The outcome for the Best Third Baseman Poll was a surprise. Keudy Bocio received the most votes. He easily outdrew Cole Stobbe who finished second, well ahead of Mitch Walding.
Bocio began spring training listed as an outfielder however he continued to play the third base position that he had been shifted to during 2016 Instructs. His .849 fielding percentage was lowest of all GCL third basemen. But, during the Phillies stretch run, Bocio seemed to be a part of all their rallies on the way to their division championship. He finished the season with a .274/374/.438/.722, 18 RBI, and 7 SB in 8 attempts. He also finished the season in center field after Simon Muzziotti went down with an injury. He played the position without an error and may well transition to CF where his bat will profile better than at a corner infield position.
|Keudy Bocio (GCL)||101||26%|
|Cole Stobbe (WPT)||79||20%|
|Mitch Walding (REA)||59||15%|
|Damek Tomscha (REA, CLW)||49||13%|
|Jake Scheiner (WPT)||30||8%|
|Lucas Williams (LAK)||18||5%|
|Zach Green (CLW)||14||4%|
|Angelo Mora (LHV, REA)||8||2%|
|Drew Stankiewicz (CLW)||7||2%|
|Pedro Florimon (LHV)||6||2%|
|Jan Hernandez (CLW)||3||1%|
|Raul Rivas (LAK)||3||1%|
|Jesus Henriquez (GCL)||3||1%|
|Jack Zoellner (GCL)||3||1%|
|D.J. Stewart (GCL)||3||1%|
|Emmanuel Marrero (CLW)||2||1%|
|Hector Gomez (LHV)||1||0%|
|Derek Campbell (CLW)||1||0%|
Cole Stobbe posted a .913 fielding percentage in Williamsport. He started the season with 4 HR in his first 12 games, and finished tied with a team high 8 HR. But, he limped to the finish with a .203/.280/.376/.656 slash and 67 strike outs in 218 plate appearances (30.7%).
Mitch Walding led Reading with 25 HR. He was tied for second on the team with 62 RBI. But he slashed .236/.327/.516/.842 and struck out 127 times in 401 plate appearances (31.7%). Walding posted a .943 fielding percentage, the best on the team among players who spent any appreciable amount of time at the position.
Damek Tomscha spent time in Clearwater and Reading. He split his time on the field between third and first. He put up a respectable .942 fielding percentage in Reading but plays better defense at first base. Offensively, Tomscha hit over .300 for both teams and posted a combined .307/.386/.439/.825 with 11 HR and 52 RBI. He struck out a total of 57 times in 424 plate appearances (13.4%) and walked 38 times (8.96%).
Among the others: I didn’t see Jake Schiener, Pedro Florimon, Raul Rivas, or Hector Gomez play. Zach Green returned after a long rehab and played both corners before his promotion to Reading. Angelo Mora, Drew Stankiewicz, and Derek Campbell look like utility types who can play multiple positions. (Mora also hits a little.) Luke Williams is being played all over the place during Instructs. Jan Hernandez was moved to the outfield in Clearwater. Jesus Henriquez has a good glove, but will probably be a utility guy while in the organization. D.J. Stewart is a boy in a man’s body. We look at him and see future projection. He’s a BIG kid. And, Emmanuel Marrero played primarily at shortstop until Jose Gomez was acquired.
Now, about this poll’s results. I closed the poll when I saw the winner jump to such a big lead from well back in the pack. On that day, we had a much heavier response from his home country than we normally get. Much heavier. This is similar to a result that many of you questioned during the Top 30 Poll. In this case, however, I know his family reads the site and follows on Twitter. I never considered invalidating the result, I’ve seen the kid play and he’s as reasonable a selection as any other. What I didn’t want to do was encourage a repeat of that type of support in any subsequent polls. So, I delayed posting results until the polling process was almost completed. It would have been completed if I hadn’t erred on the release date of the catcher’s poll. That’s the back story.