This season, outfielder Kelly Dugan has shown why the Phillies once selected him with their top draft choice (2nd round, 2009). Earlier this season, the California native tallied a .318 average along with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 56 games with Class A Advanced Clearwater. Since being promoted to Double-A Reading, the 22-year-old lefty hitter has posted a .274 average with four doubles, a home run and three RBI in 16 games.
In the past Dugan was held back by injuries, but now the youngster is finally excelling in the Phillies’ developmental ranks and fully looks like he belongs at the upper levels of the minors.
Recently, Kelly shared some thoughts on transitioning to the Eastern League, having some friends and family checking out his Double-A debut and more.
– I know you had some family in Trenton for your first weekend in Double-A. Talk a bit about who was there.
Aw, yeah, my dad (movie director Dennis Dugan) and Richard and Beverly Kline (Richard played Larry on TV’s Three’s Company). They’re friends. They live in New Jersey, in Orange, so they were just (there) visiting.
– Was the visit impromptu? Or was dad planning to be in Florida and changed plans after you were promoted?
No, they were in New York. They were gonna go hang out over there for a while and they just- it was about an hour drive and they just happened to be over there, so they came down.
– You’ve had some good offensive success in the early going since joining the Double-A Reading team. What can you share about that?
Just trying to get good pitches to hit and the pitching, obviously the quality (of that) is a step above, so that means you have to be more disciplined and keep doing what you’re doing.
– I know in one of your first couple games in Trenton, you had a fielding error in the outfield. Obviously, that’s going to happen at every level, but is there a greater level of disappointment the higher you go?
No, there’s no level of disappointment. Those things are gonna happen, like you said. And, you know, you just work on everything you work on in the field. I take my defense seriously and it’s just one of those things. The grass is really thick here, so I just went after it right away. I thought I was going to get the guy out at home and, so you don’t even think about it. I just happened and it hit the grass and just sticks like the rough. If you look at it, the grass here is a lot thicker than the Florida grass. So, it is what it is. I’ve got to just work on it.
– You’ve got guys on the roster with Reading that you’ve teamed with before…even guys like Maikel Franco and Colby Shreve this year in Clearwater. Does having familiar teammates make the transition to a new team or new level easier?
Yeah, I know most of the guys, so I was comfortable right away. You know, I know most of them. Some new, but from spring training, I know most of the guys. It’s a good group of guys and I’m just excited to be here.