Skip to main content

Developmental End of Season Wrap Up

Just one of the Phillies' four full season minor league affiliates are headed to the postseason. Taking all 142 games of their schedule to do so, the Double-A Reading Phils clinched their Wild Card berth with a 7-3 win over Portland on Monday, on the final day of the Eastern League's regular season.

In the Eastern division standings, the R-Phils beat out New Britain by just one game for the right to take on division champ Trenton (Yankees affiliate) this week with a chance to play in the EL championship series on the line.

To open the playoffs, Reading will host the Thunder for games 1 and 2, at Reading's First Energy Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday. Games 3, 4 and 5 will be played at Trenton's Waterfront Park on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, if necessary. Reading finished three games behind Trenton in the season standings, but the R-Phils downed the division champs in seven of 13 contests during the regular season.

Reading's top offensive performer this season was the EL Most Valuable Player Darin Ruf (pictured), who finished second in the league in batting average with a .317 mark while leading the league in home runs with 38 and RBI with 104.

Ruf had a torrid month of August, batting .371 with 20 HR and 36 RBI in 31 games. The Phillies' 20th round draft choice from 2009, cited the meaningful games down the stretch, while his team strived to reach the postseason, as having played a factor in helping him pick up his production.

"The longer we stayed in it, the more meaningful the games were and that way you can't give up on a game or give up on an at bat. The more meaningful it is, the more you'll get out of each situation and the better you'll be, ultimately, for a playoff run," Ruf stated.

Reading's game 1 starting pitcher is set to be righty Austin Hyatt, who posted an 8-5 record with a 4.62 ERA in 16 starts at Double-A this season. The 26-year-old did poorly during a stint with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, as he sported a 2-7 record with a 6.33 ERA in 11 starts. Hyatt was the Phillies' 15th round draft selection in 2009 out of the University of Alabama.

The remaining rotation for the opening round is likely to pan out as Trevor May, Ethan Martin and Adam Morgan. Brody Colvin, who posted an 11.02 ERA in 7 starts for Reading since his promotion from Class-A Advanced Clearwater in late July, will not be used as a starter in the postseason.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley missed an opportunity down the stretch to reach the playoffs, as they finished 3 1/2 games behind North division Wild Card winner Pawtucket, with a 75-68 record.

The IronPigs were led this season by righty pitcher Tyler Cloyd, who posted a 12-1 record with a 2.35 ERA in 22 Triple-A starts. Cloyd has since joined the big league rotation and sports a 1-1 record with a 2.72 ERA in two starts with the Phillies.

The Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers missed the postseason by one game, as they finished with a 36-30 record behind second half North division winner Lakeland in the Florida State League.

The top offensive performer for Clearwater this year was 26-year-old first baseman Jim Murphy, who batted .274 with 17 HR and 85 RBI in 125 games for the Threshers. Murphy was the Phillies' 17th round pick in the 2006 amateur draft.

The top hurlers on the Threshers' staff were lefties Jesse Biddle and Austin Wright. Biddle went 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA while averaging 9.53 K/9 in 26 starts this season. Wright, who was named pitcher of the year in the FSL, posted an 11-5 record with a 3.47 ERA and an 8.11 K/9 mark in 27 games (25 starts).

Class A Lakewood finished the second half with a 36-33 record, which placed them 4 1/2 games behind South Atlantic League North division winner Hagerstown.

Third baseman Maikel Franco, who recently turned 20 years old, and former 2nd round draft pick (2009) outfielder Kelly Dugan were the standout stars for the 'Claws this season. Franco, a Domincan Republic native, posted a .280 average with 14 homers and 84 RBI in 132 games with the BlueClaws. Meanwhile, the 21-year-old Dugan tallied a .300 batting average with 12 home runs and 60 RBI in 117 games.

Drawing 410,113 fans to FirstEnergy Park this year, the BlueClaws again topped the SAL in attendance, as they have now done in all 12 years of existence. The tally this year brings the 12 year total to 5,248,736 fans.

Additionally, the Phillies' short-season low-A level club, the Williamsport Crosscutters missed the playoffs, as they are primed to finish last in the NY-Penn League's Pinckney division with a 29-45 record. Williamsport has two games remaining on its schedule.

The 'Cutters' offense was led by this year's 4th round draft selection, Chris Serritella, who is a Southern Illinois University product. The 22-year-old first baseman sported a .297 batting average with 6 HR and 45 RBI through 73 games after making his pro debut.

_____________________________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Frosty Phillies Favorites: 2021 Edition w/ DJ Stewart

Season's greetings to all of you! It's that time of the year to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season. Every year at Christmas time, I survey a group of Phillies prospects about what they get excited for during the holidays.  This year, we focus on just one up and coming player, corner infielder DJ Stewart. The 22-year-old righty batter had a solid season in 2021. In 94 games combined with Class A Clearwater and Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, Stewart notched a .265 batting average with 14 home runs, 42 RBI and five stolen bases.  Recently, I talked with DJ to gain his feedback on all of his holiday favorites. Read ahead for that interview... -What's your favorite Christmas movie? My favorite is This Christmas.  My Mother and I would watch it together every Christmas, so it just stuck with me. -What is your favorite Christmas song and which version is best? This Christmas by Chris Brown.  It's the final song of my favorite Christmas movie. -What's your favorit

Stewart hits walk-off grand slam for Clearwater

Stepping up to the plate with the bases loaded, trailing by a pair of runs in the 11th inning, Clearwater first baseman D.J. Stewart did so 0-for-5.  His focus at the plate was no different that time than it had been the previous handfull of turns.  Make loud contact was the approach.  The contact was loud, the reaction from his team and the approximately 1,100 fans in attendance was louder.   A convincing round-tripper in that moment plated Edgar Made, Johan Rojas, Luis Garcia and Stewart.  It gave the Class A Threshers their first win on the young season by a score of 13-11 over the Tigers affiliate Lakeland.  The grand slam was the 22-year-old's first ever four-run homer as well as his first ever walk-off hit as a professional. Describing the feeling of walking a game off in such a remarkable fashion as unreal and realizing that his teammates were as hyped for him as he felt personally, Stewart also described the "loud contact" mindset as a new focus. "This year I

Franco making case for September call up

Maikel Franco, image- Jay Floyd While the minor league season begins to wind down, Lehigh Valley third baseman Maikel Franco continues to go full throttle. As the IronPigs kicked off their final home stand of the season on Saturday with a double header against the division rival Syracuse Chiefs, Franco, who is hoping his season continues on beyond the final day on the regular season calendar, which is Labor Day, September 1st, continued to display his improved offensive efforts going 6-for-7 with two home runs combined in two games while recording a cycle in the night cap. The feat was certainly quite an achievement, but possibly more impressive because it was accomplished in just six offensive innings for the winning home club in game 2, as minor league double headers are slated as seven-inning contests. Franco, who turns 22 years old this week, struggled through the early part of his first Triple-A season, ending June with a .202 batting average and just 28 extra-base hits