The Philadelphia Phillies minor league system is greatly improved, and a number of the players have received invitations to All-Star games for their individual performances.
With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game just a couple of weeks away now, there has been some speculation as to who might represent the Phillies in the Mid-Summer Classic.
The way that things are currently unfolding for the team, it would appear that the two players with the best chance to represent the Phillies are center fielder Odubel Herrera and closer Jeanmar Gomez.
Whatever happens regarding the All-Star situation at the big league level, the improvement in both talent and competitiveness at the Phillies’ minor league level is now being rewarded with All-Star recognition for those players and prospects as well.
Three members of the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs just received notice that they have been selected for the AAA All-Star Game, which will be played on Wednesday, July 13th at BB&T Bank Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina and will be televised on the MLB Network.
IronPigs closer Edward Mujica, who has 10 years of big league experience, has 19 Saves. Despite some poor peripheral numbers, he has been selected to the game, joining catcher Andrew Knapp and outfielder Cam Perkins.
Two members of the AA Reading Fightin’ Phils squad, starting pitcher Ricardo Pinto and outfielder Dylan Cozens, have been selected to participate in the prestigious MLB All-Star Futures Game, which will be played on Sunday, July 10th at San Diego’s Petco Park.
The Fightin’ Phils are also expected to have at least a few players selected for the Eastern League All-Star Game to be played in Portland, Maine on July 15th. Fan voting ended on Sunday, and results are expected to be announced soon.
A full nine members of the Phillies High-A Clearwater Threshers affiliate were named to the Northern squad for the Florida State League All-Star Game, which was already held on Monday, June 20th at St. Lucie, Florida.
That large group of Threshers was made up of pitchers Tom Eshelman, Elniery Garcia, and Alexis Rivero, catcher Chase Numata, 1st baseman Zach Green, 2nd baseman Scott Kingery, 3rd baseman Mitch Walding, and outfielders Cord Sandberg and Carlos Tocci.
Eshelman got the start for the North in the FSL All-Star contest, which the North went on to win by a 1-0 score in a pitching dominated game. In one inning, he allowed no runs or hits, striking out one and walking one.
“I knew coming in here we were going to be pretty good arms-wise, but I didn’t think we’d be that good,” Eshelman said per MiLB.com contributor Erin Brown. “It was definitely fun to be a part of and humbling since this was my first All-Star bid.”
Three members of the Low-A Lakewood BlueClaws were invited to the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which was played on Thursday, June 23rd in Asheville, North Carolina.
Pitcher Luke Leftwich was added to the roster just ahead of the game, joining outfielder Jose Pujols and 2nd baseman Josh Tobias. The trio helped the North to a 2-1 victory in the contest.