DSL Phillies White defeated the DSL Rockies to become 2022 DSL champions.
The Philadelphia Phillies have high hopes to make the postseason for the first time since 2011 — and perhaps make a little noise beyond that in the Wild Card series and possible subsequent rounds.
In the meantime, one of their Dominican Summer League (DSL) teams has done just that.
Not only did the DSL Phillies White become back-to-back division champions, the team made the organization’s first DSL Championship Series appearance since 2001 and won the league title Thursday afternoon — defeating the DSL Rockies 2-1 in the best-of-three set.
After falling in Game 1, the DSL Phillies White tied the series with a 4-1 win on Wednesday and followed with a strong 7-3 victory Thursday to become the Dominican Summer League champions. Right-handed starting pitcher Javier Fuenmayor, 19, tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out five of his 21 batters faced.
On offense, outfielder Jorge Garcia, 18, and catcher Angel Mata, 17, led the way with two RBI each. Right-hander Saul Teran, 20, recorded the final four outs for the save, allowing just a hit while striking out one.
The foreign rookie-classified DSL Phillies is among the lower-level affiliates of the organization and consist of two separate teams that play in the San Pedro Division — DSL Phillies Red (managed by Nerluis Martínez) and DSL Phillies White (managed by Orlando Muñoz).
While the DSL Phillies Red had an impressive 2022 Dominican Summer League — posting a 36-23 record, Muñoz’s DSL White squad performed even better with a 40-19 showing.
Garcia was among the DSL White team’s leaders in many statistical categories in the regular season — slashing .308/.379/.417 with 12 doubles, a triple and home run each, 28 RBI, eight stolen bases, 13 walks and 41 strikeouts in 54 games and 177 plate appearances.
The team’s championship would not be possible without the guidance of their manager. A 2021 recipient of the prestigious John Vukovich Award — presented each year to an instructor in the organization who embodies the characteristics of the award’s namesake: loyalty, dedication, competitiveness, knowledge, honesty and a terrific work ethic — Muñoz also serves as the Phils’ Venezuela Camp Coordinator.
Muñoz is a former infielder who played in parts of six seasons in the California Angels’ minor-leagues from 1989 and 1991-95, reaching as high as Triple-A. Before joining the Phillies player development staff in 2017, the DSL Phillies White manager spent managed four years in the Italian League from 2013-16.
Congrats to the organization’s DSL White team for winning the Dominican Summer League championship! Here’s to hoping the big-league squad captures similar magic and goes the distance for its third-ever World Series title this fall.