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Minor League Mash-Up: Medina, Suarez off to hot starts

Dylan Cozens / Photo by: Lauren McLaughlin

The 2018 minor league baseball season is already two weeks old, and it’s time to take our first look at the progress and performance of the teams and prospects down on the farm.

Team Records (as of Monday)

  • Lehigh Valley 6-4
  • Reading 4-7
  • Clearwater 2-9
  • Lakewood 5-6

Notable Performances (as of Sunday)

  • Adonis Medina, the system’s No. 4 prospect, put on a show in his first outing of 2018, going 5.1 innings, striking out five, and allowing five hits and one walk. Medina did not allow a run as Clearwater thumped Dunedin 8-0.
  • No. 25 prospect Cole Irvin had an impressive outing last week as he struck out 10 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre batters in only five innings of work. Irvin allowed two runs and received a no decision in an eventual Lehigh Valley loss.
  • Slugger Dylan Cozens launched his first two homers of the season last Friday. The No. 18 prospect drove in three while going 3-for-5 in a 9-5 Lehigh Valley win over Louisville.
  • Reading catcher Deivi Grullon slugged two homers and drove in four in a 12-4 Reading pounding of Portland last Thursday.
  • No. 11 prospect Ranger Suarez had a bounce-back outing in his second start of the season for Reading, going six strong innings while allowing two runs. Suarez struck out six and did not allow a walk. (On Monday he struck out 10 and gave up just six hits in eight innings.)
  • Top prospect Sixto Sanchez made his 2018 debut on Sunday. Sanchez struggled, going four innings while allowing seven hits, four runs and four walks. Sanchez did strike out six and his fastball reached 101 mph, so once the rust is shaken off, Sanchez should be back to his dominant form.

Off to a Hot Start (as of Sunday)

  • No.14 Enyel De Los Santos is off to a great start in Lehigh Valley. The righty, who was acquired in the Galvis trade, has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings of work. He has a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 3-14 and has a WHIP of 1.50.
  • Franklyn Kilome boasts a 3.86 ERA in two starts for Reading. The No.9 prospect has gone 9.1 innings only allowing six hits. Opponents are hitting .194 off of the big righty.
  • Roman Quinn almost made the Phillies out of camp and the Lehigh Valley outfielder is showing he can play at the next level early on in 2018. The No.16 prospect is hitting .310 while scoring six runs and swiping four bases. His approach has also been good as he’s struck out six times and walked four.
  • Fellow Lehigh Valley outfielder Dylan Cozens is also mashing early on. The No. 18 prospect has a slash line of .290/.378/.516 with two homers and five RBI. Cozens has struck out 13 times already, however.
  • Clearwater first baseman Darick Hall is not on prospect lists, but the 24-year-old has been off to a huge start with five homers and nine RBI; he’s also hitting .270.

Early Struggles (as of Sunday)

  • Former first-overall pick and No. 5 prospect Mickey Moniak is not off to an ideal start. He’s slashing .175/.214/.225 with only two extra base hits and no RBI.
  • Former first rounder and Clearwater outfielder Adam Haseley has had some early struggles as well. The No. 6 prospect is hitting .225 with a homer and six RBI.
  • No. 7 prospect Jhailyn Ortiz is off to a start to forget as he’s hitting .100 (3-for-30) with no extra base hits or RBI. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is 3-14. This is Ortiz’s first year of full-season ball.
  • The system’s top lefty, JoJo Romero, has been roughed up early for Reading as he has a 8.00 ERA in two starts. He’s given up 11 hits and five walks in nine innings. He’s only struck out four and opponents are hitting .289 off of him.
  • No. 15 prospect Tom Eshelman is off to a bad start as he has a 5.40 ERA in two starts for Lehigh Valley. He’s given up 17 hits and four homers in 11.2 innings, and opponents are hitting .347. His control has not been bad though, as his walk-to-strikeout ratio is 2-13.

It’s not uncommon for young players to struggle early in the year, especially if they are in a new level of the system. We saw J.P. Crawford struggle mightily in his first two weeks with the Phillies this year before getting hot this past week. The hope is that the same can be said for these notable top prospects along with other youngsters in the system.

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