• Steve Potter

Advanced “A” Level


Continuing with a historical review of the current Phillies Minor League teams. Today I look at the Phillies history of the High “A” level affiliation with a primary focus on the present club - the Clearwater Threshers and the Florida State League.


As previously noted in 1963 minor league classifications were adjusted to create the outline of the present structure with AAA, AA, A levels being the framework. In 1966 a further distinction was made to separate “Short Season” leagues from A. Another refinement took place in 1990 when the Advanced A classification was added - the California League, Florida State League and Carolina League were moved to the High A distinction.


Phillies & Florida State League History :


The Florida State League (FSL) was founded in 1919 and except for two interruptions ( 1928 to 1936 - the league closed & 1942 to 1945 - the league paused for WWII) it’s played every year since then. It operated as a “Class D” league until 1963 when it was named an “A level” league as part of the minor league reorganization. In 1990 the league was designated as an “Advanced A” level of play.


Clearwater first had a team in the league in 1924 when the Daytona independent team franchise moved briefly over to Clearwater to play 21 games.


From 1957 to 1965 ( with a one year gap ) the Phillies had affiliations with the following teams in the FSL :


1957 - 1960 - Tampa Tarpons - Tampa, FL

1962 - 1965 - Miami Marlins - Miami, FL


In 1985 the Phillies became an ongoing member of the FSL when they established a minor league team in Clearwater. They played as the Clearwater Phillies until the 2004 season when they became the Clearwater Threshers coinciding with the move from Jack Russell Stadium to what is now known as Spectrum Field.


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Clearwater Phillies/Threshers Managers :


Ramon Aviles - 1985, 2001

Ron Clark - 1986

Roly De Armas - 1987, 2002 to 2003

Granny Hamner - 1988

Glenn Gulliver - 1989

Lee Elia - 1990 to 1991

Bill Dancy - 1992 to 1993, 1998 to 1999

Don McCormack - 1994 to 1995

Al Leboeuf - 1996

Roy Majtyka - 1997

Ken Oberkfell - 2000

John Morris - 2002

Mike Schmidt - 2004

Greg Legg - 2005 to 2006, 2015 to 2016

Dave Huppert - 2007

Razor Shines - 2008

Ernie Whitt - 2009

Dusty Wathan - 2010 to 2011

Chris Truby - 2012 to 2013

Nelson Prada - 2014

Shawn Williams - 2017 to 2018

Marty Malloy - 2019

Pat Borders - slated for 2020


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Clearwater Phillies/Threshers Players who’ve reached the Major Leagues :


1985 Team : 1B Ricky Jordan, Pitchers : Marvin Freeman, Jeff Gray, Wally Ritchie, Bruce Ruffin & Pete Smith


1986 Team : OF Ron Jones, Pitchers : Jose Cecena, Wally Ritchie, Bob Scanlan & Scott Service


1987 Team : C Darren Daulton, OF Rick Parker, Pitchers : Brad Brink, Julio Machado, Chuck Malone, Chuck McElroy, Brad Moore & Scott Service


1988 Team : C Jeff Grotewold, IF Steve Scarsone, Pitchers : Cliff Brantley, Tim Fortugno, Jason Grimsley & Julio Machado


1989 Team : IF Kim Batiste, C Jeff Grotewold, C Doug Lindsey, OF Tom Marsh, 2B Mickey Morandini, OF Jim Vatcher, Pitchers : Cliff Brantley, Andy Ashby, Andy Carter, Pat Combs, David Holdridge & Tim Mauser


1990 Team : IF Joe Millette, IF Steve Scarsone, Pitchers : Toby Borland, Cliff Brantley, Andy Carter, Paul Fletcher, Andy Madrid, Greg McCarthy, Jeff Paterson, Jeff Tabaka & Bob Wells


1991 Team : C Mike Lieberthal, IF Joe Millette, Pitchers : Joel Adamson, Brad Brink, Donnie Elliott, Tyler Green, Paul Fletcher, David Holdridge, Chuck Malone, Steve Paris, Bob Wells & Mike Williams


1992 Team : OF Steve Beiser, OF/P Mike Farmer, 1B Gene Schall, SS Kevin Stocker, Pitchers : Joel Adamson, Andy Carter, Donnie Elliott, Jeff Patterson & Bob Wells


1993 Team : C Gary Bennett, IF David Doster, C Bobby Estalella, 1B Jon Zuber, Pitchers :

Ron Blazier, Ricky Bottalico, Jose de Jesus, Wayne Gomes, Larry Mitchell & Bob Wells


1994 Team : C Gary Bennett, IF David Doster, C Bobby Estalella, IF Kevin Sefcik, Pitchers : Ron Blazier & Wayne Gomes


1995 Team : C Bobby Estalella, IF Jose Flores, OF Wendell Magee, 3B Scott Rolen, Pitchers : Matt Beech, Robert Dodd, Tony Fiore, Bronson Heflin, Rich Hunter, Carlton Loewer & Ryan Nye


1996 Team : 2B Marlon Anderson, IF Jose Flores, Pitchers : Jason Boyd, Tony Fiore & Anthony Shumaker


1997 Team : OF Reggie Taylor, Pitchers : Dave Coggin, Jason Kershner, Edgar Ramos & Anthony Shumaker


1998 Team : OF Pat Burrell, C Bobby Estalella, SS Jimmy Rollins, OF Eric Valent, Pitchers : Brandon Duckworth, Adam Eaton, Thomas Jacquez & Jason Kershner


1999 Team : C/1B Andy Dominique, C Johny Estrada, SS Anderson Machado, OF Jason Michaels, IF Nick Punto, OF Eric Valent, Pitchers : Brandon Duckworth, Adam Eaton, Geoff Geary, Carlton Loewer & Doug Nickle


2000 Team : SS Anderson Machado, Pitchers : Miguel Asencio, Dave Coggin, Jason Kershner, Franklyn Nunez & Carlos Silva


2001 Team : 3B Travis Chapman, SS Anderson Machado, OF Jorge Padilla, 2B Chase Utley, Pitchers : Miguel Asencio, Frank Brooks & Ryan Madson


2002 Team : C Carlos Ruiz, IF Juan Sosa, Pitchers : Eude Brito, Frank Brooks, Taylor Buchholz, Yoel Hernandez & Robinson Tejeda


2003 Team : 1B Ryan Howard, C Carlos Ruiz, Pitchers : Ezequiel Astacio, Eude Brito, Gavin Floyd, Cole Hamels, Bobby Korecky, Elizardo Ramirez & Robinson Tejeda


2004 Team : IF Brad Harman, OF Chris Roberson, Pitchers : Cole Hamels, Elizardo Ramirez & Alfredo Simon


2005 Team : Pitchers Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Scott Mathieson & Zach Segovia


2006 Team : 3B Mike Costanzo, OF Greg Golson, C Tuffy Gosewisch, IF Brad Harman, Pitchers : Joe Bisenius, Cole Hamels, JA Happ, Kyle Kendrick & Zach Segovia


2007 Team : OF Domonic Brown, IF Jason Donald, OF Greg Golson, IF Brad Harman, C Lou Marson, Pitchers : Antonio Bastardo, Drew Carpenter, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Outman & RJ Swindle


2008 Team : OF Quintin Berry, IF Adrian Cardenas, C Tuffy Gosewisch, OF/1B Kevin Mahar, OF Michael Taylor, Pitchers : Antonio Bastardo, Tyson Brummett, Drew Carpenter, Carlos Monasterios, Joe Savery & Brian Schlitter


2009 Team : OF Domonic Brown, SS Freddy Galvis, OF Steve Susdorf, Pitchers : Tyler Cloyd, Kyle Drabek, Yohan Flande, Carlos Monasterios & Michael Schwimmer


2010 Team : OF Anthony Gose, 1B/OF Darin Ruf, OF Steve Susdorf, Pitchers : Phillippe Aumont, Tyler Cloyd, Justin De Fratus, Jake Diekman, Trevor May & BJ Rosenberg


2011 Team : 2B Cesar Hernandez, 1B/OF Darin Ruf, 1B Jonathan Singleton, Pitchers : David Buchanan, Jarred Cosart, Trevor May & Jonathan Pettibone


2012 Team : IF Cody Asche, C Cameron Rupp, 1B Brock Stassi, Pitchers : Jesse Biddle, Lisalverto Bonilla, Perci Garner, Mario Hollands, Adam Morgan, Colton Murray, Hector Neris & Seth Rosin


2013 Team : OF Aaron Altherr, 3B Maikel Franco, C Tommy Joseph, OF Cameron Perkins, 1B Brock Stassi, Pitchers : Luis Garcia, Perci Garner, Ken Giles, Severino Gonzalez, Mario Hollands, Mark Leiter Jr, Hoby Milner & Colton Murray


2014 Team : OF Aaron Altherr, SS JP Crawford, C Deivy Grullon, C Andrew Knapp, OF Roman Quinn, IF Jesmuel Valentin, Pitchers : Jesse Biddle, Miguel Gonzalez, Mark Leiter Jr, Ethan Martin, Colton Murray & Aaron Nola


2015 Team : C Willians Astudillo, OF Dylan Cozens, SS JP Crawford, 3B Zach Green, 1B Rhys Hoskins, C Andrew Knapp, OF Carlos Tocci, IF Jesmuel Valentin, 3B Mitch Walding, Pitchers : Victor Arano, Mark Leiter Jr, Ricardo Pinto, Edubray Ramos, Ethan Martin, Yacksel Rios & Jessen Therrien


2016 Team : 3B Zach Green, 2B Scott Kingery, OF Carlos Tocci, 3B Mitch Walding, Pitchers : Drew Anderson, Victor Arano, Jimmy Cordero, Austin Davis, Tom Eshelman, Yacksel Rios, Joely Rodriguez & Jessen Therrien


2017 Team : 3B Zach Green, C Deivy Grullon, Pitchers : Austin Davis, Seranthony Dominguez, Edgar Garcia, JD Hammer, Cole Irvin, Ranger Suarez & Jacob Waguespack


2018 Team : OF Adam Haseley, P JD Hammer


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Championship Teams :


1993 - Defeated the St Lucie Mets in the Finals 3 games to 1 - went 75-60 in the regular season - Outfielder Dave Tokheim hit .329/.390/.406 in 173 plate appearances - team was managed by Chris Truby


2007 - Defeated the Brevard County Manatees 3 games to 1 - went 83-57 in the regular season - Jason Donald posted a .300/.386/.400 slash line in 336 plate appearances ... Drew Carpenter went 17-6 as a starting pitcher in 27 appearances ( 163 IP) and Carlos Carrasco posted a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts ( 69 1/3 IP)


Championship Finalists :


1991 - Lost to the West Palm Beach Expos 2 games to 0 - went 81-49 in the regular season - the team had two 10 game winners ( Darrell Goedhart & Elliott Gray) ... Matt Stevens had a 0.91 ERA in 38 games with 17 saves - Team was managed by Lee Elia


1996 - Lost to the St Lucie Mets 3 games to 1 - went 75-62 in the regular season - Jason Boyd won 11 games as a starting pitcher, reliever Trevor Humphry posted a 1.87 ERA in 33 2/3 IP - Team was managed by Al Leboeuf


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Phillies FSL Batting Champions :


Alex Johnson - 1962 - .313

Harvey Yancey - 1965 - .305

Ron Jones - 1985 - .371

Wendell Magee - 1995 - .353

Ryan Howard - 2003 - .303

Willians Astudillo - 2015 - .314


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Phillies FSL HR Champions :


Steve Deangelis - 1985 - 16

Jimny Fortenberry - 1986 - 18

Dan Held - 1995 - 21

Ryan Howard - 2003 - 23

Andrew Pullin - 2015 - 14


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Phillies FSL RBI Champions : Eric Valent - 1999 - 106


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Phillies FSL Pitching Strikeout Leaders :


Harry Coe - 1958 - 194

Marcelino Lopez - 1960 - 231

Rob Burger - 1997 - 154

Trevor May - 2011 - 208

Jesse Biddle - 2012 - 151

Mauricio Llovera - 2018 - 137


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Phillies FSL ERA Leaders :


Harry Coe - 1957 - 1.37

Mark Rutherford - 1998 - 2.65

Miguel Ascencio - 2001 - 2.84

Josh Outman - 2007 - 2.45


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Did ya know 🤔


That ... in 1993 then coach Roly De Armas played in 3 games for Clearwater ? .... He appeared as a Pitcher in two games and also played catcher and first base ...


That ... Darin Ruf pitched 2 shutout innings for the 2011 Threshers ? ... he gave up just one hit and one walk


That ... Jose Pujols was the first Phillies player to win the “FSL Player of the Year” Award ? ... The Award was initiated in 2004 - Jose hit .301 in 352 AB’s during the 2018 season with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs before being promoted to Reading after 95 games with the Threshers ... he played the final 26 games that season with the Fightin’s


Now ya know 😎


Till tomorrow ... Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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