|Crosscutters take the field in a 2018 game
(Photo by Ruhrfisch has been cropped/shrunk)
The Williamsport Crosscutters became the Class A-Short Season minor league affiliates of the Philadelphia Phillies following the 2006 season.
The Crosscutters play their home games in a facility known as BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. It is currently the second-oldest ballpark in minor league baseball, having opened way back in 1926.
Williamsport is located in north-central Pennsylvania, approximately 180 miles from Philadelphia. It’s about a three-and-a-half hour drivefrom the Philly area using either I-76 or I-476.
In this recently completed 2018 season the Crosscutters finished at 32-44, tied for fifth (last) place in the Pinckney Division of the New York-Penn League.
This year’s Crosscutters Player of the Year is Ben Pelletier. The 6-2, 190lb left fielder turned 20 years old in late August. He was the 34th round selection of the Phillies in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft out of high school in his native Canada.
Pelletier began the season playing for the Phillies Gulf Coast League East affiliate. He was promoted to short-season Williamsport on June 15.
Over 286 plate appearances across 69 games with the Crosscutters, Pelletier slashed .277/.333/.480 this season. His nine home runs, 45 RBI, and 29 runs scored led Williamsport in each of those offensive categories. In mid-August, Pelletier was named the New York-Penn League’s Player of the Week.
Back in early August, Mitch Rupert at the Sun-Gazette quoted Pelletier on how pitchers have changed their approach with him as the successful season unfolded: “I think I see more and more junk every day. I started the season seeing fastballs. But I’m seeing more off-speed than I did last year or the years before. I have to get used to it a little bit.”
Williamsport manager Pat Borders was quoted by Rupert on his young slugger’s performance and demeanor hitting in the middle of the lineup.
“He’s got a different kind of pop. The ball jumps off his bat a little different than most…He carries himself a little bit more mature…he’s gotten used to the type of attack you get in that hole because it commands a little bit of respect. His growth has been pretty good over the course of the season so far.”
Though not ranked among the Phillies organizational top prospects by any of the major scouting or evaluation sites at this point, Pelletier did show up among the “other top vote-getters” section of the Reading Eagle’s top thirty Phillies prospects survey released on September 1.
Pelletier could find himself starting to show up on more top prospect lists in 2019 should he repeat this caliber of performance. He is currently getting extra at-bats as part of the team’s instructional league entry.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Williamsport Crosscutters Player of the Year: Ben Pelletier“