Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekly Developmental Roundup

With plenty of stuff going on throughout the Phillies' developmental ranks, I plan to deliver a weekly glance at various things of importance related to the organization's farm clubs. Welcome to the first edition of our weekly minor league roundup.

-Right from the top we take it to Allentown, where the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs sport a 7-0 record at home and are holding down second place in the International League's North division, 1/2 game behind the Pawtucket Red Sox.

36-year-old starting pitcher Scott Elarton has been a shining star for the 'Pigs, as he has posted a 1-0 record with a 0.56 ERA while holding opponents to a .217 batting average over his first 3 starts this season.  

Domonic Brown has put together 4 multi-hit games is his last 7 played. Overall, the highly rated prospect has posted a .264 batting average with 4 doubles a triple and 8 RBI in 14 games.

First baseman Cody Overbeck has been the offensive star for Lehigh Valley, leading the team in RBI (9), total bases (22), hits (15) and batting average (.294).

The IronPigs begin a 13-game homestand this coming Monday. Upcoming giveaways include a Vance Worley bobblehead and a Ryne Sandberg bronze statue.

-In Reading, the Double-A Phillies have put together an 11-5 record and sit in second place in the Eastern League's Eastern division 1/2 game behind the New Britain Rock Cats.

First baseman Darin Ruf has been excellent for the R-Phils with his .393 batting average that ranks third best in the league.  Ruf was a 20th round draft selection in 2009 out of Creighton University.

Leandro Castro's 14 RBI are tied for the league lead. Castro, who had a down year with Clearwater last year while suffering with some injuries, has returned to full health and has proven to be a big time contributor for the Reading offense.

Starter Trevor May, who won the Paul Owens Award in 2011 for being the Philadelphia organization's top minor league pitcher, is continuing right along with the ways that earned him such high praise. In 3 starts, May has posted a 3-0 record with a 3.18 ERA with 19 strikeouts through 17 innings pitched.

-The Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers are off to a slow start and have posted a 4-9 record thus far, which is weak enough to have them 8 games out of first place in the tough Florida State League North division.

Righty hurler Brody Colvin has performed well in the early going, with a 0-1 record and a 2.81 ERA while holding left-handed hitters to a .091 batting average.  Colvin, 21, was a 7th round draft pick in 2009 out of high school in Louisiana.

2008 first-round draft choice Anthony Hewitt started the season on the disabled list, but has returned to action, going 1-for-16 (.063 avg) in 4 games thus far this season. Hewitt, who turns 23-years-old this week, showed great improvements under manager Chris Truby last year with Lakewood, where Hewitt became an All-Star outfielder and stole 36 bases. Truby has moved up one level, along with Hewitt this year, so hopefully the success of a year ago will continue to develop.

Lefty hurler Austin Wright, an 8th round draft selection last year, has looked great for the Threshers. The 22-year-old University of Mississippi product has gone 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA through 2 starts.

 -The Class A Lakewood BlueClaws are off to a 6-10 start and sit in 6th place, 5 1/2 games behind the South Atlantic League's North division leading Greensboro Grasshoppers. New Lakewood skipper, former Phillies All-Star Mickey Morandini, will utilize the roster's tremendous speed and focus the team on small ball all season long.

The BlueClaws lead the SAL in stolen bases with 31....of those, 9 are by outfielder Gauntlett Eldemire, 8 are by outfielder Kyrell Hudson and 6 are by outfielder Aaron Altherr.

Lakewood sports some considerable depth with southpaws. They have six lefty hurlers on the roster- Mario Hollands, Ervis Manzanillo, Bryan Morgado, Ryan Sasaki and Ethan Stewart. In addition, lefty Nick Hernandez is also listed on the disabled list for Lakewood, while he rehabs from shoulder surgery in Clearwater, at the Phillies' spring training facilities. Check back here each week as we keep you up to date on happenings throughout the Phils' minor league ranks. _____________________________________________________________

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