Saturday – Lakewood – Chris Oliver vs Spencer Adams
A matchup of 2014 draft picks, Adams was the White Sox’s 2nd round pick (#44 overall) last year. The projectable HS RHP dominated last year with a fastball that topped out at 96, and made it onto some Top 100 prospect lists this past year. Oliver struggled with his control though his last start, but he only ended up allowing 3 runs over 6 innings and has a 2.57 ERA on the year. Oliver has had a lot of success with keeping the ball on the ground, and it will be important if he can get back to not walking guys and generating that type of weak contact.
Lehigh Valley: (@Rochester)
The IronPigs are now without their top hitter (for good reason), but they do have Cody Asche, Domonic Brown and some 40 man roster starting pitchers. Severino and Joely have both been rough at times, but Severino was good in his first 5 innings last time out, and Joely is coming off his best start since joining the Phillies organization. The Phillies have a lot of potential starting pitching openings on the majors league level, but there are suddenly a lot of minor league names that are trying for those starts.
Reading: (vs Erie)
Reading starters after Nola are still listed as TBD, but the rotation has been pretty consistent to this point. Reading continues to be pretty consistent, Nola is amazing, Roman Quinn and Aaron Altherr have gone between great and very solid, and the rest of the rotation has had its ups and down. Reading isn’t boring, but a lot of the guys here are fairly static in terms of what type of player they are. We are looking for the little things now, like polish and consistency that allow their abilities to work in the majors.
Clearwater: (vs Daytona)
Crawford is back (still). Aaron Brown is back from the DL, but Zach Green is on it now. Top that all off with a clubhouse devastated by illness and it has not been a smooth week for the Threshers. I am intrigued by newest addition, Chase Numata, Numata a switch hitting catcher has been around since 2011 without great results and with lots of injuries. That tells me the Phillies like the former HS SS and I would like to see what he can do. Otherwise it would be nice to see Pullin (power), Knapp (strikeouts), and Cozens (power) put together more complete stat lines as well as to see Crawford really dominate the league with hard contact and not just his plate discipline.
Same guys for Lakewood again this weekend. Ranfi and Garcia are coming off good starts, making it 3 solid outing for Ranfi in a row. Outside of Saturday’s matchup, all eyes will be on the hitting for Lakewood which continues to get paced by Malquin Canelo, Carlos Tocci, and Rhys Hoskins. Outside of that trio the offense has been ice cold. Jiandido Tromp is coming off a 3-4 night with 3 XBHs so it will be interesting to see if he can carry that into jump starting his season.
Image of Ranfi Casimiro taken by Baseball Betsy