Clearwater Week One Report: (4/9-4/14)

 


Things in Clearwater have looked pretty sunny through the first four games of the season, despite the fact that Tuesday night’s game was rained out. The team is loaded with talent this season, including seven of the Phuture Phillies Top 30 Prospects plus three players listed as near misses. The team’s new manager Ernie Whitt is a night and day difference from the 2008 manger Razor Shines (with Shine playing the part of night), and the team’s 3-1 record is the best of any Phillies minor league team so far in this young season.


Thursday, April 9th (Opening Day)


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The Clearwater Threshers looked sharp in their 2009 season opener. Kyle Drabekgot the opening night nod to take the hill, and looked good except for one rough inning in the fourth. Through the first three innings he had held the Bluejays hitless with his only blemish as a hit batsman in the first. In the fourth inning he walked the first two batters he faced and then balked the runners to second and third. Two hits later the Bluejays had picked up two runs to narrow their gap to 5-2, but that was all they would get on the night. He ended the night with a line of 2R/2/H/7K/1BB. Pretty impressive for the first start of the season, and just about as good as anyone could have hoped for.
Meanwhile the Threshers offense came out on fire giving the squad all the cushion they would need to secure a victory. The team scored three in the first and picked up a two-run blast from Freddy Galvisin the second to take an early 5-0 lead before Drabek would surrender 2 runs in the fourth inning. All-in-all it was a terrific team effort, and a great start to the Threshers season. Freddy Galvis had two hits and 2 RBIs, and Fidel Hernandez had two hits including a double. Matt Rizotti lead all batters with 3 hits going 3-4 at the plate including a double and an RBI. Dominic Brown chimed in with a double and an RBI.
Freddy Galvis picked up the firstSCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for crushing the first Threshers’ HR of the year.
Friday, April 10th at Dunedin


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Catcher Joel Naughton watches his grand slam sail over the right field wall.

The Clearwater Threshers faced the Dunedin Bluejays on Friday night at Dunedin in the Bluejays home opener. The Jays got on the board quickly grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but the score would remain the same until the sixth inning. At that point the Threshers picked up four runs to take a 4-1 lead.

That comfortable lead proved short lived as the Jays bounced back picking up two in the bottom of the frame to cut their deficit to 4-3, but then the Threshers offense really caught fire.

In the seventh inning the Jays sent a fresh pitcher to the hill to quell the Threshers offense. The Threshers offense however had something else in mind. With the smell of fresh meat in the water the sharks offense powered into an offensive frenzy demolishing the Jays pitcher for six runs on two walks and four hits, including a grand slam by catcher Joel Naughton, before a single out was tallied in the inning.
With a comfortable 10-3 lead the game seemed secure. The Jays however would not go down quietly. They picked up two runs just after the seventh inning stretch, and then mounted a ninth inning rally for two more runs, but Dan Brauer finally shut things down and the Threshers went home 10-7 winners.

Joel Naughton picked up the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for crushing a 7th inning grand slam that ultimately spelled the difference between a win and a loss.
Saturday, April 11th


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It was not for lack of trying that the Threshers suffered their first loss of the year. The offense did their part, but the Bluejays offense was just a bit better as the Threshers fell 10-6. While we all wish the team could go undefeated on the year, in reality we know it will not be so. After two wins vs the Bluejays, it was the Bluejays night to swipe one from the team.

Julian Sampson got his first start of the season, but looked overwhelmed in the effort. He lasted just 3.1 innings giving up 7 runs on 8 hits with 2 Ks and 2 walks. Chance Chapman looked good in relieving Sampson going 2.2 innings with 4 Ks and 2 walks, giving up one run on one hit. Chapman could be a sleeper prospect in my opinion, and I am looking forward to good things from him this season as he transitions to the bullpen.

Tim Kennelly picked up the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award with 3 RBIs despite the loss.

Sunday, April 12th No game.

Monday, April 13th


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It was with a heavy heart that I went to the game after the passing of what seemed like a part of my family. Harry Kalas you will be missed…

Just like their first game at Dunedin on Friday night the Threshers found themselves in an early 1-0 hole after giving up an unearned run on a throwing error, and just like the previous game it took a big 6th inning to put them back in the game as they picked up 5 runs to go up 5-1 and eventually win 5-2. Arlon Quirozhad a 2-rbi triple in the game, and Tim Kennelly picked up two doubles. Michael Durant finally picked up his first hit of the season earned his first RBI and scored a run.

Yohan Flande grabs the SCHMIDT LIST player of the game award for his pitching effort.
Tuesday, April 14th (Rained Out)

Phuture Phillies Top 30 Prospects & Others of Note:

Kyle Drabek the uber-prospect that everyone has been so excited about did not disappoint in his first outing. He went 5.0 innings fanning 7 and walking 2 while giving up 2 runs on 2 hits. His 7 Ks are 2nd in the FSL.

Dominic Brown
has struggled at the plate with just 3 hits in 15 at-bats (.200) but has a team high 4 walks. In the field he has looked strong.

Julian Sampson looked out of sorts in his only start. He lasted just 3.1 innings giving up 7 runs on 8 hits with 2 Ks and 2 BB.

Drew Naylor picked up a win in his only outing giving up 3 runs on 6 hit with 4 Ks and one walk.

Mike Cisco has started the season on the DL.

Freddy Galvis is hitting .238. He picked up the teams first home run of 2009 in the season opener. Defensively he has looked solid and has contributed to a couple of excellent fielding plays.

Michael Schwimer has appeared in 2 games for 3.0 innings of work giving up 1 unearned run on 3 hits with 3 Ks and a walk.

Matt Rizzotti has been raking at the plate. His .538 average is 2nd in the FSL as is his .769 slg. He is 7-13 in 3 games with 3 doubles.

Tim Kennelly is hitting .333 (4-12) with all of his hits as doubles to lead the FSL in the category.

Joel Naughton crushed a grand slam in the second game of the year which proved to be the game winning difference for the Threshers. He is hitting .333 (3-9) with 4 walks and just one K.

Fidel Hernandez
is the only Threshers position player returning in 2009. He has moved to second from SS to make way for Freddy Galvis. So far he has been swinging a hot bat going 6-17 (.353) with two doubles.

Michael Durant has been a disappointment so far. He has just one hit (1-11 / .091) and 7Ks with no walks. He did have one HBP but admitted later that the ball had hit the bat, not his arm.

 

About Jeff Crupper

It depends on which blog you are reading, but now now you have either discovered that I am a huge baseball fan, or that I have a twisted sense of humor and like to rant about just about anything. Whichever it is I hope you enjoy your stay and spread the word.

60 thoughts on “Clearwater Week One Report: (4/9-4/14)

  1. Thanks TN, this is very good stuff. I agree with you. there are some very promising prospects here. I’m not surprised by much in the early going. I knew Sampson would struggle and possibly will eventually have to go back to Lakewood to straighten himself out. Not yet but possibly. I also thought Durant wasn’t ready for the move up yet but I’m usually harping about the Phils coddling players too much. He’s a pure power guy and needs to be pushed. If he can’t hack it then they can move on.

    Dom Brown must be fun to watch. I live in CT and I’ll be waiting for him to get to Reading so I can watch him against the Rock Cats. Reading doesn’t come to New Britain until late August. Maybe I’ll see Dom and Michael Taylor at the same time or possibly MT will be in the Valley by then.

  2. Good stuff, thanks Jeff.

    Very encouraged by Rizzotti’s hot start. Now two years removed from college ball, and presumably healthy at this point, he could really turn some heads this season.

    Agreed on Chapman — he has definite sleeper potential in a bullpen role. He’s one to watch going forward.

    Finally, did you get a chance to watch Flande pitch? I’m interested to hear about his stuff. Sounds like a control lefty without any dominant offerings, but he didn’t look out of his depth after jumping to the FSL from the GCL, which is a good start.

  3. I was very impressed with Flande the other night. He looked dominant at times. I believe he struck out the side in the first inning, but the walked two to start the second. that eventually became a run thanks to some inept defense that allowed an unearned run when they had a player in a run down from first to second, and completely forgot there was a man on third who ran in to score. Kennelly was playing first at the time, which I suppose is rare for him, so in all fairness … they won the game 5-2.

  4. Thanks for the detailed report Jeff, good stuff.

    I’m also encouraged by Rizzotti’s hot start. I touched on him a bit this winter as someone who’s performance jumped out at Lakewood, even though he was too old for the level.

  5. i know it is early, but i can’t help but think that we made the wrong call with sampson over workman, who seems to be lighting it up in college. goes with the teritory. you win some and lose some. but i hope that sampson turns it around quickly.

  6. Nice report. I cannot wait to nab some of these prospects for my own reports on Reading. Kyle Drabek, perhaps?

  7. Let’s not be too harsh on Sampson yet. Remember he’s young for this level. He looked good in ST so let’s just wait and see if he adapts. Rizzoti could easily be moved to Reading quickly if he keeps it up, given his age. I actually thought releasing Urick was a sign that they would bump Rizzoti up but then they moved Mahar there instead. Durant has to hit to have any value because he’s a terrible first baseman and has DH written all over him.

  8. You know, even after all these great pitching performances so far by our pitchers at multiple levels, we still have more pitching coming in May, Pettibone, Cosart, and Shreve. Wow, that was some draft….

  9. Hey, I argued with everyone during top 30′s that he was our #1 prospect. Carrasco is good but he’s inconsistent and overrated.

  10. Yea, Drabek finally got two called strike threes after 7 swinging strike outs to start out. a 4 hitter after 7 innings. When does the weather warm in Reading? What a rotation that will be with Savery, Worley, Stutes and Drabek. In Worley’s first start he struck the side on 9 pitches. Stutes told the Reading Times after his first start “I don’t think I had my best stuff tonight,” said Stutes, whose fastball sat at 91-92 mph and touched 95. “But it’s a good first start.”
    http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=133682

  11. “As a doctor, replacing the Achilles tendon with a cadaver tendonwould be the absolute last resort for patients with complete and retracted tears of the …”
    last one I heard was Eagels Ben Smith who had to be redone
    One or two Drabek will be joining Reading soon what a staff

  12. skunky, i coulnt really say who is a better prospect at this point, its great to see drabek dominate so far but if you remember when carrasco was at clearwater he was dominate as well holding opponents under .200 avg., so once i see drabek start dominating reading which carrasco couldn’t do, ill be in agreement with you

  13. I had something snippy to say, but I’m going to hold my toungue…. no sense jinxing him. But you’re right, Carrasco was dominant in A ball too.

  14. Wow, I am as excited as most of you about our pitching prospects, however, I think it is important to keep everything in context. Savery, Stutes, Worley, and Drabek have combined to pitch exactly 3 games at the AA level. Lets get excited, but remember that their are sure to be many pitfalls along the way…

  15. If Rizzotti keeps hitting the way he is I’d like to see him up in Reading pretty quickly. I was a bit surprised that Murphy and Hamilton were both started out in Lakewood, and moving one of them up to Clearwater (probably Murphy) would help alleviate the mini log jam at C/1B/OF/DH that the Threshers seem to have. I’d much rather challenge Rizzotti and Murphy at their respective ages, open up full-time roles for both them and Hamilton, as well as additional ABs for D’Arnaud, Valle, Gose, Collier, Myers and Castro, than to carry some journeyman at Reading.

  16. What amazes me after the first week is that the fast balls of Carrasco, Worley, Stutes, Drabek and Knapp are reportedly sitting from 91-95 with Knapp topping at 97. All with no or few walks or runs given up in their starts which means good command of their secondary pitchers. Not one of the Phils major league starting staff has yet come anywhere close to those numbers.

  17. Bastardo for relief ,Savery, Stutes,Worley,drabek, and
    Carrasco Thats at lease 5 who should be major league ready
    next year and more possible wow

  18. nowheels, you have to be joking, right? Savery, Stutes, and Worley have each made one start at AA while Drabek hasn’t even reached AA yet. It is unrealistic to expect any of them to be ready for 2010, let alone all of them. I think it is great that we have some prospects to get excited about, but why are we placing unrealistic expectations on pitchers whom we should simply enjoy watching perform at their current level. All of the prospects you mentioned, nowheels, are good prospects, with some being much better than others in my opinion. I just do not understand why we have to make them out to be more than they are. Enjoy these players for who they are, not for who you are dreaming they become in less than a year!

  19. For the Record, I’ve been driving the damn bus for the Drabek Bandwagon since last Fall. He’s gonna be special. I am also the official driver of the D’Arnaud bandwagon.

    Galvis had another strong game too FWIW, 2-4 and now batting over .300 for the year.

  20. “The Phillies want Drabek, who lives in the mid-90s with his heater, to gradually build up his innings and pitch counts this season. Some scouts have tagged him for a late-season bump to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but for now, progress is being made with each inning.”

  21. Well Nepp you must be driving that bandwagon on the turnpike. I see a match with Drabek and Josh Johnson both
    great before the operation now dominating

  22. Rizotti has only played in the field (at first) once in Clearwater, so I really do not have much info on him. He was sufficient in that one game, but every other game he has been DH.

  23. He can’t be worse than Durant in the field. And given the way Durant has hit this year, it’s almost a no-brainer.

    - Jeff

  24. Jeff O or others, I heard Drabek is still growing. I had concerns about his height as he was under 6 feet tall when I saw him two years ago in spring training. I’ve heard reports he is now 6 ft 1 ” and has put on weight. Can you corroborate ?

  25. FWIW, Sampson was not chosen over Workman. When they realized Workman was not going to sign they got Sampson done last minute.

  26. When I saw Drabek, I didn’t notice whether he was any taller but his added muscle is obvious. His legs are thick in a good way and very strong. I’m sure they’ll move him to Reading when it gets warmer but there’s really no rush him (unless he throws back to back to back shutouts).

  27. PSUPhilliesPhan – no one will know for sure as we weren’t in the front office at the time, but the understanding was these were two above slot guys and we could only afford one. gillick with his seattle ties personally scouted sampson and so they weren’t going to overpay for workman. but i do believe that if they wanted workman over sampson, they could have gotten it done.

  28. Monasterios having a spectacular first outing. 6 innings, no runs on two singles and one walk, and 3 Ks. GO-FO of 7-8. Could be a glimmer of hope from one of the last two remaining players from the Abreu trade.

  29. Monasterios
    where the hell are we going to put all there guys. actually good for him for hanging in.

  30. Figure if we’re lucky if 1 in 5 of these pitchers pan out so we won’t have to worry about putting them anywhere. There’s no such thing as too much young pitching.

  31. yohan flande named pitcher of the week by milb

    Florida State League
    Yohan Flande, Clearwater
    2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 G, 2 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 12.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO
    Yohan Flande came out of nowhere to stun the Florida State League in his first two career starts in a full-season league. Flande struck out five in five scoreless innings in his debut against Dunedin and came back for another seven shutout frames vs. Tampa to pick up two wins. The Phillies farmhand has helped Clearwater move into a tie for first with Brevard County in the FSL North Division.

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