Pitcher Spotlight #1: Ricardo Pinto 7 IP 7 H 1 R 0 ER 1 BB 7 K
Pinto has taken the challenge of full season ball and has not only has stayed steady, but has actually stepped forward in many ways. On the season the Pinto now has 13 walks to 54 strikeouts over 57 innings. He has only failed to go at least 6 innings in one of his 9 starts and has gone 7 innings in 4 games so far. While he lacks physical projection, there is plenty of fastball as he can reach back for 95 late in games. The changeup is a plus pitch and is way more than any Low-A hitter should be reasonably able to handle. His ceiling is dependent upon him developing a usable slider, if it doesn’t come along he could be a very interesting bullpen arm. He could probably use a promotion at some point soon to a level where he can’t succeed just with his ability to attack the strike zone.
Pitcher Spotlight #2: Josh Taylor 7 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 9 K
Taylor cruised into the 7th inning before giving up a walk, home run, single, and double to give Greensboro 3 runs. The big lefty still sports a 5.48 ERA, but his 3.49 FIP show that he has been a bit unlucky (.375 BABIP), but that his 10.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 are pretty solid for a guy with as little pedigree as Taylor. Taylor will sit in the low-90s with his fastball, reaching up for as high as 94-95 when needed and will bring two breaking balls that can range from poor to above average and he may only have the feel for one of the two in a start. The changeup is still a work in progress, but at 6’5″ he has the frame to be a starter. There is enough upside here to be better than a back end starter if it all comes together. It is important to remember he doesn’t have the reps and competition that a typical college starter might have. He should spend the whole year in Lakewood forking through his issues.
Hitter Spotlight: Aaron Brown 5-12 2B (10) HR (2) BB K
The walk was only Brown’s 6th on the year to go with 27 strikeouts, but Brown does have 6 HBPs to boost his on base percentage. This weekend adds to what is now a 7 game hitting streak and he now has a hit in 13 of his last 15 games. Brown came off the DL on May 12 with a .192/.253/.370 line, but thanks to a .318/.375/.455 month he is now hitting .263/.324/.429 on the season. The approach could still be better for Brown, but he is starting to hit enough to let his power some through. Brown still really struggles with LHPs and he probably isn’t a center fielder in this organization, but he could still be a good prospect if he can continue to build on the successes of the past month.
Crawford Promoted to Reading:
As everyone knows by now, on Friday night the Phillies sent J.P. Crawford up from Clearwater to Reading. There is no debate about whether Crawford was ready for the promotion as he dominated the Florida State League in his month there this season. Crawford should handle AA fairly well, though I would expect the quality of contact to suffer at times as he learns to face better pitching. However, as we saw in his opening two games, his approach is going to put him in a position for success, and he is going to continue to draw a fair amount of walks. Clearwater currently looks to be filling their shortstop hole with Angelo Mora who has hit well to this point. However, there are probably enough holes on the Clearwater roster now that promotions of Malquin Canelo, Rhys Hoskins, and Carlos Tocci could happen at some point in the near future.
Reading Rotation Watch:
It has been a rough time in the Reading rotation for everyone not named Aaron Nola has the rotation now stands at:
274 IP 246 H (8.1/9) 103 ER (3.38 ERA) 19 HR (0.6/9) 80 BB (2.6/9) 181 K (5.9/9)
Hits are up, the ERA is up, home runs are still rather stable, walks are down, but so are strikeouts.