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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

7/5/21 : Week Nine Standouts ( 6/29 to 7/4 )

Each Monday this year for the Phillies minor league full season affiliates is a scheduled off day. They get to re-charge from a six day run of games before starting on another stretch the next day.

Here’s a review of the past week with a spot light on players from each team who had good, even great numbers and performances.

Lehigh Valley ( Overall Record 23-31,2-4 during the past week) - next series @ home vs Worcester ( Red Sox affiliate ) ... they are 32-21 overall

1B Darick Hall - went 7 for 19 ( .368 ) with 3 doubles and a home run. He’s got a five game hitting streak going. … the majority of his hits this week went to the left side of the field, a great thing to see as he’s battled the short fielder in right field shift all season. It’s been a scuffle to get hits to fall thus far this season for the 25 year old slugger, it’s coming though, this week was a positive to build upon.

OF Mickey Moniak - 7 for 23 ( .304 ) for the week with a double and a triple. He had hits in five of the six games played including two hits in two games. The 23 year old has also had a rough start statistically to the minor league season battling injuries and attempting to make adjustments to his approach. A decent week like this one hopefully jumpstarts the balance of the season.

RH Spencer Howard - had a great game on Saturday night going 5 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and two walks. He mixed his pitches and hit locations. Spencer has the ability to be a very good major leaguer … just needs the time to develop and build confidence, this week was a good start towards that goal.

Reading ( Overall Record 22-32, 4-2 during the past week) - next series @ home vs Harrisburg ( Nationals affiliate ) ... they are 20-33 overall

2B Daniel Brito - went 12 for 26 ( .461 ) for the week with three doubles, three triples, a home run and four RBIs. He’s got a six game hitting streak going and has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games played … the only exception was a pinch hitting appearance on 6/27. For the season he’s now hitting .308 with an OPS of .822. He’s been the consistent lead off hitter for Reading since 5/22 over which time the team has posted a .500 record after a 3-13 start. Daniel is 23 years old and is from Venezuela. He’s one of the happiest and outgoing young man you’ll ever meet. Great to see him having success !

OF Jorge Bonifacio - went 8 for 20 ( .400 ) for the week with 4 doubles, 2 home runs and 6 RBIs. The 28 year old veteran has been a stabilizing presence in the middle of the lineup since signing on May 25th. He’s led by example for his younger teammates and has posted a solid .258 batting average in 120 AB’s with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs … exactly what was asked of him when he signed.

UTL Madison Stokes - went 9 for 20 ( .450 ) during the week including a three hit game on Sunday. He’s coming off a great month of June in which he hit .318 ( 28 for 88 ) in 23 games played -. 354 OBP & .956 OPS .. 53 total bases for the month. That’s carrying into July as well for the 25 year old 10th round draft choice from the 2018 draft ( University of South Carolina ).

OF Josh Stephen - went 7 for 19 ( .368 ) for the week with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs. He had a nine game hitting streak from 6/23 to 7/2 during which he went 14 for 36 ( .389 ). Josh got off to a very slow start to his season but is starting to hit like we know he can … he posted very solid 2019 numbers at Reading … .271 BA, 12 HR & 47 RBIs in 362 AB’s.

3B/1B/OF McCarthy Tatum - went 6 for 18 ( .333 ) during the week with a double, home run and three RBIs. Just in his second year of pro ball he was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft from Fresno State. McCarthy is 25 years of age.

RHP Francisco Morales - was outstanding on Saturday night… he went six no hit no run innings … dominate performance … 2 BB, 8 K’s … Fastball sat in the 94-97 mph range and he mixed his pitches exceptionally well … slider, curve and change up. The curve in particular had great bite. Since he’s went to a better mix and sequencing of pitches he’s been very effective. In his last three starts he’s totaled 15 2/3 IP, 2 earned runs, 6 hits, 5 BB and 25 K’s 💪. A shout out as well to Zach Warren, Kyle Dohy & Brian Marconi for completing the no hitter on Saturday evening … great job !

RHP Victor Santos - was outstanding in his start on Friday night. The 20 year old pitched 5 2/3 innings of a seven inning game allowing just three hits. Generally his fast ball sat in the 91-92 range and he was exceptional with mix and command using changeups & sliders. He retired 12 batters in a row during the game including a string of five consecutive strikeouts. The young hurler goes right after hitters, no fear. Reminds me of current Phillie Ranger Suarez except he’s right handed.

Jersey Shore ( Overall Record 22-31, 2-4 during the past week) - next series @ home vs Wilmington ( Nationals affiliate ) ... they are 23-29 overall

Jhailyn Ortiz - went 7 for 20 ( .350 ) for the week with a double, four home runs and six RBIs. He’s now hit 9 home runs and driven in 28 runs posting a .254 average in 185 AB’s with a .795 OPS. It’s the 22 year old’s second stint at High A and it’s been a very good growing experience. Jhailyn is a well received teammate throughout the organization, it’s very easy to pull for him. Great to see success for the young man.

RHP Jonathan Hughes - threw four scoreless innings of piggyback relief on Friday. He retired all 12 batters he faced and struck out five batters. The 24 year old has a 3-3 record in 10 appearances ( 33 1/3 IP ) with 35 K’s and 17 BB. The former 2nd round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in the 2015 draft has bounced back admirably from arm surgery in 2016 while attending Georgia Tech University. Jonathan completed his college degree and signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2020. He’s capable of popping the mitt in the mid 90’s but it’s his secondary offerings of a top level change up and slider that make him formidable. Outings like this past Friday add to the intrigue 🤔.

RHP Dominic Pipkin was outstanding on Saturday. He threw six scoreless innings allowing just four hits and no walks while striking out five batters. His fastball was consistently in the 96-98 mph range and he mixed in crisp secondaries. He’s now thrown 11 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to his last start and is 3-0 on the season with an ERA of 3.35 in 11 games ( 37 2/3 IP ) with 46 K’s and 10 walks. His WHIP rate is 1.09. The 21 year old is turning heads.

Clearwater ( Overall Record 29-25, 4-2 during the past week) - next series @ Brandenton ( Pirates affiliate ) ... they are 35-19 overall

2B/SS Luis Garcia - went 7 for 21 ( .333 ) for the week with three home runs. Luis has always been a defensive stalwart in the middle of the diamond. He’s showing his offensive promise as well this year, his second at the Low A level. It’s a good philosophy to challenge players but an equally good one to let them excel in a second season of the same level of play 👍. The 20 year old had a hit in eight of his last nine games played over which he went 11 for 31 ( .355 ) with 3 triples and 3 home runs. The effervescent young man loves to play baseball and his attitude shines as bright as his great smile.

INF Kendall Simmons - went 6 for 16 ( .375 ) with 2 home runs. When Kendall hits it deep they are usually no doubt about em’s … he’s got exceptional bat speed and can get on top of high pitches and lift them as well as I’ve seen anyone in the minor leagues. He spent the early part of the season working back from an arm ailment so has just played in 22 games to date at 3B, SS and 2B. The young man can drive the baseball, we look forward to watching him the balance of the summer. He made a couple exceptional defensive plays at third base during the week, when it’s a bang bang type of play he excels.

C/ DH Abrahan Gutierrez - went 5 for 12 during the week in four games. He continues a very solid season in which he’s hit .296 in 142 AB’s with a .399 OBP. The 21 year old has 3 home runs and 26 RBIs.

RHP Fernando Lozano - he threw five no hit, no run innings on Sunday posting six strikeouts. That follows a combined eight shutout innings in his last two appearances ( 3 H, 1 BB, 8K’s ) giving him a string of 13 consecutive scoreless frames. In 10 of his 12 outings this year he’s given up one run or less and hasn’t yielded more than three hits in any appearance ( 11 of his 12 games he’s given up 2 hits or less ). The 21 year old from Mexico has a 1.82 ERA in 34 2/3 IP with 40 K’s and 11 BB … WHIP of 0.86. In June he posted a 1.65 ERA with 20 K’s in 16 1/3 IP. He’s not a high velocity hurler but definitely knows how to pitch ( sinker, slider, changeup ) and get hitters out. I really enjoy watching him perform … quick worker, strike thrower and not afraid to challenge hitters … I’ll take that.

RHP Cristian Hernandez - was dominant during his five inning outing on Friday as he struck out nine batters and walked nine. Cristian throws a heavy sinker that crackles the mitt - 90 to 95 mph … also a curve, four seamer and changeup. He’s just 20 years old and has posted a 3.35 ERA in 11 games with 60 K’s in 43 innings pitched. Exciting young hurler.

LHP Erubiel Armenta - tossed two scoreless innings behind Hernandez on Friday to close out a seven inning game win. On Sunday he pitched another two scoreless innings with five strikeouts. He allowed just two hits and struck out ten in his two outings ( 4 IP ) with a sinker that ran in the 91 to 95 mph range … also threw changeup, slider and four seamer which topped at 95 mph. Erubiel is just 21 years of age and is from Mexico … he pitched in the Mexican Winter League in 2020.

LHP Gabriel Yanez - he continues to go about his business in what seems to be an unnoticed manner yet he’s been outstanding. The 21 year old from Venezuela threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings on Friday allowing two hits while striking out three batters. His fastball sits 89-92 and has great movement … also throws a slider, changeup and sinker. On the season in 15 appearances he’s 3-0 with a 0.89 ERA in 20 1/3 IP with 32 K’s and 8 walks and has a 1.48 WHIP. Just does his job and gets batters out. 💪

RHP Victor Vargas ( 20 years old ) threw four scoreless and hitless innings on Saturday ( 0 BB, 5 K’s ) combining with RHP Eduar Segovia ( 20 years old ) ( 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K’s ) for a 2-1 victory. Both young hurlers had performed well this season … Vargas has a 2.90 ERA in 40 1/3 IP with 45 K’s and just 8 walks. Segovia has 39 K’s in 31 2/3 IP.

Florida Complex League Phillies ( Overall Record 3-1, 3-1 during the past week)

The FCL opened play this week and the Phillies had a strong scoring week posting 24 runs in four games. During the Wednesday afternoon game there was a bit of a scare as lightning hit on Carlton Field while the game was being played right next to it on Roberts Field 😳. Fortunately no one was hurt.

OF Marcus Lee Sang - had a very solid start to the season going 5 for 17 ( .294 ) with a home run and six RBIs. The 20 year old was the team’s 11th round draft selection in the 2019 draft from Owings, MD.

C Mitchell Edwards - went 5 for 10 ( .500 ) with a double and 2 RBIs. He also walked twice. The 21 year old is on a rehab assignment working his way back from back issues. He caught this week, a good sign as he continues his rehab work.

SS Jamari Baylor - went 4 for 13 (.307 ) with 2 doubles … he’s the clubs 3rd round draft

selection from the 2019 draft out of Richmond, VA. The 20 year old has a sweet stroke and drives the baseball hard off the bat barrell. He missed most of the 2019 season due to hamstring set backs so this season is in reality his first full action of professional baseball.

LHP Gabriel Cotto - pitched three scoreless innings during the week allowing three hits and two walks, he struck out two batters. The 21 year old was the Phillies 7th round draft choice in the 2018 draft out of Gurabo, Puerto Rico. He pitched this past off season in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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