Pharm Phocus: Lakewood BlueClaws bottom in season to forget


After a dismal first half that saw Lakewood post a 27-42 mark, which at the time was good enough for second bottom in the South Atlantic League Northern, the BlueClaws fell to the basement of the division with an equally poor second half.

A home record of 27-45 on the year was compounded by a stretch in August in which the team won just 2 of 11, eventually finishing with the worst record in the whole South Atlantic League, both Northern and Southern.

The BlueClaws did however win their 14th straight attendance crown, with a total of 380,573 fans coming to FirstEnergy Park, at an average of 5,597 fans per game.

Lakewood has produced the following current Phillies: Ryan Howard, Freddy Galvis, David Buchanan and Justin De Fratus, as well as prospects Maikel Franco, Jesse Biddle and J.P. Crawford. In addition, the following current MLB players have been at Lakewood: Jonathon Singleton, Travis d’Arnaud, Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Villar

JP Crawford, Domingo Santana and Maikel Franco (for the 2nd straight year) were selected for the MLB futures game, showing that despite the record, the BlueClaws have some outstanding talent on the roster. 

For players playing over 10 games, Willians Astudillo had the highest average at .333, over 436 at-bats. With 61 RBIs, he was second behind Dylan Cozens for RBI total, and hit a team leading 30 doubles and 145 hits, making him easily the highest offensive producer. Cozens did hit the most home runs with 16, however, and his 211 total bases did lead the team.

Tyler Viza was the team leader in innings pitched with 126, but his 3-17 record and 5.29 ERA left a lot to be desired. The highlight of pitching for Lakewood was 21 year old Yacksel Rios, who pitched 102.1 innings with a 6-2 record and 3.69 ERA. 

Cody Forsythe led the team in saves with 9, and Ulises Joaquin was just behind with 8, the pair having 2.45 and 3.97 ERAs respectively.

Of the Phillies top 20 prospects, 8 saw action with Lakewood during the year, the most notable being J.P. Crawford, Deivi Grullon, Matt Imhof and Carlos Tocci.

Phillies number one prospect J.P. Crawford played 60 games for the ‘Claws this year, hitting .295 with a .398 OBP through 227 at-bats before promotion to Clearwater.

Deivi Grullon played 24 games for Lakewood, going .237/.275/.342 through 76 ABs before moving down to Williamsport with the Crosscutters.

Pitcher Matt Imhof pitched 27.1 innings with Lakewood, going 0-2 over 3 starts with a 4.28 ERA following a successful stint at the Crosscutters.

Carlos Tocci was the catcher all year for the BlueClaws, playing 125 games going .242/.297/.324 over 487 at-bats, with 18 doubles and 30 RBIs. The 19 year old may have earnt a promotion for next season, but his MLB estimate of 2017 hasn’t changed this season.

The Lakewood BlueClaws have been the Class A affiliate of the Phillies since 2001, having been previously affiliated with the Detroit Tigers (1987-1996) and Montreal Expos (1997-2000) under the names Fayetteville Generals and Cape Fear Crocs during their respective affiliations.