Category Archives: Reading Fightin Phils

Plenty of excitement as well as baseball at Hadlock as Reading wins 8-7 over Portland

The Philadelphia Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) played for the AA Reading Fighin Phils in Portland tonight.

(Portland ME) Ever watch a group of young kids attempt to play musical chairs with no idea what the object of the game is?

Musical chairs winner exits the winning seat

That, and plenty more, was part of the fun at Hadlock Field tonight.

Reading shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa strikes a pre-game post

And there was a ballgame too!

The Reading Fightin Phils won 8-7 in ten innings.

There were lengthy line hours before the gates opened thanks to a promotion that gifted the first one thousand customers with an Andrew Benintendi bobble head.

And to add to the excitement, the ten millionth fan also was noted on this night and that brought out the local TV networks.

I drove through thunder and lightning to get to the game. My intention was to check out the Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) and the other prospects of the National League team.

Alec is a tall (6-5) third baseman with a home run swing.  That swing produced a 4-base blast (his 13th) to centerfield off Konner Wade.

Alec was picked first by the Phillies (3rd overall) in 2018, out of Wichita State.  He is 23 and on the fast track to the big team.

Mickey Moniak

Mickey Moniak was a first-round pick in 2016 out of high school.  Only 21, the young outfielder is leading the Eastern League in triples.  He notched his 13th tonight.  Very aggressive at the plate.

Jarren Duran is the top Boston prospect still with Portland.  Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham have moved on to Pawtucket.  Jarren has the speed to turn a routine grounder to short into a close play.  I suspect that Jarren starts at Portland in 2020 but will reach Pawtucket during the season.

Outfielder Marcus Wilson is the other ranked prospect with Portland.  He had a homer tonight to send the game into extra innings.

Slugger comes close tonight

Slugger ran a solid race tonight.  He didn’t trip.  He didn’t engage someone/anyone in conversation and get side-tracked. On this night the competition was serious (the kid had a great shirt) but the big guy hung in there.  If the young man had faltered, Slugger was close enough near home plate to get there first…….but the kid didn’t falter and the losing streak continues.

Musical chairs, on this night, was the highlight of the between-innings activities in my opinion.  The young ladies involved were excited.  I’m guessing 5-year-olds.  It was quickly obvious that none of them had ever played musical chairs.  They saw chairs and they jumped on them!  Of course, you jump on an inflatable and it’s likely to fall over…and they did.  The music played and the girls were already all over the chairs.  Next they learned that they had to wait until the music stopped before taking a seat.  One girl waited beside an empty seat instead of getting into it.  That didn’t go so well for her. It was also interesting to watch the girls enlarge the circle by running around the Hadlock staff members as well as the chairs.  A winner was finally determined but because of the size discrepancy between the chair and the participant nearly vanished from sight.  The crowd loved it.

Happy musical chairs participants

Hadlock continues to be friendly for all ages and all levels of baseball IQ.  I highly recommend a visit there before the season ends in very early September.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for enabling me to witness the activities at Hadlock.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alec Bohm after striking out to end an inning

Alec Bohm congratulated after homer

Alec Bohm leads off first as Konner Wade pitches

Alec Bohm on first with 1B Joey Curletta

Alec Bohm takes a cut

Austin Rei

Brett Netzer

Charlie Madden

Cornelius Randolph

Daniel McGrath

David Parkinson

Grant Dyer, Jakob Hernandez, and Jeff Singer

Jarren Duran bats

Jarren Duran hustles to first

Jarren Duran

Jeremy Rivera

Jhon Nunez

1B Joey Curletta

Luke Williams

Marcus Wilson homered in the 9th

Mauricio Llovera

3B Mike Osinski

Nick Maton

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Filed under Portland, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading, Reading Fightin Phils

Pitching and power earns Portland its first Eastern League win

Darwinzon Hernandez struck out ten Reading batters in only five innings.

Bobby Dalbec and Jantzen Witte supplied the power for the Sea Dogs

Shortstop CJ Chatham

(Portland ME) The Portland Sea Dogs broke into the win column this afternoon defeating the Reading Fightin Phils, 6-0.

Winning pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez (1-0) struck out the side in the first inning and had ten K’s before he was finished after five innings.

Bobby Dalbec and Jantzen Witte were the hitting stars for Portland with nearly duplicate stats: three hits including a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored.

Reading (3-1) featured three former first-round picks: Cornelius Randolph (2015), Mickey Moniak (2016), and Adam Haseley (2017).

Mickey and Adam were in action today.  Both struggled to make contact…….Mickey (4 K’s), Adam (3 K’s).

Mickey Moniak

The weather was extremely cooperative for early April in Maine; temperatures in the high 50’s with no wind.

Chris Cameron told me pre-game that tomorrow (Monday) 1”-2” of snow is expected.  Now that’s more like it!

Portland (1-3) is a quick drive for me from Amesbury (MA) and I enjoy getting looks at the future stars of the Red Sox.  You can never be certain of who those stars will be.  I have pictures of Jackie Bradley and Travis Shaw when they were in Portland, but they weren’t highly touted in Double A.

Bobby Dalbec is, however, highly regarded by the Red Sox and I saw him reach Portland at the end of last season.  How long the power hitter will last at Portland is part of why I took an early run to Hadlock Field to see him while I could.

In today’s game Bobby ripped a homer over the left-field fence.

Playing third probably won’t get Bobby to the majors with Rafael Devers locked in there.  I’m thinking that first base would be a better spot for him.

Bobby Dalbec crosses home

Darwinzon Hernandez was signed by Boston in 2013 when he was 16-years-old.  From Venezuela, the left missed plenty of bats in his overpowering, 2-hit, afternoon.

Darwinzon could well be the first one off the Portland roster and onto the Pawtucket roster.

Newcomer CJ Chatham was the Sea Dogs shortstop.  He and Bobby Dalbec were both chosen by Boston in 2016.

I was definitely interested in getting pictures of the Phillies first-round picks.  Outfielder Mickey Moniak was actually the first pick in the entire draft in 2016.  He’s only twenty so there is plenty of time for him to move up in the Philadelphia system.

I love the atmosphere at Hadlock.  I think it’s because so many families show up.  You see kids with gloves, excited to be where “real” baseball is going on.

And there’s also family-friendly entertainment between every inning.  The between-inning contests often involve youngsters and are skillfully handled by the Sea Dogs staff.

A key piece of entertainment for me will always be Slugger’s race around the bases against a young fan.  I may be the only one that still believes that the big guy will win.

Today’s race was yet another disappointing one.  I had seen the promos of Slugger in the off-season.  I saw him doing back flips and splits and assumed that he was ready to get a win.

Today I thought that Slugger was way too kind to his young opponent. How so?  The youngster thought that the race ended at first base.  Instead of taking advantage, the big guy waited, giving the kid a chance to get guidance.  Then when they met at second, Slugger pointed to where the kid should run next!  All this helping turned today’s race into a last-base event and Slugger looked as if he was in great position to end the losing streak.  But then his lack of practice running did him in.  Slugger rounded first, heading home, and suddenly lurched into a bent-over stop. I thought he might lose his lunch.  While Slugger’s digestive disaster happened, his opponent leaped onto home place, the winner.

My assumption that Slugger was in running shape was obviously misguided.  It’s a long season and maybe he’ll get his second wind or at least lighten up on the pre-race food intake.

Adam Haseley

It must have happened on the recommendation of a photographer: both teams had numbers on the front of their uniforms as well as the backs.  Everyday photographers know the players by their faces.  The rest of us don’t.

I spoke with two people I follow on Twitter; Kevin Thomas (Portland Press Herald) and Kelley O’Connor (minor-league photographer).

I highly recommend a visit to Hadlock.  Affordable with an early viewing of some possible future major leaguers.

Two close plays at second:

Luke Tendler tagged by Jose Antequera

Tate Matheny tagged by Luke Williams

Thanks, as always, to Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Bobby Dalbec

Chris Cameron

CJ Chatham

Joseph Monge and coach Angel Sanchez

Sea Dogs dugout

Tate Matheny caught in a rundown

Brett Netzer and CJ Chatham

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Portland Sea Dogs, Reading Fightin Phils