Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs:
It’s been a struggle for the Phillies AAA team this year as the Iron Pigs sit at 8-20, nearly a month into the season. One of the positives has clearly been one of the Phils top prospects, third baseman Maikel Franco. Playing in 26 games, Franco is batting .327 on the season with 14 extra base hits including 2 HR’s and a team leading 16 RBI. The offense overall though has struggled with their power numbers though. Their 8 team HR’s rank near the bottom of the International League.
The pitching for the Iron Pigs, while not good, has been better than what their records leads on. One of the strengths of the bullpen has been right-hander Seth Rosin. Rosin, the former Rule V pick returned to the Phillies after stint with the Texas Rangers. Rosin has seen action in 11 games for the Iron Pigs this season, carrying a 2.16 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings pitched.
Reading Fightin Phils:
The Fightin Phils were supposed to be arguably the best of the Phillies minor league teams in 2015. Littered with some of the Phillies top pitching prospects, Reading for the most part, haven’t disappointed. Through 25 games, the team sits at 15-10, good for second place in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League.
The offensive sparkplug continues to be center fielder Roman Quinn. Playing in all 25 games, Quinn is batting .310 with 5 double, 5 triples, and 2 home runs. His 22 runs scored not only leads the team, but is double the next closest on the roster, shortstop KC Serna and first baseman Art Charles. His speed continues to be an asset to his game. His 11 stolen bases not only lead the team, but also the entire Eastern League.
The Threshers sit at 13-14 on the season, a near .500 records that they’ve sat at for much of the season. While there have been a few bright spots on the offensive side of the ball, one of the surprises has been left-handed pitcher Brandon Leibrandt. The lanky, 6’4” starter has been solid through 5 starts, but his stats have been better than what his 2-1 record shows. In 31 innings pitched, Leibrandt has a 1.74 ERA with 28 strikeouts and just 6 walks. Leibrandt has built off of his late season success in 2014 splitting time between the Gulf Coast Phillies and Williamsport Crosscutters. The 2014 6th round pick out of Florida State University could be looking at a promotion to AA if his early season success continues.
A month into the season and Lakewood sits right where they started the season, at .500. The BlueClaws sit at 13-13 early in the South Atlantic League year, right in the middle of the pack.
Similar to Clearwater, there have been a few bright spots on the BlueClaws this year. The biggest one on the offensive side has been first baseman Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins, the 2014 5th round pick out of Cal State Sacramento, is batting .323 with 13 extra base hits. His 4 HR and 16 RBI are team leading, a promising sign for the big league club that eventually needs to find a long-term replacement for Ryan Howard.