On Thursday night, many of the Phillies top prospects faced off against some of the big league veterans in Reading at the first ever Phillies Futures Game. While it was fun for fans to get a glimpse of what could be in the coming seasons, things did not go well for the youngsters as they lost to the major league club 19-4.
Strong winds played a factor at FirstEnergy Stadium that night. The two teams combined for eight homers, some of which would have been outs even at Citizens Bank Park.
Fans should not panic over that one exhibition game. There is a reason these players are still in the minors honing their skills, and many of them flashed their potential on Thursday night.
On Saturday afternoon, the prospects showed their stuff on a much more competitive level before dropping a narrow 6-5 decision to the parent club at Citizens Bank Park. Let’s take a look at how the individual prospects fared over the two games.
Roman Quinn – Quinn went 1-3 with a homer on Thursday, then went 0-3 with a walk this afternoon. He started in center field in both games, and was replaced by Carolos Tocci in each outing. Tocci went 1-2 with a single in the combined appearances.
J.P. Crawford – Top prospect Crawford started Thursday evening shaky, making an error on a routine ground ball in the first inning. He finished the night 1-3 with a strikeout, but ended on a positive note with a homer in his last at bat off of Hector Neris. On Saturday afternoon, Crawford went 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Malquin Canelo took over at shortstop after Crawford was pulled in both, and went 0-3 combined at the plate.
Nick Williams – Williams went 0-2 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout on Thursday. On Saturday afternoon Williams flashed his power, going 2-2 with a homer and a double, driving in three runs. He played nice defense in the left field as well before being replaced by Andrew Pullin, who finished 0-2 with a walk at the plate combined.
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Rhys Hoskins – Hoskins went 1-4 with a single as the DH on Thursday, and then came on as a 1st base substitute on Saturday for Brock Stassi, homering in his only plate appearance. Stassi took an 0-3 collar on Saturday.
Dylan Cozens – Cozens started in right field both games, belting a two run homer early on Thursday, but also striking out twice. He struck out again today, but also drew a pair of walks. He was replaced by Aaron Brown in both games, with Brown going 0-1 this afternoon.
Jorge Alfaro – Alfaro went 1-2 at the plate while starting behind the dish on Thursday night, and was replaced by Andrew Knapp who went 0-1 with a strikeout. The two catchers reversed starting-sub roles on Saturday, with Knapp going 0-3 and Alfaro 0-2.
Scott Kingery – Kingery went 0-2 at the plate on Thursday and made way for Jesmuel Valentin, who didn’t have much luck at the plate either, finishing the night 0-1. Kingery went 0-1 today, while Valentin went 1-3 with a run scored this afternoon.
Mitch Walding – Walding started at 3rd base and went 0-2 with a strikeout at the plate on Thursday and was replaced by Angelo Mora, who finished the night 0-1. The two switched starting-sub roles today, with Mora going 1-3 with a run scored and Walding 0-1.
Tommy Joseph – the one time big catching prospect is playing well this spring, and went 2-4 as the DH on Saturday afternoon.
Zach Eflin – It was a tough night for Eflin on Thursday. He gave up a dozen runs, nine earned, struck out two, and walked one over just three innings of work. Eflin served up four homers on a night when gale-force winds were turning every fly ball into a potential longball.
Mark Appel – Appel also had a rough night on Thursday after following Eflin to the hill. He also pitched three innings and gave up four homers, including back-to-back-to-back jacks to Tyler Goeddel, Maikel Franco, and Cedric Hunter in the fifth inning. He struck out two and walked none.
Edubray Ramos – Ramos pitched just one inning on Thursday night at the end, giving up two hits and one run while recording a strikeout.
Jake Thompson – Starting Saturday’s tilt, Thompson allowed eight hits and three earned runs across five innings of work. But he kept the ball in the yard, while recording a 4/1 K:BB ratio.
Ricardo Pinto – Working the final 3.2 innings this afternoon, Pinto was shelled for three earned runs and seven hits, walking one.
The “Phillies Futures” lost both games to the parent club. But the individual players displayed the talents that have helped raise the organization to the most respected levels it has enjoyed in years by outside talent evaluators. These prospects will now prepare to open their respective minor league seasons, with a handful of them eyeing a possible promotion to the Phillies before this coming summer ends.