought I’d be bored when I quit my job…I say “HA!”
You know, when you first start seriously following baseball, especially in the minors, there’s always a couple of guys that for one reason or another you take a liking to and follow as long as they play. If you’re lucky, you may even get to know them a little bit.
I really started to follow minor league baseball in 2010. It was the first time we really started paying attention to Gulf Coast League Phillies. One of the guys that caught my attention was Brian Gump.
Brian played right field and at first, it was his name and flaming red hair that caught my attention. You can always tell the guys that are out there for the love of the game. Brian was one of those guys and that love was the main reason I loved to watch him play.
That year, the GCL Phillies won the championship and Baseball Ross and I were there. It was Ross’ birthday, Brian went 3-5 with 2 doubles and 4 RBIs. His performance really stuck out in my mind.
Fast forward two weeks, Brian was promoted to Lakewood to help them in the South Atlantic League finals. Ross and I were back from Florida and we took a few days and drove to Lakewood. We watched as Lakewood won that championship with Brian on the team.
He spent 2010 and 2011 in Clearwater.
Sadly, the Phillies left him go last year. It was a surprise to me. He went on to spend 2012 in the Independent League with San Rafael and St. Paul. This season, he went to Trois-Rivieres in Montreal so that he could pitch.
Yesterday, he announced his retirement from baseball.
I’ve always respected the way he played the game, full out and with a love of the game that was there for all to see. Before walking away, he pitched, which he said was something he always wanted to do and when things didn’t work out the way he hoped, he left the game, knowing that he had left it all out on the field, he’d done all he could and walked away with grace.
He was a part of FOUR professional championships in his career and no Phillies team at any level has won a championship since they released Brian. Coincidence?
I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Brian a little since he left the Phillies and regret that I didn’t get to know him when he was here. He’s also quite an elegant writer. His announcement on his blog about his retirement made my eyes, err, water for a while.
If you’d like to read it, you can click HERE.
I’d like to wish Brian all the best of luck in the future, I’ll miss seeing him play.
Derrick Mitchell had been on a tear. One Saturday night in June, he hit EIGHT RBIs during a double header, one GRAND SLAM home run and in the second game of the evening, he rustled up four more RBIs. It was one of those nights where it made the future seem limitless…
Then…the next night…
During the 9th inning he was hit on the hand by a pitch.
Pins and surgery followed. It’s been eight weeks since Derrick’s been on the field…but he’s back.
He played yesterday with the Gulf Coast League Phillies in a game in Orlando against the GCL Braves. He hit a home run and had a put out as he played centerfield.
Today, the team returned to Ashburn field and Derrick was the designated hitter. He went 1 for 5 today…but that one…
You can watch video of the hit HERE
It’s good to see him back on the diamond and hopefully back in Lehigh Valley soon.