Going into tonight’s game, the Scottsdale Scorpions, comprised of prospects from the Phillies, Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Angels of Anaheim are struggling with a record of 2 wins and 6 losses. The big news seems to be that Tim Tebow got his second hit (another single) to boost bis average to .100. (Come to think of it, wouldn’t it have been more dramatic if Tebow had signed with the Angels?)
Although from the Phillies perspective Scott Kingery was supposed to be the prospect to watch – and he did double in 3 ABs to bring average to .158 – the more intriguing player to me is first baseman Mitch Walding. It’s interesting that Walding is playing first base after having played third base exclusively in the minors to this point. From looking at his fielding stats, Walding had trouble with errors at third explaining the switch to first out here. But at age 24 there’s quite a logjam ahead of him in the Phillies system with Tommy Joseph, Andrew Knapp, and Rhys Hoskins all high on the organizational depth chart at first base.
Walding has looked good at first base, and last night went 2 for 4 including a double. He’ll have to perform well at the plate to open eyes, as he struggled through his first two years in short, low, and advanced A ball with the Phillies. When he struggled again in AA ball at Reading last year, the Phils sent him back to advanced A in Clearwater where he put up a very respectable .280/.372/.440 line, finding a power stroke. With Hoskins moving on to the Pigs this year, Walding will most likely be at first base for the Fightins. As we saw last year from The Bash Brothers, FirstEnergy stadium can be an inviting place for emerging power hitters.