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Posts Tagged ‘Big Leaguer’

PN Interview: Mark Leiter Jr. Talks Draft, Baseball Pedigree, Pro Transition

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, August 25, 2013 11:00 AM Comments: 0

With family and local ties, Mark Leiter Jr. is one of the best stories out of this year’s Phillies draft class.  The son of former Phils hurler Mark Leiter Sr., nephew of former big leaguer Al Leiter as well as Kurt Leiter who was also a pro pitcher and a product of Toms River North High School and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Leiter Jr. has been enjoying success since he was selected in the 22nd round this year.

In 13 outings to start his professional career, the 22-year-old had gone 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA before earning a promotion from the Gulf Coast League Phillies to Class A Lakewood recently.  Leiter, who stands six feet tall and weighs around 195 pounds, has not allowed a run and has struck out 12 while walking only two in two starts (11 innings) since joining the BlueClaws.

Last week I spoke with the right-hander, who grew up as a Phillies fan, about his draft experience, coming from a baseball pedigree and his family’s hobby of collecting baseball cards.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- Can you take me through the draft process this year?  How were you tracking it?  And were the Phillies on your radar or were they a surprise to take you?

Well, the Phillies were the team I hoped would draft me.  They had seen me a few times over the last couple years in college and, so they were keeping tabs on me and how I was doing.  I think a decent amount of different scouts saw me, from the Phillies.  So, we were hoping it was the Phillies.  

On the day of the draft, I didn’t know what was going to happen.  You never know.  We watched the first day, I watched the second day with my family and on the third day, my dad took me and my grandfather and my cousin golfing, so we didn’t watch at all.  So, we were playing golf and I got the phone call and it was nice.  It was a good experience, I was just with my dad and my grandfather and my cousin, playing golf.  It was definitely cool. Continue reading PN Interview: Mark Leiter Jr. Talks Draft, Baseball Pedigree, Pro Transition

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PN Interview: Reading Pitching Coach Dave Lundquist

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 06, 2013 08:15 AM Comments: 2

Dave Lundquist and Jesse Biddle, Image- Jay Floyd

Over the weekend, I spoke with Double-A Reading Fightin Phillies pitching coach Dave Lundquist. A former big leaguer with the White Sox and Padres, “Lundy” has been coaching in the Phils system since 2008. The 40-year-old spoke openly about nearly his entire pitching staff including Jesse Biddle, David Buchanan, Mike Nesseth, Seth Rosin, Austin Wright and Brody Colvin.

Read ahead for that full interview…

- Jesse Biddle came out in Trenton over the weekend and had somewhat of a bounce back effort, following a pair of poor outings. He says it’s not a good result unless he wins, but overall it’s gotta be a positive step for him, right?

Absolutely. If you look at his last two outings, two-thirds of an inning and then an inning and a third, to come out (on Friday) night and really to have the command, much, much better than he’s had. The confidence level was much higher. The (velocity) was higher and he really showed the sharpest stuff he’s had in a long time. The win-loss to me really doesn’t matter. It’s that he’s out there throwing strikes, comfortable on the mound and aggressive like we saw him earlier in the year.

- David Buchanan has been consistent at times, he earns a promotion for a spot start at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Just talk about David and his progress.

Yeah, he’s gonna go up there for a start. They had an opening and, you know, it fell in line with where he was throwing. He’s a guy that’s gonna throw strikes. Two-seam cutter, curve, change. You know, he’s been very consistent here. Give him an opportunity to go up there and see what he can do. Continue reading PN Interview: Reading Pitching Coach Dave Lundquist

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PN Interview: 1st Round Draft Pick J.P. Crawford

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, July 17, 2013 08:00 AM Comments: 2

JPCrawford

JP Crawford, screencap- MLB Network

Currently ranking third in the Gulf Coast League in batting with a .372 average, 18-year-old J.P. Crawford is proving that he was certainly ready for professional baseball when the Phillies selected him with their 1st round pick (16th overall) last month.

In 13 minor league games thus far, the lefty batting shortstop from California has also drilled two doubles, a triple and scored seven runs while swiping four bags in seven chances.

Crawford posted great numbers at Lakewood High School, batting .432 in 25 games during his senior season this year and is the all-time leader in hits and runs scored at a school that also produced former Phillies 1st round draft pick Travis d’Arnaud.  Additionally, another Lakewood High product, Crawford’s teammate from tee ball through their teens Shane Watson, who is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury in Florida, was taken in the 1st round by the Phillies last year.

With strong defensive skills to go along with his offense, Crawford, the cousin of big leaguer Carl Crawford, is highly touted and is a very exciting prospect.

This week, J.P. took some time to chat on the phone from Clearwater.  Among the topics of discussion were his transition to the pros, his draft experience, a visit to Philadelphia to sign his contract and much more.  Read ahead for that full interview.

- J.P., Take me through your draft experience.  I wanted to get your thoughts on the whole process and how did you celebrate once you were drafted?

Before, during the school year, that was the only thing I was looking forward to.  It was super fast too, in a way.  When we got to New York, time flew by and all of a sudden we were in the room.  When they called my name it was unbelievable.  I had never had an experience like that.  And after, we didn’t really do anything.  It was pretty late.

- For that trip to the draft, who was there with you?  Was it a lot of family?  Were there friends there along with you?

My whole family went and then my aunt and my grandpa.  My best friend and his family went there too.  Continue reading PN Interview: 1st Round Draft Pick J.P. Crawford

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Mather, Prosects Among Non-Roster Spring Invitees

Posted by Jay Floyd, Wed, January 23, 2013 03:33 PM Comments: 3

The Phillies announced today that six additional non-roster players have been invited to big league spring training.  The list of new names extended the invitations includes former big leaguer Joe Mather, third baseman Cody Asche, lefty hurler Adam Morgan, catcher Tommy Joseph and right-handed pitchers Justin Friend and Kyle Simon.

Mather, an outfielder who was signed recently as a free agent on a minor league deal, batted .209, with five homers and 19 RBI in 103 games with the Cubs last season. A third round draft pick in 2001, Mather also has Major League experience with the Braves and the Cardinals.

Asche, the Phils’ 4th round pick in 2011, posted great numbers in his first full pro season in 2012. The 22-year-old University of Nebraska product tallied a combined .324 average with 12 home runs and 72 RBI in 130 combined games at Class A Advanced Clearwater and Double-A Reading last season.

Morgan, who was selected in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft, progressed to the Double-A level as well last year, posting an 8-11 record along with a 3.35 ERA and a 9.59 K/9 mark in 27 combined outings for Clearwater and Reading in 2012. Morgan will turn 23-years-old next month. Continue reading Mather, Prosects Among Non-Roster Spring Invitees

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Trenton Evens Playoff Series with Reading

Posted by Jay Floyd, Fri, September 07, 2012 06:30 AM Comments: 7

The Thunder struck in the 9th inning with three runs off of Reading reliever Colby Shreve to knot the Double-A Eastern League division series at one game apiece in the best of five match up.

The outburst was a result of clutch hitting with some luck sprinkled on top as, with the bases loaded, Trenton designated hitter Rob Segedin laced a slicing drive to right field that got by a diving Leandro Castro resulting in a triple while plating three runs.

The right-handed Shreve (6-3, 3.69 ERA, 4 saves in 47 games at three levels this year) began the 9th by getting David Adams out on a grounder, but a walk to Zoilo Almonte and a single by Addison Maruszak presented a tough spot for the 24-year-old former 6th round draft selection. Shreve then battled back, striking out catcher J.R. Murphy. Shreve then issued an intentional walk to lefty hitter Kevin Mahoney to reach the more appealing match up against the righty batting Segedin, who was 0-for-3 in the contest to that point. Continue reading Trenton Evens Playoff Series with Reading

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Prospect Nation 2012: #22 RHP David Buchanan

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sat, January 21, 2012 03:55 PM Comments: 3

Righty hurler David Buchanan has proven himself as a guy on the fast track upward in the developmental ranks. The 22-year-old ripped through Class A South Atlantic League competition, leading his manager, former big leaguer Chris Truby to describe him as “the most consistent pitcher in the league”.

The Lakewood BlueClaws’ horse became the starting pitcher for the SAL Northern Division All-Star team in 2011. In 20 starts, Buchanan went 11-5 with a 3.38 ERA and a .246 batting average against with Lakewood before being promoted for the final month of the season. As a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater Threshers, Buchanan posted considerable numbers through his first five outings, sporting a 3-1 record with a 3.07 ERA. A weak final start to his 2011 campaign (4 ER, 8 hits, 3 innings) largely effected his Clearwater stats. Continue reading Prospect Nation 2012: #22 RHP David Buchanan

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Mackanin to Interview For Boston Managerial Job

Posted by Jay Floyd, Sun, October 30, 2011 02:30 PM Comments: 6

The Boston Red Sox are set to interview Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin as well as Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum for their vacant managerial position this week, according to WEEI radio in Boston.

Mackanin and Sveum will be the first two candidates interviewed by Boston to replace Terry Francona, whose contract was not renewed after the teams’ tremendous collapse led to the Red Sox missing the playoffs.

The 60-year-old Mackanin previously managed the Pirates and Reds in an interim capacity and managed several minor league clubs. Mackanin played in the big leagues with the Rangers, Expos, Phillies and Twins.

Mackanin has served as the Phillies’ bench coach, under manager Charlie Manuel, for the past two seasons.

Continue reading Mackanin to Interview For Boston Managerial Job

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Galvis Moved to Triple-A After Going on Tear

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, August 02, 2011 11:30 AM Comments: 43

Reading Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis became a rising star this season at the Double A level. Formerly regarded as a player who was strong on defense but lacked the abilities at the plate that would allow him to ascend upward to the highest levels of the sport, the 21-year-old is shining brightly; so much so, the Phillies are moving him up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He’ll join the Iron Pigs on Tuesday – one step closer to the top.

After batting .188 in 21 games late last year in the Venezuelan Winter League, Galvis’ bonus season was cut short by the Phillies, who requested that he report to their spring training headquarters in Clearwater, Florida to work out and increase his physical strength. The off-season training lasted roughly two months for Galvis, who focused on developing his core, but also improved his throwing arm and mostly his ability to drive the ball.

Aside from the enhanced physique, Galvis’ placement in the batting order has helped his offensive production, according to Reading Phillies manager, Mark Parent. The first year skipper of the R-Phils placed Galvis’ name higher in the lineup than it had been in years past. After spending much of his career batting 8th and 9th in lineups while sporting a .233 career batting average and collecting 10 home runs in four professional seasons, Galvis was moved to the top of the batting order this year and has shown great improvement.

“To him, his at bats become more important,” Parent stated. “He had to become more accountable for his offensive production, batting higher in the order. So, he’s taking it more seriously.” Continue reading Galvis Moved to Triple-A After Going on Tear

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Moose Tracks: Big Leaguer For a Day

Posted by Jay Floyd, Tue, March 29, 2011 03:30 PM Comments: 2

Phillies minor league third baseman Moose Mattair spoke with PhoulBallz.com’s & PhilliesNation’s Jay Floyd once again, to provide an inside glance at spring training in Clearwater.

Mattair was the Phillies’ second round draft pick in 2007 out of Southridge High School in Washington state. He later helped the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws win the South Atlantic League championship in 2009. After a rough spring training in 2010, Mattair, who was an all-state basketball player during his high school days, retired from baseball to chase his dream of playing Division I college hoops.

After a year off from baseball and spending last summer with the Boise State University men’s basketball, Mattair is back in Clearwater ready to start another season in the Phils’ organization. He played in the Phillies’ Major League spring training game this past Saturday against the Blue Jays and has described the event here for you readers.

To tell the truth, a while ago when my dad was making plans for his trip to come see me play in spring training, all I could think of was maybe his visit will coincide with a split squad day or maybe I could get called to play for the big league club for a day while he’s here. It would mean so much to me, if my dad was here to see it. And sure enough, this past Friday with my dad in town, I looked at the list for Saturday’s travel and game assignments, and the Phillies’ list had my name on it.

I went to my dad and told him and he was just so excited for me to get to go over there and I was just so excited to be going, but of course it meant more because my dad was going to see it. Of course, I didn’t know if I was going to get to play or not. But the Phillies got my dad a really good seat and everything fell into place.

During the game, the coach came to me and told me I was going in to play third if we went 1-2-3 in the seventh inning, and we did, so I got to go in on defense. It was a little more nerve racking to be out there in front of big league fans on that stage, especially for me, since I haven’t been in front of any crowd playing baseball in well over a year. Continue reading Moose Tracks: Big Leaguer For a Day

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Barfield Looking to Return to Big Leagues

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, March 14, 2011 08:28 AM Comments: 10

At first, it was easy for Josh Barfield. Son of a big leaguer, a breeze through the minors, and an excellent first year in the majors made it seem as though stardom was within reach.

Barfield came into the league a highly touted prospect with the San Diego Padres organization. The progeny of former masher Jesse Barfield, Josh was a fourth round pick in the 2001 draft and was named the number one prospect for the Padres by Baseball America in both 2004 and 2005. He lived up to the high draft position and hype with a solid rookie season.

Can Josh Barfield make the Phillies with a solid spring? (PHOTO: AP)

In 2006, Barfield hit .280 with 21 steals and 13 home runs, flashing a nice display of speed and power, with the ability to hit for average. After a fine rookie campaign with the Padres, Barfield was dealt to the Cleveland Indians for another highly ranked prospect; third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.

The deal proved to be a career-changing move for Barfield as he struggled mightily in Cleveland. In ’07, he began the year as the lead dog at second base, but lost his starting position to Asdrubal Cabrera. He never regained it.

After spending most of 2008 and 2009 at Triple-A Buffalo, Barfield went back to the Padres last year, but did not stick.

He now finds himself in an unusual situation. With a utility role potentially up for grabs at the major league level (at least for the time being with Chase Utley sidelined) Barfield is trying to prove he belongs.

“Barfield has definitely hit,” Manager Charlie Manuel said today, after his latest solid performance.  “He’s caught my eye some.”

Manuel also thinks Barfield may have been caught in a rough situation with two underachieving organizations. When you’re on a losing team, and things go bad, they look for something to do. They’ll start trying things,” He said. “A lot of times, that’s why they stay under .500 for a long time.”

With competition like Delwyn Young also standing out, Barfield is behind the eight ball. The old adage is you can never have too much pitching, but we’re starting to learn that you can never have too many working infielders – last year taught us that, this spring reaffirms it.

On Sunday, Barfield started at third base against the Twins in Ft. Myers and batted at the top of the order. Once again, he did not disappoint, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run, and an RBI. He’s now 9-for-19 this spring at the plate, while playing solid defense at second base, and today, third base.

“I came in and feel good. I’m having good at-bats,” said Barfield.  “Hopefully I can carry that on through the rest of the spring.”

Odds are, Barfield will start the season in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, if anywhere. But he’s certainly making the Phillies decision-makers think about it.

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