Phillies minor-leaguer Mitch Walding was named Triple-A player of the month after a torrid July with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
In 22 games with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Walding had a .326/.414/.733 line with 10 home runs, 26 runs batted in, 21 runs scored, and 63 total bases. He led the International League in home runs, runs scored, and total bases in July.
Walding had several great single-game performances throughout the month. He had 10 multi-hit games and three multi-homer games in the month. The high point of the month came on July 28 when Walding hit three home runs, a double, and drove in 10 runs in a doubleheader.
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Walding rose his overall line this year to .267/.395/518 in 93 Triple-A games. He has 19 home runs, 63 runs scored, and 58 runs batted in. He ranks second in the league in home runs and OPS, seventh in runs batted in and 11th in total bases.
Walding would obviously like to see his success translate to the major leagues. He has yet to record a hit in 16 plate appearances, drawing just two walks.
Walding has struck out 10 times in his major-league career so far. He has already been optioned to the minors three separate times, which certainly hasn’t helped any matters.
When Walding was first called up, he said that he was too worried at the plate, but he settled down later on: [quote via Meghan Montemurro of the Athletic (subscription required)]
"“When I first got up here, I think I was a little anxious,” Walding said. “Instead of seeing the ball I was trying to do too much so you start swinging at pitches that aren’t yours. The second time I came up I was able to slow it down a little more, still didn’t obviously have the hit, but the at-bat was getting better. Numbers wise, it doesn’t look the best. But I know it’s coming. I know it’ll be there soon.”"
Walding is still on the 40-man roster, so he can and probably will be called up in September. He will likely have to wait until then to get his next shot at his first major-league hit.