Tag Archives: Brendan Rodgers

For a second straight series a top opposition prospect bat debuts against the Phillies

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Brendan Rodgers was the third overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft

For the second straight series, Citizens Bank Park has been part of the introductory process to Major League Baseball for the top prospect of the Philadelphia Phillies opposition.

Earlier in the week, top Milwaukee Brewers prospect Keston Hiura made his big-league debut. The 22-year-old second baseman was the Brewers’ first round selection at ninth overall in the 2017 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of California-Irvine.
Hiura went just 2-12 over his first three games, with both hits coming in his first start on Tuesday night. But all the California native has ever done is hit, wherever he has played. He was tearing up the Triple-A Pacific Coast League to the tune of a .333/.408/.698 slash line with 11 homers, 24 extra-base hits, 26 RBIs, and 23 runs scored prior to his promotion.
Last night in South Philly it was the visiting Colorado Rockies turn to break in their top prospect. Like Hiura, Brendan Rodgers is also an infielder who was their first round choice, going at third overall in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Florida high school.
Also like Hiura, Rodgers had been tearing his way through the Pacific Coast League when he got the call. He was slashing .356/.421/.644 at Albuquerque with 20 extra-base hits, nine homers, 21 RBIs, and 34 runs scored.

Rodgers made his big-league debut with the Rockies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. (David B. King)
A natural shortstop, Rodgers is expected to play mostly second base in Colorado, the position at which he debuted last night. That is due to the presence of All-Star shortstop Trevor Story already in the lineup for manager Bud Black.
Watching talented young hitters such as this make their entry into the big-leagues, Phillies fans have begun to wonder, where is ours? When will a legitimate top young hitter again come out of the Phillies minor league system and establish himself as a force in Major League Baseball?
In recent years we have seen just one. Rhys Hoskins was 24-years-old when he debuted in August 2017. Since that time, Hoskins has developed into a legitimate star. He is the cleanup hitter for a first-place Phillies team, leading the club with 11 home runs, 36 RBIs, and 21 extra-base hits while slashing .273/396/.558 against big-league pitching.
The last great Phillies team developed a host of home-grown talents who would eventually grow into a World Series championship team. That group included a position-player core made up of Jimmy RollinsChase UtleyRyan Howard, and Carlos Ruiz.
The Phillies have become a contender this year in large part thanks to the front office going out and obtaining talented, proven veterans who became stars in other organizations such as Bryce HarperAndrew McCutchenJean SeguraJ.T. Realmuto, and Jake Arrieta.
Getting the next young, talented, home-grown hitter into the Phillies lineup as a legitimate force, ala Hoskins, would be huge for this team. It would add impact talent at a minimal cost for years to come. But does the organization have such a player nearly ready to contribute?
In five of the last six drafts, the Phillies have selected a hitter. The lone exception was the one player who has already impacted the team, pitcher Aaron Nola, who was taken at seventh overall in the 2014 draft process.
Former top prospect J.P. Crawford played in 78 games with the Phillies over parts of the 2017-18 seasons. (Ian D’Andrea)
None of the five hitters chosen has made a true impact with the Phillies as yet. Shortstop J.P. Crawford was taken at 16th overall in 2013. He was the club’s top prospect for a number of years but never impressed, finally being dealt away to Seattle this past winter as part of the deal to bring in Segura.
Three of the others were outfielders chose among the top ten players in the draft. Cornelius Randolph (10th overall 2015), Mickey Moniak (1st overall – 2016) and Adam Haseley (8th overall – 2018) are all still trying to establish themselves in the minor leagues. None appears close to pushing their way into the Phillies plans at this point.
However, that next great, young Phillies hitter may indeed be out there on the not-too-distant horizon. Last year’s top draft pick, 22-year-old third baseman Alec Bohm, is tearing up the lower levels of the minor leagues.
Bohm is slashing .343/.405/.552 across Low-A Lakewood and High-A Clearwater so far this spring. He has 19 extra-base hits and 23 runs scored and is the consensus top prospect in the organization.
The Phillies were never really worried about Bohm’s ability to hit. The more important concern has been whether or not the big 6’5″ masher could remain at the hot corner as he developed. While he may never be a Gold Glover, he appears to be progressing well on defense.
Organizational infield coordinator Chris Truby made the following observations back in November per Jim Salisbury for Baseball America:
Alec has an awesome mentality. He wants to be a third baseman…he came in with a little chip on his shoulder to prove to people that he could be a third baseman and he’s putting in the work and time and doing everything in his power to make that happen. I don’t know that he’s ever taken defense as seriously as he is now. He has made tremendous strides since Day One to the end of instructional league. We all know and see he’s going to hit. He’s taking this defense thing personally. He wants to be a total player.
He’s moving better laterally and he’s quicker over there,” said Charlie Manuel, the manager of that 2008 Phillies championship team, per Salisbury.
Bohm is the same age as Hiura and Rodgers, which is not to say that he needs to get to Philadelphia this year. However, if he continues to rake at his current levels and is playing solid defense, there is no reason that fans of the Double-A Reading club shouldn’t expect to see him this summer.
Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez, two stalwarts of the losing years over the last handful of seasons with the Phillies, are squarely on notice. Bohm with Franco and Scott Kingery with Hernandez are clearly developing into the future of the third and second base positions with the team.
That is who you are most likely to find becoming the next impact young hitters in the Phillies lineup. Kingery should be able to force his way out of his current super-utility role and into the starting lineup by 2020 at the latest. And Bohm will be right behind him, likely making his big-league debut some time next season.

Phillies welcome the Colorado Rockies for a weekend in South Philly

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Charlie Blackmon is developing into a Phillies-killer with Colorado

The Philadelphia Phillies (24-19) are coming off just their third series loss of the season after dropping the final three games of a four-game set to the visiting Milwaukee Brewers this week.

One of those series defeats came at the hands of the Colorado Rockies (20-22), who took three of four games from the Phillies out at Coors Field in Denver back in mid-April.
Now a month later, the Phillies will try to avoid losing four straight games for the first time in the 2019 campaign when they host the Rockies for three over this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
Colorado, an NL Wildcard playoff team in each of the last two years, has a losing record over the first seven weeks. However, manager Bud Black has them playing much better of late. The Rockies have gone 17-10 since the first two weeks or so. They have lost just one series (5-1-3) over the last month.
The Rockies currently sit in fourth place in the National League West Division, 7.5 games off the pace set by the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are tied with the New York Mets, three games off the second NL Wildcard pace being set by another of their division rivals, the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Colorado ranks 5th in runs scored and second in extra-base hits (tops in triples) in the National League. As a team, the Rockies home-road splits reveal two entirely different portraits. At home, Colorado is slashing .284/.354/.504, while on the road their batters have produced just a .217/.271/.382 slash line. However, since Citizens Bank Park is such a positive offensive environment, those negative road numbers may prove less relevant.
The Rockies attack is led by the consensus top third baseman in the game in 28-year-old Nolan Arenado, who is slashing .314/.360/.598 with a team-high 11 homers and 35 RBIs. Veteran right fielder Charlie Blackmon is slashing .295/.359/.566 and leads the club with 25 extra-base hits.
Blackmon has become another in the group of modern day Phillies-killers across Major League Baseball. He enjoys a career .342/.421/.615 slash line with 10 homers and 22 extra-base hits over 184 career plate appearances against the Phillies. At Citizens Bank Park, Blackmon is slashing .314/.385/.671 with seven of those home runs. At least we won’t have to hear “The Outfield” or Coors fans singing “….TONIGHT!” during his at-bats here in Philly.
All-star shortstop Trevor Story leads the club in runs scored and stolen bases and is second in homers and RBIs. However, he injured his knee in a collision with outfielder Raimel Tapia at Fenway Park on Wednesday. “Just a knee bruise,” he said per Nick Groke with The Athletic. “It’s good news for sure.
The Rockies are rumored to be promotiong their top prospect, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, for this series against the Phillies as insurance. Ultimately, Rodgers may end up competing with Ryan McMahon for the starting second base job.
Meanwhile, the Phillies continue to lead the National League East Division standings. Their lead is now down to just 1.5 games, two in the loss column, over the Atlanta Braves. The Mets are three games back in that loss column and the Washington Nationals are sitting six games out.
The roller coaster offensive attack has been on full display from the Phillies once again over the last two weeks. After scoring at least five runs in seven of their previous nine games, the Phillies scored just six total runs in dropping the final three to the Brew Crew.
The Phillies are 1-3 over the first four games of what was a tough 23-game stretch. It’s a slow start that the club really needs to reverse this weekend, especially considering that the Rockies are the last team until June 7 they will face who currently hold a losing record.

FRIDAY STARTING LINEUPS

PHILLIES LINEUP

  1.  Andrew McCutchen, left field
  2. Jean Segura, shortstop
  3. Bryce Harper, right field
  4. Rhys Hoskins, first base
  5. J.T. Realmuto, first base
  6. Cesar Hernandez, second base
  7. Odubel Herrera, center field
  8. Maikel Franco, third base
  9. Cole Irvin, pitcher

ROCKIES LINEUP

  1. Charlie Blackmon, right field
  2. Trevor Story, shortstop
  3. Nolan Arenado, third base
  4. Mark Reynolds, first base
  5. Raimel Tapia, left field
  6. Ian Desmond, center field
  7. Brendan Rodgers, second base
  8. Tony Wolters, catcher
  9. Jon Gray, pitcher

INJURY REPORT

Phillies: Super-utility player Scott Kingery, by far the club’s most valuable bench player, is on a rehab assignement with Double-A Reading and is likely to be activated for this series. Righty relievers David RobertsonVictor AranoTommy Hunter and Edubray Ramos all remain out and will not be back this weekend. Ditto for outfielder Roman Quinn and starting pitcher Vince Velasquez.
Rockies: Story is considered day-to-day with a bone bruise on his knee. Lefty reliever Jake McGee is on a minor league rehab assignment but unlikely to return this weekend.

SHIBE VINTAGE SPORTS STARTING PITCHING MATCHUP

  • Cole Irvin: 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 2.11 FIP
  • The 25-year-old lefty made his big-league debut last Sunday. He went seven innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run while striking out five and walking one against the Royals in Kansas City.
  • A California  native, Irvin was the Phillies fifth round pick in the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft out of the University of Oregon. He was 2-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 36 hits allowed over 36 innings across six starts at Triple-A prior to his promotion. He struck out 23 and walked eight opposing batters.
  • Jon Gray: 3-3, 4.25 ERA, 46 hits allowed over 48.2 IP across eight starts with a 51/19 K:BB
  • Gray allowed just two hits, walked four, struck out five over six shutout frames in beating the Phillies at Coors Field on April 21. In his most recent outing, Gray allowed eight hits including a pair of homers and three earned runs in a no-decision vs the San Diego Padres at Coors Field last Sunday.
  • A 27-year-old righty who was the Rockies first round pick at third overall in the 2013 MLB Draft, Gray has pitched twice before at Citizens Bank Park. He lasted just 4.1 while surrendering seven runs, six earned, in a 10-6 Phillies win on August 12, 2016. Then on June 12 of last season, Gray went six innings, allowing four earned but on just three hits, striking out 10 batters in a 5-4 Phillies victory.
  • Gray throws a four-seam fastball with natural sinking action that is rated as an extreme groundball inducer. He also throws an extremely hard slider. He has a curve, changeup and sinker in his repertoire, all of which he uses much less frequently.

PHILLIES NUGGETS PREGAME NOTES

  • Friday night begins “Armed Forces Weekend” at Citizens Bank Park. From Friday through Sunday, players and club personnel will wear camouflage-designed caps, which feature a five-starred emblem to represent the five branches of the U.S. military, and will also wear camo-themed socks.
  • The Rockies won five of the seven games played between the two teams during each of the past two seasons. The Phillie lead the all-time series between them by a 109-88 margin.
  • Rhys Hoskins has the lone home run off Gray among current Phillies players, but it’s his only hit off the right-hander over seven career at-bats. Andrew McCutchen has enjoyed the most success with a .471 average over 17 at-bats.
  • Major League Baseball has announced that Day 1 of the 2019 MLB Draft will take place on Monday, June 3, at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in New Jersey beginning live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7 p.m. EDT. Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a preview show, simulcast on MLB.com, at 6 p.m. EDT. The Phillies have the 14th overall pick in that first round.