4/11/21 : Week One Minor League Standouts ( 4/5 to 4/10 )
Most every Monday for the Phillies minor league full season affiliates is a scheduled off day. They get to re-charge before starting on a stretch of six games the next day.
Here’s a spot light on players who had good numbers and performances for the past week.
Position Players :
Dalton Guthrie had an outstanding first week posting a .429 batting average ( 9 for 21 ) with a .478 OBP batting leadoff for AAA level Lehigh Valley. The versatile defender manned center field and made a few tough catches in cold, windy and rainy conditions. Dalton is 26 years old and was the club’s 6th round draft choice in the 2017 draft from the University of Florida. He is the son of Mark Guthrie who pitched 15 years in the big leagues from 1989 to 2003.
Darick Hall got off to a good start going 6 for 20 ( .300 BA ) with 2 doubles, a home run and 5 RBIs for Lehigh Valley. Darick posted a .550 slugging percentage for the week. He also played his usual strong defense at first base. The 26 year old was the team’s 14th round draft selection in the 2016 draft from Dallas Baptist University. His grandfather Bo Hall played in the Giants organization and is a retired hall of fame collegiate coach ( Cochise College ) in Arizona. Darick’s uncle Shane played in the Red Sox organization for three seasons.
Logan O’Hoppe had a three hit game on 4/9 and was 3 for 9 ( .333 ) during the initial three games for Reading. The 22 year old 23rd round draft selection in the 2018 draft from Saint John the Baptist High School in West Islip, NY is coming off a breakout 2021 season and a strong spring camp which earned him the starting catcher spot for AA Reading.
Johan Rojas went 4 for 13 ( .308 ) in his first three games for Jersey Shore. The mercurial 21 year old center fielder also stole 5 bases in 5 attempts and posted a .357 OBP out of the leadoff hole. Johan continues to play his stellar defense in center field as well making 12 putouts and earning one outfield assist. He was signed on 1/18/18 from San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic and is coming off a very strong spring mini camp and spring training.
Arturo DeFreitas went 3 for 6 in two games with the Clearwater Threshers including a double and home run. The 20 year old is a strong defensive catcher which earned him the starting job in CW to begin the season. He was signed on 3/13/18 from Maracay, Venezuela. Another good looking catching prospect in the system.
Dalton Guthrie - photo by Cheryl Pursell
RH Andrew Painter made a strong debut for Low A Clearwater on 4/9 - his initial line - 3 IP, 1 unearned R, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K’s - 58 pitches - 40 strikes. Andrew featured five pitches : four seamer ( 95-98 mph ), curve ( 74-80 ), sinker ( 88 ), changeup ( 86 ) and cutter ( 96 ). The 19 year old was the Phillies 1st round draft selection in the 2021 draft from Calvary Christian High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He had a very strong spring training camp with often dominant outings. Great start to his season !
LH Erik Miller will be used out of the bullpen this season for AA Reading. In his debut on 4/8 his fastball sat in the 95-96 mph range and he struck out the side in first inning of the two he worked. Erik struck out five batters overall and allowed just a walk in his 35 pitches ( 22 strikes ). The 24 year old was the 4th round draft selection in the 2019 draft from Stanford University. His conversion to a multi inning reliever this season may lead to a quicker path to the big leagues if the opportunity arises. It also eases the tension on his shoulder which has been an issue in times past by limiting workload spikes.
LH Ethan Lindow threw three shutout innings of relief for High A Lakewood in his season debut on 4/9. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three batters and used both excellent command and a strong arsenal of pitches. Ethan ( 23 yrs old ) was the club’s 5th round draft selection in the 2017 draft from Locust Grove High School in Locust Grove, GA. He was the recipient of the 2019 Paul Owens Award as the system’s best pitcher when he posted a 2.52 ERA in 110 2/3 IP.
RH Colton Eastman tossed 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball for AAA Lehigh Valley in his start on 4/8 allowing just 1 hit and 3 walks while striking out 4 batters. He struck out the side in the second inning. Colton is 25 years old and was the Phillies 4th round draft selection in the 2018 draft from Cal State Fullerton University. He follows in the reputation of CSF hurlers in that he generally has very good control/command, he features a four pitch mix with his fast ball generally in the 91–93 range.
RH Christian McGowan had a strong first start for Jersey Shore on 4/10 - his line - 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K’s - 49 pitches - 29 strikes. He’s 22 years old and was the 2021 7th round draft selection from Eastern Oklahoma State JC. Christian features a four seam fastball in the 94-97 range, sinker 93-96 and slider 81-85 and a change-up. Good first 2022 outing.
RH Francisco Morales threw 2 perfect innings on 4/10 with 3 K’s, he was in the zone needing just 19 pitches of which 16 were strikes. Francisco’s fast ball sat in the 94-96 mph range and he had his wipeout slider going as well. The 22 year old power hurler from San Juan de los Morros, Venezuela was converted to a back end reliever in spring training camp, a move that allows him to focus on his two major weapons - a mid to upper nineties heater and a put away slider. He was signed on 7/2/16 and is on the 40 man roster - with continued performances like this week’s debut he won’t be long away from the show.
LH Erubiel Armenta ( 22 yrs old - signed in 2019 from Mexico ) pitched out of an inherited bases loaded one out jam on 4/8 for High A Jersey Shore retiring both batters he faced and striking out one. He needed just 6 pitches, 4 of which were strikes and was noticeably pumped afterwards with his success - great job ! He retired the only batter he faced in his second appearance of the season on 4/10.
RH Buddy Hayward ( 23 yrs old - signed 6/19/20 from the Harvard University) made his pro debut a great one for Low A Clearwater on 4/9 by pitching two scoreless frames allowing no hits and one walk while striking out four batters. It marked the first time that he’s pitched in a game since his Tommy John surgery in December of 2019. He told me at “Meet the Threshers” night on 4/6 that he was very excited to get back on the mound after spending more than two years on the backfields in rehab work. He threw all his pitches during the game and topped out at 94 mph on the fastball. We are very happy for the young man that he made it back on the hill and had initial success !
Andrew Painter - photo from Clearwater Threshers
This coming week’s schedule :
AAA - Lehigh Valley will be in Worcester, MA against Worcester Red Sox ( Boston affiliate )
AA - Reading will be in Akron, OH against Akron RubberDucks ( Cleveland affiliate )
High A : Jersey Shore will be in Brooklyn, NY against Brooklyn Cyclones ( NY Mets affiliate )
Low A : Clearwater will be in St. Lucie, FL against St. Lucie Mets ( New York affiliate )
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️