And, then there was one. Lehigh Valley bowed out of the International League semifinals with a 7-2, 10-inning defeat at the hands of rival Scranton. That leaves Lakewood to carry the standard for the organization in the post season.
Lehigh Valley (84-56) took a 2-1 lead into the ninth inning but saw part of their bullpen pitch like future Phillies bullpen arms as they allowed a the tying run to score in the top of the ninth and the go ahead run to score in the tenth before a grand slam put the game out of reach.
Ranger Suarez started and held the RailRiders to one, soft run in the third inning. A lead off single and a hit batter put two runners on base. A wild pitch moved both into scoring position. The run came home on a ground out. Suarez retired nine in a row before issuing a walk and one-out single in the sixth. Edgar Garcia came in and stranded the two runners and retired the side in order in the seventh. Tyler Gilbert pitched a scoreless eighth.
Meanwhile, Lehigh tied the game in the fifth. Zach Green reached on a two-out infield single. Logan Moore moved him to third with a single to right. And Jesse Valentin brought him home with a ground single, also to right. Danny Ortiz gave the IronPigs the lead with a one-out, solo HR in the sixth.
With a one-run lead, Pedrio Beato came in to lock up the save in the ninth. He gave up a one-out single followed by a ground out. The next batter singled to short and the runner was able to score from second. Ranfi Casimiro replaced Beato to start the tenth. He immediately dug himself a hole with a lead off walk, single, and walk. A soft ground out allowed the go ahead run to score. The next batter was walked intentionally to reload the bases. Tom Windle came in and got the second out with a strike out. But, he then gave up a grand slam that essentially put the game out of reach.
Danny Ortiz went 3-4 with a run scored, HR, RBI. Jesse Valentin went 2-4 with an RBI. The IronPigs had a team batting average of .171 in the four games of the series.
- #8 Ranger Suarez (2-0, 2.74) – 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Lakewood (87-51) punched their ticket to the SAL title game with a sweep of the Kannapolis Intimidators in the SAL semifinals. They clinched behind Spencer Howard’s complete game no-hitter on Friday night. They will face the Lexington Legends.
Lakewood won both halves in the Northern division, 41-28 in the first and 46-23 in the second. They had the best overall record in the SAL at 87-51. Lexington had a 76-60 overall record. They won the second half with a 39-29 record. The Rome Braves won the first half with a 40-29 record, but was eliminated by the Legends in two games.
Games one and two of the best of five series are in Lexington. The series will return to Lakewood for the remaining games. Lakewood hasn’t announced it’s final series’ rotation, but look for either Damon Jones or Julian Garcia to start game one.
- #7 Jhailyn Ortiz (.225)
- #17 Kyle Young (3-3, 3.10)
- #18 Spencer Howard (9-8, 3.78)
- #29 Nick Maton (.256)
- #30 Simon Muzziotti (.263)
Prospects who have finished the 2018 season.
- #1 Sixto Sanchez (RHP, Clearwater Threshers) spent most of the 2018 season on the DL. He was sidelined on June 2018 with an elbow injury. Up to that point he had posted a 4-3 record with a 2.51 ERA in 8 starts and 46.2 innings. His 45 strikes gave him a career-best 8.7 SO9. He also posted a 2.1 BB9 and a 1.071 WHIP. The good news is that Sanchez was selected by the Phillies to attend the Arizona Fall League.
- #2 Alec Bohm (3B, Williamsport Crosscutters) finished the season with a .224 SVG. The Phillies first round pick saw limited action due to a knee injury he suffered when he was struck by a pitched ball on July 9th. The 22-year old lost valuable development time and wasn’t activated again until August 20th. He was hitting .192 when he went down. He finished the season 14-55 (.255).
- #3 Adonis Medina (10-4, 4.12)
- #4 Adam Haseley (OF, Reading Phils) batted .316 for the Phils. He was promoted mid-season after posting a .300 AVG for the Threshers in High-A in 79 games (354 plate appearances). He hit a combined 11 HR across both teams.
- #5 JoJo Romero (LHP, Reading Phils) made 18 starts and tossed 106.2 innings before going onto the DL on July 20th. He posted a 7-6 record and 3.80 ERA. He struck out 100 batters (8.4 SO9). Romero ended the season on the DL.
- #6 Mickey Moniak (.270)
- #8 Ranger Suarez (2-0, 2.74)
- #9 Enyel De Los Santos (10-5, 2.63)
- #10 Cole Irvin (14-4, 2.57)
- #11 Arquimedes Gamboa (.214)
- #12 Daniel Brito (.250)
- #13 Francisco Morales (RHP, Williamsport Crosscutters) showed marked regression after a promising 2017 campaign in the GCL. He made 13 starts and pitched 15 more innings but stumbled to a 4-5 record and 5.27 ERA. He was young for the league and his SO9 ticked up to 10.9, but his BB9 also ticked up to 5.3. Morales problem in XST was consistency. It was still a problem in Low-A.
- #14 Luis Garcia (SS, GCL Phillies West) finished the season with a league best .369 AVG. His .433 OBP placed third, his .488 SLG placed 13th, and his .921 OPS placed seventh. These were not only team leading but also the best of both Phillies GCL entries. Garcia’s 33 runs scored were fourth in the league following team mate Yerwin Trejo’s 40. He led the league with 62 hits. Placed second with 32 RBI. Trejo’s 23 stolen bases led the league, Garcia had 12.
- #15 Dylan Cozens (OF, Lehigh Valley IronPigs), at first glance, might have had an indifferent 2018 season. He posted a .246/.345/.529/.873 slash with 21 HR, 58 RBI, 46 BB, and 124 K in 348 plate appearances. He also struggled to a .095 AVG when called up to the parent club during the season. But, his Lehigh Valley slash is in line with his career norms, which are probably skewed by his time in Reading. However, he’ll need to approve on his K% which is still around 35%, although his BB% ticked up to 13.2%.
- #16 Jose Gomez (.224)
- #19 David Parkinson (3-0, 1.24)
- #20 Drew Anderson (9-4, 3.87)
- #21 Kyle Dohy (LHP, Reading Phils) zipped across 3 levels in his second season. He posted a 0.80 ERA in 24 games and 16.8 SO9 in 33.2 innings for Lakewood. He posted a 1.64 ERA and 14.7 SO9 in 11.0 innings for Clearwater. In 22.2 Double-A innings, Dohy has a 5.56 ERA but still posted an 11.9 SO9.
- #22 Cornelius Randolph (OF, Reading Phils) hit .241 as a 21-year old at Reading. He struggled mightily for the first 3 months, hitting .187 on the last day of June. But, he rebounded during the final two months (July 1st thru September 2nd) with a .314 AVG. He posted a .352 AVG in July.
- #23 Connor Seabold (RHP, Reading Phils) was promoted from Clearwater midway thru the season. He posted a combined 5-8 record with a 4.28 ERA. He struck out 132 in 130.1 innings (9.1 SO9) and walked 33 (2.3 BB9).
- #24 Dominic Pipkin (P, GCL Phillies West) finished with a 1-2 record and 3.64 ERA in 10 appearances, 8 starts. In limited action, he pitched 29.2 innings. In a SSS, he posted a 1.180 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.5 K/9.
- #25 Kevin Gowdy (RHP, Williamsport Crosscutters) never made it off the DL as he spent the summer rehabbing from TJ surgery. He has been throwing off a mound and should see action during Instructs. Hopefully.
- #26 Jhordany Mezquita (LHP, Williamsport Crosscutters) made 9 starts before being mysteriously shutdown on August 23rd. He posted a 1-0 record and 3.60 ERA in 35.0 innings, striking out 41. However,he spent the final days of the season on the GCL Phillies West roster.
- #27 Tom Eshelman (2-13, 5.84)
- #28 Colton Eastman (RHP, Williamsport Crosscutters) made 8 starts but was on an innings count and only pitched as many as three innings in his last two starts. He went 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA, but struck out 23 in 18 innings.
The Clearwater Threshers (77-60) finished the season with the best overall record in the Florida State League, 77-60 (.562). They finished the first half in fourth place with a 32-36 (.471) record, but won the second half with a 45-24 (.652) record. They qualified for the North Division playoffs and beat first half winner Daytona 7-6 in the first game on Grenny Cumana’s solo HR in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, they dropped the next two games when they couldn’t protect early leads. The Threshers strength all season was their starting rotation, and the bullpen came on in the second half. They were a little offensively challenged due to the promotion of several key performers – Darrick Hall, Austin Listi, Adam Haseley, and Jose Pujols. In a combined 280 games these four put up some pretty good numbers – in 1064 at bats, 175 runs, 325 hits, 57 doubles, 10 triples, 43 home runs, 176 RBI, 104 BB (8.7%), 262 K (21.9%), and a slash of .305/.377/.499/.876.
The Reading Fightin’ Phils finished the season in fourth place in the Eastern League Eastern Division with 64-73 (.467) record.
The Williamsport Crosscutters finished the season tied for last place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division with a 32-44 (.421) record.
The GCL Phillies East finished in first place in the GCL North Division with a 30-24 record. They lost a one-game semifinal on the road against the Palm Beach Cardinals.
The GCL Phillies West finished in second place in the GCL Northwest Division with a 30-24 (.556) record.
The DSL Phillies Red finished the season 31-40 (.437) in fifth place in the DSL South Division.
The DSL Phillies White finished the season 39-33 (.542) in fourth place in the DSL San Pedro Division.
Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.
The rosters and lists are up to date as of September 8th.
9/7/18–Lehigh Valley activated RHP Tom Eshelman
9/5/18–Lehigh Valley placed RHP Tom Eshelman on the reserve list
9/5/18–SS Malquin Canelo assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/5/18–RHP Tyler Viza assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading
9/5/18–RHP Ismael Cabrera assigned to Lakewood from Reading
9/5/18–RHP Luis Cedeno assigned to Lakewood from Reading
9/5/18–1B Matt Kroon assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport
9/5/18–LHP Kyle Young assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
9/5/18–RHP Luis Ramirez assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
9/5/18–RHP Tyler Fallwell assigned to Williamsport from Lakewood
9/4/18–Philadelphia recalled SS J.P. Crawford from Lehigh Valley