By Mary Cunningham
The Phillies have some great players in the minors, and here, thanks to MLB.com, is a review of how they have done in the past week and a half:
Player – INF Daniel Brito, Lakewood… The 19-year-old Brito batted .370 (17-46) with a double, three home runs, eight RBI, four walks, three stolen bases and 1.018 OPS. He hit safely in his first seven games of the season (five of which were multi-hit efforts) and batted .412 (14-34) against right-handed pitching. Brito, a native of Venezuela, was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 17, 2014.
Pitcher – RHP Nick Pivetta, Lehigh Valley… Pivetta, 24, made two starts for the IronPigs, combining to go 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER, 13.0 IP), eight hits, no walks and 13 strikeouts. He held Pawtucket to two runs (1 ER) on only three hits in 6.0 innings in his first start of the season on April 9, and in his next start held them scoreless over 7.0 innings with five strikeouts. Pivetta was acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for RHP Jonathan Papelbon and cash considerations on July 28, 2015.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs – International League North Division…5-6, 4th place… The IronPigs began their season with three series against division rivals, splitting their opening series with Pawtucket, 2-2, dropping three of four games to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and then earning their first series win with two wins in three more games against the Paw Sox. They allowed two runs or fewer in six of their games, two of which were shutouts.
Top hitting performers – C Jorge Alfaro (above) batted .361 (13-36) with a double, triple, home run, five RBI, a walk and a stolen base in 9 games. He hit safely in his first eight games of the season… 1B Rhys Hoskins homered three times, two of which came in one game on April 15. He also hit three doubles, batted .324 (11-34) and posted a .452 on-base percentage due in part to seven walks… INF Jesmuel Valentin was 11-for-31 (.355) with a double, five RBI, two walks and four runs scored in 10 games.
Top pitching performers – RHP Nick Pivetta was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week after combining to post a 0.69 ERA (1 ER, 13.0 IP) with 13 strikeouts over two starts for Lehigh Valley… RHP Mark Leiter struck out 11 batters in 5.1 innings of relief. On April 12, all eight of the outs he recorded came via strikeout… RHP Ricardo Pinto made two starts, holding Pawtucket to three runs (1 ER) in 5.1 innings on April 8, and tossing 7.0 scoreless innings with one walk and five strikeouts in his second start… RHP Zach Eflin threw 5.0 shutout innings with four strikeouts in his lone start on April 11.
Reading Fightin Phils – Eastern League Eastern Division…4-5, T-4th place… After being swept in a three-game series to start their season, Reading won four of its last six games and rolled to series victories over both New Hampshire and Richmond. They will play three games at home against Akron this week before embarking on a seven-game road trip.
Top hitting performers – OF Andrew Pullin clubbed eight extra-base hits (6 2B, 2 HR) in his first nine games of the season. He had six multi-hit games and batted .361 (13-36) with a .694 slugging percentage and 1.119 OPS… 2B Scott Kingeryhomered four times, hit three doubles, drove in 12 runs, drew six walks and stole three bases in nine games played. He is tied for first in the Eastern League in homers and tied for second in RBI… SS Malquin Canelo recorded three multi-hit games, batting .304 (7-23) with a double, triple, two RBI, four walks and a stolen base.
Top pitching performers – RHP Yacksel Rios appeared in four games in relief, combining to allow two runs in 7.0 innings with one walk and 13 strikeouts… RHP Jesen Therrien struck out eight batters and walked none over four relief appearances (4.0 IP)… LHP Brandon Leibrandt did not allow a run in 5.0 innings of work on April 11 and surrendered only four baserunners (3 H, BB).
Clearwater Threshers – Florida State League North Division…8-3, 1st place… The Threshers won or split each of their three series to start the season, as they strung together five straight victories from April 9-13 and won seven of their last eight contests overall. They have posted a 2.18 team ERA through 11 games, holding opponents to one run or none six times.
Top hitting performers – OF Cornelius Randolph homered in three straight games from April 7-9 and recorded an RBI in five straight from April 7-11. He also drew six walks and scored six runs… 1B/3B Damek Tomscha had six extra-base hits (3 2B, 3 HR) in his first 10 games. He drove in five runs and scored six more… C Deivi Grullon batted .314 (10-32) in eight games. On April 15, he went 4-for-5 with a home run, RBI and two runs scored.
Top pitching performers – RHP Seranthony Dominguez made a scoreless, 2.0-inning relief appearance on April 6, then struck out a career-high 10 batters in a 6.0-inning start on April 12, in which he allowed one run and walked none… In his two starts, RHP Jose Taveras combined to allow two runs (1 ER) in 9.2 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts… LHP Cole Irvin earned the win in both of his starts, tossing 6.0 scoreless innings with two hits and eight strikeouts in his first start and 7.0 innings of one-run ball in the next… RHP Alberto Tirado held opponents to five total hits and struck out seven batters over 12.0 innings in two starts for Clearwater.
Lakewood BlueClaws – South Atlantic League Northern Division…6-5, 3rd place…. Lakewood swept a four-game series against Kannapolis to start the season, but then won only twice in its final seven games. They will complete their season’s first homestand with three games against Hagerstown this week.
Top hitting performers – INF Daniel Brito homered three times, drove in eight runs, walked four times, was 3-for-3 in stolen bases and batted .370 (17-46) en route to earning Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors… OF Cord Sandberg was 18-for-44 (.409) with four doubles, a home run, six RBI, two stolen bases and six multi-hit games (three 3-hit games)… CF Mickey Moniak batted .302 (13-43) with four doubles, seven RBI, five walks and a team-high four stolen bases in 11 games.
Top pitching performers – RHP Sixto Sanchez issued just one walk and struck out 13 batters over his first two starts of the season (9.2 IP)… LHP Nick Fanti also made two starts, posting a 1.86 ERA (2 ER, 9.2 IP) with 12 strikeouts… RHP Ismael Cabrera earned two wins and a save in his three relief appearances, all of which were scoreless. He tossed 3.0 innings in each of the last two appearances, allowing only one total hit while striking out eight in those two games… RHP Adonis Medinamade two starts, allowing one run in 4.0 innings on April 9 and one run in 6.0 innings on April 15.