5/23/21 : Week Seven Minor League Review ( 5/17 to 5/22 )
Player of the Week :
Logan O’Hoppe - Reading - the 22 year old went 11 for 20 - .550 with 5 HR and 8 RBIs against Somerset. He’s hitting a very strong .304 in 115 AB’s for the season with 8 home runs and 23 RBIs. He’s also posted an excellent OBP of .420 all the while maintaining a .993 fielding percentage and throwing out 8 of 37 base stealers ( 22 % ). The very likable young man has a tremendous caring personality which makes him one of the most popular players in the organization, ( he’s making a donation this season for every home run he hits to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation - a non profit organization fighting childhood cancer ). We spotted him early on the backfields shortly after he signed ( 2018 23rd round draft selection - West Islip, NY ) and he made it a point to thank us for our coverage of his initial days in camp that year. There are a lot of folks rooting for him as he makes his climb to the highest level of play - he’s right on track !
Logan O’Hoppe - photo by Cheryl Pursell
Pitcher of the Week :
RH Ben Brown - Jersey Shore - the 22 year old ( 2017 33rd round draft selection - Ward Melville HIgh School - East Setauket, NY ) threw six shutout innings on Saturday allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out eight hitters. In his previous start on May 15th he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings allowing just four hits, no walks and also struck out eight batters. At 6’6” 210 Ben is an imposing figure, he’s a gentleman off the field but a strong competitor once he’s on the pitching mound. It’s been a long struggle to return to good baseball health since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2019 ( appeared in just 7 games last season - 16 IP ) however this spring he earned the opening day assignment for the Blue Claws ( second year in a row actually ). Featuring a fastball, slider and curve he went thru a bout of command issues earlier in the year ( 13 walks in 14 2/3 IP ) but has been excellent in his last two appearances in that regard. Sticking to the plan of pitching off his fastball ( ranges from 93-97 mph ) and utilizing a delivery that gives him great extension he’s beginning to show once again the ability we’ve seen on the backfields since he first arrived. Very happy for a very genuine and likable young man.
Ben Brown - photo by Michael Dolcemascolo
Position Players with good weeks :
Lehigh Valley :
INF Nick Maton went 9 for 21 - .429 for the week against Rochester with 5 doubles, a triple, a home run and 8 RBIs. The 25 year old 7th round draft selection from 2017 is hitting .322 for the month of May in 59 AB’s with a .440 OBP and has driven in 16 runs. He’s been solid as a defender all season as well primarily at shortstop and second base.
OF Matt Vierling went 8 for 24 - .333 and had a hit in every game out of the leadoff spot in the order. He scored 5 runs, had 3 doubles & a HR. Matt also stole 4 bases.
C Austin Wynns was on base in all five games he played in during the week and has a stellar .420 batting average in 50 AB’s and .554 OBP for the month of May.
1B Darick Hall drove in 8 runs during the week and clubbed 2 home runs giving him 14 home runs and 46 RBIs for the season.
UTL Dalton Guthrie went 5 for 15 - .333 during the week and is hitting .280 for the season in 82 AB’s.
Nick Maton - photo by Cheryl Pursell
UTL Ali Castillo went 7 for 22 - .318 during the week. The 32 year old is a team leader and always plays hard setting a great example for his teammates. He’s played at both LHV and Reading this season playing defensive innings at 2B, 3B and both outfield corners.
Jersey Shore :
OF Ethan Wilson finished the week strong with two doubles, a triple and home run in his last three games. He went 5 for 16 - .312 for the week against Wilmington and is hitting .273 for the month in 55 AB’s. The 22 year old was the club’s 2nd round draft selection in the 2021 draft from South Alabama University.
UTL Wilfredo Flores went 6 for 16 - .375 for the week against Fort Myers and is hitting .306 ( 15 for 49 ) for the month of May and .310 overall ( 22 for 71 ). The 22 year old from the Dominican Republic has always been a solid hitter in his career with a .321 batting average in 458 AB’s. Defensively he has played center and left field this season for Clearwater but has also played 2B, SS and 3B in his career to date.
C Arturo DeFrietas was 5 for 13 - .384 including a three hit game on Sunday, for the season the 20 year old is hitting .283 in 99 AB’s
C/1B Anthony Quirion went 3 for 8 with 2 home runs in three games and has a five game hitting streak in which he’s 6 for 16 - .375 with 4 home runs. The 24 year old was signed 7/20/21 as an an amateur free agent from Lamar University.
1B/C Micah Yonamine was 3 for 10 - .300 but also drew 4 walks in four games. He’s got a .356 OBP in 19 games played. Micah is 21 years old and was the team’s 29th round draft selection in the 2019 draft from Iolani High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
OF Mickey Moniak was 4 for 10 -. 400 in a three game rehab assignment with a double, triple and 2 RBIs. He played nine innings in each contest ( 1 in LF, 1 in CF and 1 in RF ) and had an outfield assist while playing CF gunning a runner out at the plate.
Pitchers with good appearances during the week :
Lehigh Valley :
LH Bailey Falter - 5/17 : 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K’s - 65 pitches - 44 strikes
LH Christopher Sanchez - 5/18 - 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K’s - 55 pitches - 39 strikes
Both pitchers have been on the “big league shuttle” making spot starts and appearances with the Phillies while interspersing time with the Iron Pigs to “stretch out” innings as reserve big league starters. In three games with LHV the 25 year old Falter hasn’t yielded a run in 10 1/3 IP, in fact only three hits and has posted a 0.94 WHIP. Sanchez, also 25 years old, has pitched in two games with the Iron Pigs this season totaling six innings - he’s been in five big league games amassing 12 1/3 innings pitched.
RH Michael Mariot - 5/20 - 6 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 1 K - 80 pitches - 51 strikes
RH Colton Eastman - 5/21 - 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 BB, 6 K’s - 81 pitches - 47 strikes
LH Ricardo Sanchez - 5/22 - 7 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K’s - 63 pitches - 45 strikes
RH Noah Skirrow - 5/21 - 6 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 K’s - 76 pitches - 50 strikes
Jersey Shore :
RH Mick Abel - 5/20 - 5 + IP, 2 R - 1 earned, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K’s - 79 pitches - 51 strikes
LH Gabriel Cotto - 5/18 - 5 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 8 K’s - 73 pitches - 47 strikes
Lehigh Valley :
RH Francisco Morales - 5/18 - 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K’s - 39 pitches - 16 strikes
The 22 year old Morales made his first two his big league appearances on the West Coast on 5/9 and 5/13 pitching in games in Seattle and LA. He didn’t allow a run in three innings pitched but command waned against the Dodgers after an outstanding effort vs the Mariners. The slider is a put away outstanding pitch for Francisco and it’s become primary but he also has a mid to upper nineties fastball that I hope isn’t lost in the mix as it’s also a weapon. In 10 minor league appearances ( 9 with Reading ) he’s pitched 18 1/3 innings with a 0.49 ERA and 0.82 WHIP posting 30 K’s against 8 walks. Just needs to maintain sound mechanics and delivery and he will be back in the show to stay.
LH Kyle Dohy - made two scoreless appearances during the week pitching 2 1/3 innings - has a five appearance ( 5 1/3 IP ) scoreless streak with 9 K’s and only 1 walk.
RH Bubby Rossman - made two “opener” starts during the week pitching four innings total allowing 1 run on 2 hits, 1 walk and striking out 5 batters.
RH McKinley Moore - made two appearances during the week pitching 3 1/3 scoreless frames allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out four batters.
RH Billy Sullivan - 5/19 - 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K’s - 31 pitches - 22 strikes
During the game on Thursday Billy had a laughable moment ( we say so because even he got up chuckling 😂 ). On an attempted pitch his spike stuck in the dirt and he fell on his backside - he posted it on Twitter with the comment “When your pitching coach says use your lower half, this is what they mean”. Great sense of humor displayed by the young man - the 23 year old has been on a good roll ( see what I did there 😎 ) - in his last three appearances he’s allowed no runs and only one hit while striking out six batters in four innings of work.
Jersey Shore :
RH Carlo Reyes - two scoreless appearances during the week - 3 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 5 K’s
LH Ethan Lindow - 5/18 - 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 HB, 4 K’s - 30 pitches - 21 strikes - 1.86 May ERA - 9 2/3 IP
RH Aidan Anderson - two scoreless appearances - 2 1/3 IP, 2 H
RH Jonathan Hughes - 5/20 - 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 K’s - 27 pitches - 16 strikes - 0.00 ERA for May - 6 1/3 IP - 5 G
RH Konnor Ash struck out 8 batters in 3 Innings of work on Sunday and has posted 20 K’s in 10 1/3 IP since joining the Threshers on May 3rd. The 23 year old has very good command, big break secondaries and a deceptive motion that has allowed him to excel to the tune of a 1.74 ERA in his first seven games. He was signed on 7/20/21 as an un-drafted free agent from the University of Missouri.
RH Malik Binns - 5/20 - 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K - 33 pitches - 18 strikes
LH Jordan Fowler - 5/21 - 3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K’s - 54 pitches - 42 strikes
RH Rodolfo Sanchez - 5/21 - 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K’s - 39 pitches - 23 strikes
2022 season win/loss records :
Lehigh Valley went 4-2 during the week and is 23-19 overall
Reading went 1-5 during the week and is 17-22 overall
Jersey Shore went 2-4 during the week - now 13-24 overall
Clearwater went 3-5 during the week and is 21-17 overall
This coming week’s schedule :
AAA - Lehigh Valley will host Worcester ( Red Sox affiliate )
AA - Reading will host Binghamton ( Mets affiliate )
High A : Jersey Shore will host Greenville ( Red Sox affiliate )
Low A : Clearwater will visit Jupiter ( Cardinals affiliate )
Extended Spring Training : visits Tigers ( 5/24 ), Yankees ( 5/27 ) & Blue Jays ( 5/28 )
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️