Today was SOS-Same Old Situation, more of the same PFPs (pitcher fielding practice), catcher drills, bunting practice for the pitchers and batting practice for the catchers.
There was a fairly sizable crowd today. They still haven’t opened up Spectrum Field to the public to watch batting practice for the position players. Baseball Ross is such a dedicated blogger, he had his camera up against the gates to get a few shots.
So I stayed at the Carpenter Complex to get a few shots of my own:
My favorite games are the ones where the Phillies play the Blue Jays here in Dunedin. Even with my bad foot, we live close enough that we can walk to the stadium without any difficulty. (If we don’t go, we can listen to the PA from the front porch!)
I will ALWAYS be a Phillies Girl, but that being said, the Jays are my American League team. I live in Dunedin and am invested in the team staying here in Dunedin. I’ve gotten to love the Jays. Currently, my favorite major league player is Jose Bautista and I was happy to get to see him play.
Aaron Nola was back on the mound for the first time since his surgery. The radar gun in Florida Auto Exchange Stadium was reading that Nola’s top speed was 94, much higher than the 91 we saw him hit in his professional debut when he played for the Clearwater Threshers vs the Lakeland Tigers. (You can read my blog about his debut game HERE.)
The first time Bautista was up, he missed a home run by just a few feet (as you can see below). He settled for a single.
Later, facing Ben Lively, Bautista would not be denied, he killed the ball and got a three run homer. I was particularly thrilled when I caught the ball going over the fence in right center.
It was a good day for a game. For someone who loves both teams, it couldn’t be more appropriate that the game ended in an 8-8 tie.
Baseball Ross and I put together a video that we think you’d like, with pictures and video from today’s game as well as our thoughts. You can watch the video HERE.
Again this year, I was privileged to be asked by Reading Eagle Sports Writer Mike Drago to be part of the “Rank the Phillies Prospects” survey. He asked us to “rank the top players in the Phillies organization from No. 1 to No. 25, based on their present value to the organization and their major league ceiling/potential. (A weighted ballot will be used, with first-place votes earning 25 points, second place 24 points, etc.)”
This is one of my favorite things to take part in as it’s so cool to be included with so many other reporters and bloggers whose work I enjoy reading.
So I talked through my list with Baseball Ross and we realized that we have seen so many of the prospects as they have progressed, save for a few that were acquired via trades or the draft. So here’s “our” list:
1. Jake Thompson
2. Dylan Cozens
3. Rhys Hoskins
4. Jorge Alfaro
5. J P Crawford
6. Roman Quinn
7. Mickey Moniak
8. Franklyn Kilome
9. Elniery Garcia
10. Nick Williams
11. Jose Taveras
12. Scott Kingery
13. Ben Lively
14. Tyler Viza
15. Jose Pujols
16. Cornelius Randolph
17. Jhailyn Ortiz
18. Andrew Pullin
19. Andrew Knapp
20. Jiandido Tromp
21. Alberto Tirado
22. Jimmy Cordero
23. Sixto Sanchez
24. Nick Fanti
25. Adonis Medina
As you can see, I have been able to take pictures of all but two, and I have seen all 25 but sadly the two I missed were on days where I didn’t have my camera with me or the battery was dead by the end of the day during spring training. So Ross and I really put a lot of thought into our list.
The list from Drago as complied by all my fellow reporters and bloggers:
Reading Eagle Phillies minor league prospect ranks
(with position, current club)
1. J.P. Crawford, SS, Lehigh Valley
2. Jorge Alfaro, C, Reading
3. Nick Williams, OF, Lehigh Valley
4. Jake Thompson, P, Philadelphia
5. Mickey Moniak, OF, Gulf Coast
6. Dylan Cozens, OF, Reading
7. Roman Quinn, OF, Reading
8. Cornelius Randolph, OF, Lakewood
9. Franklyn Kilome, P, Lakewood
10. Rhys Hoskins, 1B, Reading
11. Scott Kingery, 2B, Reading
12. Andrew Knapp, C, Lehigh Valley
13. Adonis Medina, P, Williamsport
14. Nick Pivetta, P, Lehigh Valley
15. Jhailyn Ortiz, OF, Gulf Coast
16. Ricardo Pinto, P, Reading
17. Elniery Garcia, P, Clearwater
18. Ben Lively, P, Lehigh Valley
19. Kevin Gowdy, P, Gulf Coast
20. Carlos Tocci, OF, Clearwater
Others receiving multiple votes( in order of vote total):
Mark Appel, P, Lehigh Valley
Sixto Sanchez, P, Gulf Coast
Jimmy Cordeo, P, Reading
Cole Stobbe, SS, Gulf Coast
Jose Pujols, OF, Lakewood
Alberto Tirado, P, Lakewood
Alec Asher, P, Lehigh Valley
Thomas Eshelman, P, Reading
Drew Anderson, P, Clearwater
Andrew Pullin, OF, Reading
Cole Irvin, P, Williamsport
Arquimedes Gamboa, Williamsport
JoJo Romero, P, Williamsport
Malquin Canelo, SS, Clearwater
Tyler Viza, P, Reading
It’s enlightening to see where all they players fall per the weighted vote. Of the list, Ross and I could see almost any of them on the list though may be in a different position (as was evidenced by our differences on our list). I will find it interesting to see how this pans out in the future.
As minor league training camp is winding down, the mood and tempo is also winding down. The mood is more quiet, more like waiting for it all to be over. I took most of yesterday to try to catch the few players I haven’t seen yet as well as chat with a few of my friends before they leave.
I found something new to be fascinated with. I have long had a fascination with the knuckle ball. But now it’s with Hoby Milner’s side arm pitch. I’ve long been a fan of and friend of Hoby. He’s a great kid who had some struggles and changed his pitch from the usual overhand to a full-fledged side arm.
I was trying to cover both games so I missed his first inning but according to the BlueClaws Blog, he threw two scoreless innings. I didn’t get any video, but wish I had. Once I started watching, I could not turn away.
While I didn’t have video, I have placed the photos in sequence so you can get a feel of the motion:
The sound and movement of the ball was unique. It had a different kind of “whoosh” to it and it seemed to almost swerve from Hoby’s hand, out to the right of the batter and at the last second, swerve back over the plate. The batters just didn’t know what to make of it. In the inning I saw, there were times that the batters would just stand there as the ball went by, not knowing how to time their swing. It was really cool to watch. I almost forgot to take pictures.
Something else that I saw that was different is Ben Lively’s fastball. I’ve hung around bullpens enough, right behind the catcher, that it really doesn’t phase me. I am usually immune to the snap that the ball makes as it crashes into Logan Moore’s glove. I’ll admit, the first time I heard Lively’s fastball, it actually startled me. I jumped and almost dropped my phone.
HERE’S VIDEO of Lively pitching. The first and third pitches are “normal” and the second is one of the fastballs.
Those were the two things that I enjoyed watching. Today is the last full day of camp. Tomorrow there will be some drills/intra-squad early before the guys shower and load their equipment onto the trucks to go north. I hope to be there to say good-bye to my friends.