Mitch Rupert Looks at ’14 Cutters

October 22nd, 2014

Mitch Rupert is the outstanding Williamsport Crosscutters beat reporter from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette and recently unveiled a new blog post looking at 20 players from the 2014 Crosscutters and their outlooks heading into the 2015 season when most will be with the BlueClaws.

BlueClaws fans are familiar with some of the players listed, such as C Deivi Grullon, who was with Lakewood for six weeks prior to joining Williamsport at the start of their season, OF Jiandido Tromp, who has spent part of the last two seasons with the BlueClaws, and OF Aaron Brown, a 3rd round pick this year who played the last three weeks of the season in Lakewood.

We won’t get into the entire analysis (you can read that by clicking here), but here are Rupert’s top five hitting and pitching prospects from Williamsport this year.

Position Players

  1. C Deivi Grullon
  2. 1B/OF Jose Pujols
  3. OF Cord Sandberg
  4. OF Aaron Brown
  5. OF Jiandido Tromp

Grullon, Sandberg, and Tromp are locks to be in Lakewood when the season opens. Pujols is only 18 and only had a few games in Williamsport this year, so it’s not inconceivable he could stay in extended spring training, come up here if there is an injury, or go back to Williamsport, but I’m sure Pujols will at least have a chance to play his way onto the BlueClaws roster. Brown seems ticketed for Clearwater on Opening Day.

Pitchers

  1. LHP Matt Imhof
  2. RHP Chris Oliver
  3. RHP Ricardo Pinto
  4. LHP Brandon Liebrandt
  5. RHP Edubray Ramos

Imhof will almost certainly be in Clearwater and it’s possible, if not likely, Liebrandt, a 6th round pick this year from Florida State who had a 2.85 ERA and struck out 9.9 hitters per nine innings, will join him there. Ramos, being 21 already and off a sensational season (0.81 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 44 innings), could definitely go to Clearwater, especially if they keep him in the bullpen.

Again, I recommend you read the entire piece from Mitch and we’ll try to get Mitch for a Q&A at some point in the near future as well.

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Arizona Fall League Update

October 22nd, 2014

With another week gone by, let’s check in on the former BlueClaws currently playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Position Players

Logan Moore (2012) – Moore is 1-5 since our last update and is 2-15 in the AFL so far.

Roman Quinn (2013) – Since our last update, Quinn had a four hit, two run, two stolen base game last Wednesday and added another two-hit game on Monday. Then last night (Tuesday), he drew three walks and went 1-2. All in all, he is 12-47 with nine stolen bases in 11 games and has drawn eight walks (walk rate of 14.5%, which is exceptional) while only striking out six times in 55 plate appearances. While it is still early on (games go until the second week of November), the early returns are very positive for Quinn.

For more on Quinn from Phillies.com, click here.

Pitchers

Colton Murray (2012) – Murray has appeared twice since our last update, allowing two runs in one inning last Wednesday and one run in 1/3 of an inning on Saturday. Overall, he has allowed five runs in 5.2 innings but has struck out seven and walked just one.

Ethan Stewart (2012) – Has not pitched since October 11th (we hope is ok) and has allowed one run in 3.1 innings so far.

Lisalverto Bonilla (2011) – Bonilla is the only former BlueClaw in the AFL not representing the Phillies (he’s with the Rangers after being traded for Michael Young following the 2012 season). He’s pitched twice in Arizona, once since our last update, starting and throwing four scoreless innings on Friday. He’s allowed three runs (all in his first appearance) in seven innings so far.

You can follow the Arizona Fall League in more detail by clicking here.

 

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Arizona Fall League Update

October 15th, 2014

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With one week gone by, let’s check in on the former BlueClaws currently playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Position Players

Logan Moore (2012) – Moore has one hit, a single, in 10 ABs so far, but has drawn two walks.

Roman Quinn (2013) – The primary lead-off hitter and center-fielder for Scottsdale, Quinn is 5-25 to start the Fall League, though he had his first two-hit game on Tuesday, going 2-6 with a double and two RBIs. The speedster has added four stolen bases in his first six games.

Pitchers

Colton Murray (2012) – Murray, who had an excellent year between Clearwater and Reading this summer, has allowed two runs in 4.1 innings so far. Both runs were given up in his AFL debut and he responded with two perfect innings, striking out three, on Friday and struck out the lone hitter to face him on Monday.

Ethan Stewart (2012) – Converted to the bullpen during the summer, Stewart earned a spot in Arizona with a stellar second-half of the season. So far in the AFL he has made two appearances. He gave up one earned run in 1.1 innings last Wednesday and threw two scoreless innings on Saturday. He’s struck out six in his 3.1 innings though he has walked five.

Lisalverto Bonilla (2011) – Bonilla, the lone player on this list who is not with the Phillies (he’s with Texas), gave up three runs in three innings as a starter on Saturday night, including a two-run home run to Yankees farmhand Kyle Higashioka.

You can follow the Arizona Fall League in more detail by clicking here.

 

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Phillies Hire Almaraz to Amateur Scouting Director Post

October 8th, 2014

From the Phillies:

The Phillies have hired Johnny Almaraz as the organization’s Director of Amateur Scouting, Benny Looper, Assistant General Manager, Player Personnel announced today.

Almaraz, 49, had spent the last eight seasons (2007-14) with the Atlanta Braves, where he was the director of Latin American operations (2007-09) and more recently the director of international scouting and operations (2010-14).  In his role he oversaw scouting operations for the club outside the United States and Canada, supervised all operations at the Braves’ Dominican Baseball Academy and managed a staff of nearly 20 international scouts.  During his time with the Braves, Almaraz signed, among others, right-hander Julio Teheran and catcher Christian Bethancourt.

Prior to working for the Braves, Almaraz spent 16 years with the Cincinnati Reds in various roles including director of player personnel and director of player development.  As a scout, he was credited with signing a number of future major league players including right-hander Johnny Cueto, outfielder Adam Dunn, catcher Paul Bako and left-hander B.J. Ryan.

“We couldn’t be happier to add someone of Johnny’s caliber to our baseball operations staff,” said Looper.  “He has established a reputation for being able to identify future major league talent and brings a great deal of experience to the Phillies.”

Almaraz pitched for two years in the Reds’ minor league system after being selected in the 14th round of the 1988 draft out of Southwest Texas State University.

You can read more on Almaraz’s appointment from Ryan Lawrence at Philly.com here.

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Baseball America – Crawford #2 Among Sally League Prospects

October 2nd, 2014

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Baseball America is in the process of rolling out their 2014 league top 20 prospect rankings and the South Atlantic League list features SS JP Crawford at #2.

You can see the lists for all of the leagues (with some still to be unveiled) by clicking here.

Crawford, the 16th overall pick in the 2013 draft from Lakewood, California, played two weeks with the BlueClaws at the end of last season and this year, hit .295 with 3 HRs, 19 RBIs and 14 SBs over 60 games with Lakewood. At the All-Star break, he was promoted to Hi-A Clearwater, where he played 63 games and hit .275 with 8 HRs, 29 RBs and 10 SBs.

I’m sure he will also appear on the Florida State League prospect list when it is announced next week.

The Phillies were not represented in the Gulf Coast League top 20 and their lone representative in the NY-Penn League top 20 was Aaron Brown (#18), who played for both Williamsport (.256, 3 HRs, 8 SBs) and Lakewood (.309, 1 HR in 14 games). Brown hit is lone BlueClaws home run in the Labor Day season finale, a 9-8 BlueClaws come-from-behind win in Hagerstown.

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2015 Alumni Review: Pitchers

September 29th, 2014

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With the MLB season concluding yesterday, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of your favorite former BlueClaws and how they performed in the big leagues this year. We’ll get to the position players later.

There are 2,430 games played in each Major League season (30 teams play 162 games each, then divide by two since, obviously, each game features two teams). 114 of those games, or 4.7%, were won by former BlueClaws.

The leader? A guy that was probably 20-1 at the beginning of the season: Alfredo Simon of the Reds. Simon was with the BlueClaws in 2003 (with Cole Hamels). This year with Cincinnati, he went 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA.

Three other former BlueClaws won at least 10 games this year: Jarred Cosart (who won 13 between the Astros and Marlins), JA Happ (who won 11 with Toronto), and Kyle Kendrick (who won 10 with the Phillies).

Cole Hamels (9), Carlos Carrasco (8 with the Indians), and Vance Worley (8 with the Pirates) were next on the list.

Worley, with the BlueClaws in 2008, is the only former BlueClaws pitcher headed to the post-season.

The full list:

Name Team Wins
Alfredo Simon CIN 15
Jarred Cosart MIA/HOU 13
JA Happ TOR 11
Kyle Kendrick PHI 10
Cole Hamels PHI 9
Carlos Carrasco CLE 8
Vance Worley PIT 8
David Buchanan PHI 6
Antonio Bastardo PHI 5
Jake Diekman PHI 5
Josh Outman CLE/NYY 4
Lisalverto Bonilla TEX 3
Justin De Fratus PHI 3
Ken Giles PHI 3
Trevor May MIN 3
Gavin Floyd ATL 2
Mario Hollands PHI 2
Brian Schlitter CHC 2
Hector Neris PHI 1
BJ Rosnberg PHI 1
Bobby Korectky TOR 0
Jonathan Pettibone PHI 0
Josh Zeid HOU 0
114
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The Return Of This Blog

September 29th, 2014

Obviously we have done a bad job maintaining this blog over the last few months, and we are going to try to rectify that over the next few months. So I hope you haven’t forgotten about us over here. Keep checking back and we’ll have some good stuff for you.

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Talking Hitting With Andy Tracy

August 25th, 2014

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Andy Tracy is the Phillies Minor League hitting coordinator and is responsible for all of the hitters in the Phillies minor league system. He spent the weekend with the BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park and we sat down with him to talk about some of the hitters you’ve seen with the BlueClaws this year, a few that have played with the BlueClaws in the past, and a few that will play with the BlueClaws in the future.


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Meet Aaron Brown, Off to Sharp Start With BlueClaws

August 17th, 2014

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Aaron Brown joined the BlueClaws on Thursday from Williamsport, and has seven hits over his first three games with Lakewood. We sat down with Brown, the Phillies third round pick this year from Pepperdine.

The outfielder has played two games in right field and one game in center with Lakewood. He played centerfield with Williamsport and at Pepperdine, where he was also an accomplished pitcher, going 13-1 with a sub-2 ERA this season.

We talked with Brown about the draft process, if he preferred pitching or hitting, and much more.

(The interview was done on Friday after his first game with the BlueClaws.)

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Meet BlueClaws IF Drew Stankiewicz

August 8th, 2014

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It’s not often that a 21 year old rookie has been around professional clubhouses for 10+ years, but that’s the case with BlueClaws infielder Drew Stankiewicz.

We sat down with Drew, whose father Andy played seven years in the big leagues including several seasons with the Yankees. Andy later managed in the Yankees system and is now the head coach at Grand Canyon University

Drew Stantkiewicz began his season with Williamsport before joining the BlueClaws for a week at the end of June. He then went back to Williamsport, where he hit .390 in July and re-joined Lakewood on July 30th, meeting the team in Delmarva.

Listen to the interview below. Stankiewicz talks about getting drafted (11th round this year out of Arizona State), his time as a kid in clubhouses with his father, some of the big leaguers that took him under their wing, and more.

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Strong Pitching Match-up In Series Finale

August 5th, 2014

The BlueClaws and Asheville Tourists finish their three-game series tonight at FirstEnergy Park with a very good pitching match-up lined up. Lakewood LHP Yoel Mecias, a top 25 prospect in their system per Baseball America that has allowed two runs in 15 innings with Lakewood this year, opposes Asheville LHP Kyle Freeland, the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft from Evansville.

Game Notes / Listen Live

Last Game…Jose Mayorga broke a 5-5 tie with an 8th inning RBI single as the BlueClaws topped Asheville 6-5 on Monday night at FirstEnergy Park…Aaron Baker threw three scoreless innings of relief, and pitched around the tying run at second base with nobody out in the 9th inning to preserve the win…Malquin Canelo had a two-run double for the BlueClaws.

Hello Tourists…The BlueClaws welcome in Asheville for a three-game series, their lone meetings in Lakewood this year…The two teams split four games in Asheville April 30 – May 3…Asheville came to Lakewood in 2012 and prior to that, their last visit was in 2007.

Yo, Yoel…Yoel Mecias starts for Lakewood today making his 4th start with the BlueClaws after making four appearances with the GCL Phillies, beginning his rehab following Tommy John Surgery from July, 2013…Mecias began last year with Lakewood and had a 2.53 ERA in 42.2 innings beginning May 1st before his injury, which was in his first start following an apperance in the SAL All-Star Game.

About Asheville’s Starter…Kyle Freeland (Evansvaille) was the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft, taken one after the Phillies drafted Aaron Nola (LSU)…The Phillies drafted Freeland in the 35th round out of high school (2011) but Freeland elected to go to Evansville.

Ted Willians…Willians Astudillo has three straight multi-hit games and has 30 2+ hit games on the season, most on the team…When he stuck out twice on Wednesday, it was the first time he struck out twice in a game all year…He has struck out 17 times in 355 at bats and once every 22.3 plate appearances, the best ratio in the league.

Tocci Them All…It took Carlos Tocci 862 at bats to hit his first professional home run (7/16 at Hickory) and then just 62 more to hit his second, which he hit on Sunday vs Asheville…Tocci is hitting .282 (40-142) since June 29th (was hitting .231 prior) when he moved into the lead-off spot (he has led off all but one game since then – Sunday vs Asheville)…He will turn 19 on August 23rd.

Go Green…Zach Green had three hits in the loss to Ashveille on Sunday, his 16th multi-hit game since re-joining the BlueClaws on 6/11…After going 11-59 with Lakewood in April, he is 54-181 (.298) since returning with 4 HRs and 28 RBIs in 46 games…He was a 3rd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Jesuit High School in Sacramento, where he was a teammate of BlueClaws reliever Dan Child.

Going, Going, Gone…Carlos Tocci (2nd) homered on Sunday vs Asheville while Samuel Hiciano (9th) and Mitch Walding (4th) each homered for the BlueClaws on Friday night at Delmarva…The BlueClaws now have 26 home runs in the second half, led by Dylan Cozens’ six and four each from Zach Green and Andrew Knapp…The BlueClaws have hit 61 home runs (12 more than last year) this season (22 at home/39 on the road, 38 solo shots).

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 3 st, 2-0, 15 IP, 9 H, 2 R/ER, 5 BB, 11 K…2013 (LAK) – 4-3, 3.79 ERA, 57 IP, 53 H, 25 BB, 70 K
News & Notes: Makes his 4th start with Lakewood this year after going 0-1, 4.76 in four rehab starts with the GCL Phillies…Has thrown five innings in all three starts with Lakewood, and has allowed just two earned runs combined…Last time out, gave up one run in five innings against Kannapolis on Tuesday…Phillies #24 prospect per Baseball America entering season…Went 4-3, 3.79 with Lakewood last year and pitched in SAL All-Star Game before getting hurt and having Tommy John Surgery.
Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (5, 6/23 vs GCL Yan)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)
Last Three Appearances: 7/29 vs KAN (W): 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K…7/24 vs GRE: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K…7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K

Asheville – Kyle Freeland

About: 21 year old, 6-3, 170 pound LHP from Denver, Colorado
How Acquired: 1st round pick (8th overall), 2014 draft from Evansville
Stats: 2014 (Grand Junction) – 5 st, 1-0, 1.56 ERA, 17.1 IP, 16 H, 2 BB, 15 K
News & Notes: Makes his first start with Asheville after going 1-0, 1.56 in 17.1 innings with Grand Junction in the Pioneer League…Threw a season-long five innings last time out on Thursday, allowing no runs on three hits while striking out five against Idaho Falls…8th overall pick in this year’s draft…Led Cape Cod League in strikeouts, with 2.25 ERA, in 2013…Drafted by Phillies in 35th round out of high school in 2011 but did not sign.

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Imhof Takes Hill As Claws Open Homestand

August 3rd, 2014

Matt Imhof, the Phillies 2nd rd pick this year from Cal-Poly, takes the mound today as the BlueClaws open a three-game series with Asheville at 5:05.

Game Notes / Listen Live

Last GameThe BlueClaws and Delmarva got rained out on Saturday at Perdue Stadium…The game will be made up on Friday at FirstEnergy Park (time as of now TBD).

Hello Tourists…The BlueClaws welcome in Asheville for a three-game series, their lone meetings in Lakewood this year…The two teams split four games in Asheville April 30 – May 3…Asheville came to Lakewood in 2012 and prior to that, their last visit was in 2007.

Going For Three…The BlueClaws are looking for their 6th three-game winning streak of the season today against Asheville…Their season long win streak is five (4/26 – 5/1)…They have two three-game winning streaks in the second half, most recently through July 17th against Hickory and Kannapolis.

Going, Going, Gone…Samuel Hiciano (9th) and Mitch Walding (4th) each homered for the BlueClaws on Friday night at Delmarva…The BlueClaws now have 25 home runs in the second half, led by Dylan Cozens’ six and four each from Zach Green and Andrew Knapp…The BlueClaws have hit 60 home runs (11 more than last year) this season (21 at home/39 on the road, 37 solo shots).

Crushing Cozens…Dylan Cozens is 39-114 (.342) since July 1st (hit safely in 22 of 30) with 13 multi-hit games and five home runs…He hit 5 HRs in July to lead the BlueClaws including two in the 7/15 win at Hickory…Cozens leads the BlueClaws and all Phillies minor leaguers with 14 home runs…Cozens and JaCoby Jones of WV are the only Sally Leaugers with at least 14 HRs and 14 SBs.

Stankiewicz Back With Claws…Drew Stankiewicz re-joined the BlueClaws on Wednesday from Williamsport after hitting .390 in July with the Crosscutters…He spent a week with Lakewood between June 23rd and 30th and went 4-23…He was drafted in the 11th round this year out of Arizona State…His father Andy had a seven-year big league career and is now the head coach at Grand Canyon University in Arizona.

Hey Willians…Willians Astudillo has back to back multi-hit games and has 29 2+ hit games on the season, most on the team…When he stuck out twice on Wednesday, it was the first time he struck out twice in a game all year…He has struck out 17 times in 351 at bats and once every 21.9 plate appearances, the best ratio in the league.

Lakewood – Matt Imhof

About: 20 year old, 6-5, 220 pound LHP from Hayward, California
How Acquired: 2nd round pick (47th overall) from Cal Poly, 2014 draft
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 2 st, 0-1, 8 IP, 9 H, 4 R/3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K…2014 (WPT) – 3 st, 1-0, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 4 BB, 11 K
News & Notes: Makes his 3rd start with Lakewood and first against Asheville…Gave up one run on four hits in five innings against Kannapolis in the first game of a Sunday double-header at FirstEnergy Park…Gave up three runs/two earned in three innings against Kannapolis on 7/19 in his BlueClaws debut…Phillies 2nd rd pick (47th overall) in this year’s draft was 6th in the nation in strikeouts/nine innings at Cal-Poly this year…Gave up one run in 12 innings with Williamsport before joining the BlueClaws.
Season Highs…IP (5, 2x last 7/27 vs KAN)…Rs (3, 7/19 at KAN)…ERs (2, 7/19 at KAN)…Ks (5, 7/7 at MV)…BBs (2, 7/2 at JAM)
Last Three Appearances: 7/27 vs KAN (L): 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K…7/19 at KAN: 3 IP, 5 H, 3 R/2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K…7/13 vs TRI (W): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

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Mecias, Claws Wrap Up Homestand

July 29th, 2014

Yoel Mecias and the BlueClaws wrap up a homestand this morning at 11:05 am against Kannapolis. Lakewood is 3-4 on the homestand after winning three of the first four games.

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

State of the Claws…The BlueClaws have dropped three straight games, losing the double-header to Kannapolis on Sunday and 5-3 on Monday night…They are back to 10 games out of first place, which is their largest deficit of the second half…A loss today would drop them to 26 games under.500 on the season, which would be their low-water mark on the year.

An Intimidating Foe…The BlueClaws welcome in Kannapolis for a five-game, four-day series …Lakewood won the opener Saturday but Kannapolis has won the last three games includinga  double-header sweep on Sunday…Kannapolis leads the season series 7-2, taking two of three last weekend in Kannapolis and two straight in Lakewood in May.

A Link From the Past…Before the BlueClaws debuted in 2001, the Phillies SAL affiliate was in Kannapolis as the Piedmont Boll Weevils…Lakewood manager Greg Legg led the 2000 Boll Weevils to a 90-47 record and the post-season.

What’s Next…After today, the BlueClaws open a four-game series in Delmarva on Wednesday night…Lakewood is 6-13 against Delmarva this year and 5-6 at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.

Mitch Splash…Mitch Walding is 22-58 with 11 doubles and a triple in his last 16 games…After starting July 0-12 and falling to .199, he is 26-73 (.356) with 14 doubles, a triple and a home run…Walding who was with Lakewood last year, was activated on 4/29 after missing three weeks with a rib injury…He was a 5th round pick in the 2011 draft from Lodi, California.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 33-98 (.337) in July (hit safely in 19 of 26) with 10 multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on 7/15 at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lakewood – Yoel Mecias

About: 20 year old, 6-2, 160 pound LHP from Miranda, Venezuela

How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010

Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 2 st, 1-0, 10 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K…2013 (LAK) – 13 g/11 st, 4-3, 3.79 ERA, 57 IP, 53 H, 25 BB, 70 K

News & Notes: Makes his 3rd start with Lakewood this year and first against Kannapolis…Gave up one run on two hits in five innings against Greenville on Wednesday and two hits over five scoreless innings at Hickory on 7/15, earning the win…After having Tommy John Surgery last July, he made four rehab appearances with the GCL Phillies, going 0-1, 4.76 in four starts…Was with Lakewood last year, going 4-3, 3.79 and making the SAL All-Star team…Is the #24 prospect in system per Baseball America.

Season Highs…IP (5.2, 7/9 at GCL Ya)…Rs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)…ERs (3, 2x last 7/3 at GCL Br)…Ks (5, 6/23 vs GCL Yan)…BBs (4, 6/28 at GCL Ti)

Last Three Appearances: 7/24 vs GRE: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K…7/15 at HIC (W): 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K…7/9 at GCL Yan: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K

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Tocci, BruceClaws Take Field Tonight

July 26th, 2014

Carlos Tocci has led off every game for Lakewood since June 29th and in those games he is hitting .324 with 10 mutli-hit games, including another one last night. He leads the BruceClaws on the field tonight against Kannapolis at 7:05 (tonight is Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night).

Game Notes / Listen Live (at 6:50)

BruceClaws…The BlueClaws become the BruceClaws tonight for Bruce Springsteen Appreciation Night, wearing special BruceClaws jerseys that will be auctioned off to benefit BlueClaws Charities…They are 4-2 as the BruceClaws and lost to Greenville last year 4-3.

An Intimidating Foe…The BlueClaws welcome in Kannapolis for a five-game, four-day series that incldues a double-header on Sunday…Kannapolis leads the season series 4-1, taking two of three last weekend in Kannapolis and two straight in Lakewood in May.

A Link From the Past…Before the BlueClaws debuted in 2001, the Phillies SAL affiliate was in Kannapolis as the Piedmont Boll Weevils…Lakewood manager Greg Legg led the 2000 Boll Weevils to a 90-47 record and the post-season.

Leading-Off…Carlos Tocci has hit safely in five straight games (9-20)…He is 33-102 (.324) since June 29th with 10 multi-hit games since moving into the lead-off spot in the order – he’s led off every game since then afer Samuel Hiciano led off seven of the first nine times in the second half…Tocci hit his first professional home run on 7/16 in Hickory, which came in his 862nd professional at bat – he debuted with the GCL Phillies in 2012 and has spent the last two years with the BlueClaws.

An Offensive Month…The BlueClaws are hitting .269 in July having scored 97 runs in 22 games (4.4 runs per game)…They hit .248 over the first three months of the season and scored 3.9 runs per game…Dylan Cozens (.333) and Carlos Tocci (.326) are hitting over .300 for the BlueClaws this month.

Pullin Along…Andrew Pullin has hit safely in four straight games and eight of his last nine (13-38) and is 60-187 (.321) since June 1st after hitting .232 in April and May…The left-handed hitting second baseman has struck out a total of 50 times in 289 at bats since the start of May after striking out 25 times in 79 April at bats.

Cozens Party…Dylan Cozens is 28-84 (.333) in July (hit safely in 16 of 22) with eight multi-hit games and four home runs after hitting two on 7/15 at Hickory…He had an eight-game hitting streak snapped on 7/8 at Hagerstown…His 13 home runs lead the BlueClaws and the Phillies minor league system…Cozens was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2012 from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Lakewood – Ranfi Casimiro

About: 22 year old, 6-8, 200 pound RHP from Santiago, Dominican Republic
How Acquired: Amateur Free Agent, signed 2010
Stats: 2014 (LAK) – 19 st, 2-9, 5.80 ERA, 90 IP, 98 H, 50 BB, 59 K…2013 (GCL) – 2-6, 5.21 ERA, 48.1 IP, 66 H, 15 BB, 30 K
News & Notes: Makes his 20th start of the year and 3rd against Kannapolis (7 ER in 9.2 IP)…Faced Kannapolis last time out last Friday, allowing four runs in five innings…In his last five starts, Casimiro has allowed 23 ER in 24 innings pitched on 32 hits with 17 walks and 15 strikeouts…He had a 2.80 ERA in his previous eight starts after an 8.39 ERA in his first six starts of the year…One two members of Lakewood’s rotation (Tyler Viza) that has been in rotation all year…Spent last two season in Gulf Coast League before joining Lakewood.
Season Highs…IP (7, 7/2 vs HAG)…Rs (9, 4/18 at HAG)…ERs (6, 7/7 at HAG)…Ks (8, 2x last 6/9 vs HAG)…BBs (7, 6/27 at WV)
Last Three Appearances: 7/18 at KAN: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K…7/12 vs DEL (L): 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K…7/7 at HAG (L): 3 IP, 10 H, 6 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K

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