Skip to main content

Reading's Charles standing out as team's offensive force

A Charles
Art Charles, image- Jay Floyd
Across all levels of organized baseball, it would likely be impossible to find a hotter player than Reading first baseman Art Charles right now.

The lefty hitting slugger wrapped up a six-game stretch on Sunday during which he went 14-for-23 (.609 avg) with five doubles, five home runs and nine RBI.

Currently, the 24-yeear-old Charles leads the Double-A Eastern League in average (.400) and slugging percentage (.800), while also ranking second (tie) in on-base percentage (.442).

Charles has gained more at bats lately with his recent success, as he had been splitting time in the lineup with teammate Brock Stassi, who has a league-leading 23 RBI. Time on the bench wasn't discouraging, though, as it made the California native value the chances he was getting more.

"It's been a little tough, but I get my playing time," Charles said last week at Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium. "I enjoy the time I get. I've been doing well. I've been putting the ball in play and I've been productive. It's all about taking advantage of your opportunities when you get them, so I mean I've been going out there every day with a positive mindset and ready get my chance and when I play, I'm taking advantage of it."


The six-foot-six 220-pounder was acquired by the Phillies in 2013 from Toronto for pitcher Michael Schwimer. Last season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, Charles posted a .227 average with 19 homers and 54 RBI in 127 games.

Looking for more experience, Charles spent time over this past off-season playing in Barranquilla, Colombia where he got some hitting lessons from an unlikely source. Having bonded closely with teammate Ozney Guillen, Charles took the opportunity to approach Ozney's father, a three-time big league All-Star and former MLB manager.

"I spent time with Ozzie Guillen, I had the privilege to talk to him. He was a big time manager and with his son being out there and me being close with his son also allowed me to talk to him a bit more, so that was great," Charles explained.

"He gave me some insight about hitting, to kind of tell me about hitting in general, to help me out with a few things."

The advice from a man that spent more than two decades at the top level of the sport has certainly helped Charles, but so did the experience he gained while he was playing in South America.

"The competition was pretty good and I feel like they threw a lot of off-speed pitches as well, which was what I needed to see to make this jump up here, to get those pitches and kind of sit on those pitches and learn a little more. Just playing overall and getting more at bats was great," stated Charles.

This season, Fightins coaches love the strides Charles has taken at the plate, while facing lefty opposition, against which he batted .169 with a .250 slugging percentage last year.

"The key for Art, I think, is to be able to have good at bats against left-handed pitching and he did that in Erie, he hit home run and had a couple doubles off some left-handers," asserted Reading's interim hitting coach Mickey Morandini.

Originally a 20th round draft selection by the Blue Jays in 2010, Charles has been looking to bust out among a well-stocked team in Reading and he's definitely done that of late.

"When someone goes 9-for-13 in a series, it's going to be hard to keep him out of the lineup," said Morandini, citing the effort put forth by Charles over the weekend on the road against Erie.

A week after his teammate Ben Lively was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, expect the young slugger to lock down the EL Player of the Week honor following his standout performance last week.

This article was originally published on PhilliesNation.com.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast: Episode 9

On the latest edition of the PhoulBallz Minor League Podcast, Tug and I discuss how it's Tyler Cloyd's time to join the Phillies' rotation, Double-A and Triple-A All-Stars, Cody Asche's & Harold Martinez's ascent upward in the developmental ranks and Jay's time at Fenway Park. We also took listeners questions, played the Twitter Game and plenty more. Check out the media player below to listen to the full show, or download it by clicking HERE . Additionally, click HERE to listen to previous episodes of the program. You can also subscribe on iTunes .

Rappers in Phillies Caps

Weekend greetings to you phine pholks out there. Today's post features pictures of rappers wearing Phillies caps. Why rappers in Phillies caps, you ask? Because... Any other questions? We will start things off properly by going with a highly recognizable hip hop star. 50 Cent stays constantly relavant by consistantly creating radio friendly material to help sell (G) units, while he "keeps it real" by still rapping about the thug life he lived before becoming the 2nd highest earning black entertainer in America. 50 is seen here in a recent interview rocking a throw-back Phillies cap. Next up we'll use a throw-back screen cap from what may be the very first major appearance by a rapper wearing Phillies gear. Chuck D, of legendary rap group Public Enemy, wore a Phillies cap in the music video for rap anthem Fight The Power in 1989. The song was the lead single from the soundtrack for Spike Lee's film Do The Right Thing . Next up we'll go with some home gro

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol