Here’s a view from behind home plate today as the Phils’ prospects on the Peoria Javelinas hosted the Scorpions. There are no ushers in the stadium, because anyone can sit anywhere. There is a solitary ticket taker at the entrance, and one souvenir shop open with only a handful of items. The coaches at first and third have no chalk lines and they can stand wherever they like, much as we can sit wherever we like. Peoria’s manager is Dusty Wathan, last year’s skipper at Reading and likely this year’s manager for the Iron Pigs taking the place of Ryne Sandberg.
Though I came to the AFL expecting to be wowed by Cody Asche and Tommy Joseph, the surprise thus far has been Zach Collier. He’s an intriguing player who has speed in the outfield and can play all three positions well. It’s a small data sample which you can view here, but he’s got a leg up on Asche in the stats and well above the struggling Joseph.
Zach has good form at the plate, and has some pop in his bat. He hasn’t homered yet in 29 ABs, but he smacked a deep drive for a triple today and flew around the bases, cruising into third with a stand-up triple. Three hits and three RBIs for the 22 year-old today.
Though Collier is a former #1 draft pick in 2008, he missed the 2010 season due to surgery on his wrist. He missed the first 50 games this year with the Threshers in Clearwater after testing positive for amphetamines, so he’s got something to prove. And he seems intent on proving it. Here is a re-cap of his heroics today.
Javelinas won 7-2, upping our record to 9-4. Too early to celebrate anything, but the club seems like a nice environment for our prospects.