Here’s a look at last night’s action around the Phillies minor league system, highlighted by a top prospect continuing his dominance:
Reading – After a tough outing his last time on the mound, Kyle Drabek bounced back with his best start in over a month, moving his record to 6-1 with a win against Altoona. The 6-foot, 185-pound righty tossed 8 innings of 2-run ball, allowing 6 hits and a walk while striking out 7 batters. When he wasn’t striking out the Curve, he was keeping the ball on the ground, producing 12 groundouts against just 5 air outs. It’s looking more and more like it would be in the Phillies best interest to keep Drabek off limits in all trade discussions over the next week.
Williamsport – At just 18 years old, Sebastian Valle is making some noise with the Crosscutters. A week ago the lefty catcher slugged two homers and knocked in 5 runs, and he has kept up the hot streak since then. Over the past 8 games he is batting .424 (14-for-33) with 6 doubles after a 3-for-4 effort last night. The 6-foot-1 Mexican native has hit .388 in 22 games with Williamsport, with an unbelievable 1.171 OPS. Valle turns 19 tomorrow, but he’s already having a monster season on the farm.
Lehigh Valley – A postponement of his start earlier this week raised questions about Kyle Kendrick’s future with the Phillies. With the Phils desperately in need of a bench bat, it was only fair to assume he might be on the trading block. Kendrick would seemingly be a good fit for a team looking to unload a utility player for an extra rotation arm. Well, last night Kendrick’s string of impressive outings came to an end, as he allowed 5 runs in 7.1 innings against Charlotte to take the loss. Even in the losing effort, though, Kendrick continued to show he is capable of lasting deep into ballgames, a sign that he is ready to play in the majors again. Over his last 6 starts he has pitched 44.2 innings, an average of 7.1 per start.
Michael Taylor ripped a double and scored a run in 4 at-bats. His average at triple-A sits at .208 after his first week with the Iron Pigs. Lou Marson was also 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI, keeping his average at .303.
Clearwater – The Threshers dropped a 4-2 game with Charlotte, as Mike Cisco had his second poor outing in a row after a month-long stretch with an ERA of 1.38. Last night Cisco gave up 4 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings. Dominic Brown was 0-for-4 in the loss, while Steve Susdorf was 1-for-4 with a double. Susdorf’s average through 25 games with Clearwater is a spectacular .408.
Reliever Scott Mathieson pitched another scoreless inning out of the ‘pen, allowing a hit and striking out two. His ERA in 10 innings between the GCL and Clearwater this season is still spotless, and he has struck out 12 batters.
Lakewood – Catcher Travis d’Arnaud led the charge as the Blue Claws beat Asheville, 6-2. He was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and two walks, bumping his average up to .245. Justin De Fratus bounced back after allowing 9 runs in his last start to go 7.2 innings and give up just one run. He gave up 5 hits and struck out 7 while walking none, bringing his ERA down to 3.67.
GCL Phillies – Still on a rehab assignment before he rejoins Lehigh Valley, Jason Donald went 2-for-2 with a double, RBI and a run. He was playing at DH, though, so he should still need a few games to get back in shape before moving back up.