Time to take a look around Major League Baseball and throughout the minors, trying to find former IronPigs players and where they’ve wound up.
You might call Bryson Stott a ‘Pig in the making.’
The UNLV shortstop was drafted by the Phillies with the 14th overall pick in the MLB Draft, which got underway Monday night. It’s the third year in a row that the Phillies have selected a college position player in the first round.
Battling a team full of Division 1 college recruits, Whitehall fell behind early and their late rally was a little too little to battle all the way back. The end result was that the Zephyrs dropped a 6-4 game to Blue Mountain in the District 11 finals, settling for silver medals instead of gold.
One thing after another has come up for J.D. Hammer in his baseball career and he’s conquered them all.
First, he envisioned himself being a major league shortstop, but the coaches at Navarro Community College in Texas didn’t see enough offensive skills to keep him on the team. His choices were to pitch or redshirt; he learned to pitch.
The IronPigs limped out of town a week ago having had the last game on their six-game homestand rained out, which may have been a good thing since they lost the first five games, coming on the heels of a loss in Buffalo to end their last road trip.
They went down to Durham and lost two more before a win over the Bulls and then won the middle game of a three-game series in Charlotte over the weekend. If you’re doing the math, that’s 10 losses in their last 12 games.
The Phillies have had success with sending struggling pitchers down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get themselves straightened out.
Last season, Hector Neris lost the feel for throwing his splitter and along with it, his confidence. When he returned to the Phillies, he was his old self and probably even better. They had the same hopes for Nick Pivetta and the early returns are pretty good.
If you like seeing former IronPigs players, this homestand has been a good opportunity for you to see some old friends.
The Buffalo Bisons have former Phillies pitching prospect Jacob Waguespack on their roster and they were followed in by the Syracuse Mets with infielder Danny Espinosa on their roster.
In a perfect world, a player like Phil Gosselin would have likely spent the entire season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Unfortunately, a perfect world doesn’t exist and Gosselin had to be added to the 40-man roster before the first month of the season was even complete.
Injuries to starting Phillies shortstop Jean Segura and his backup, Scott Kingery, made the Phillies consider who was next up to make the trip down the turnpike to join the Phillies.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster is a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar faces.
Popular players like Dylan Cozens, Mitch Walding and Cole Irvin are back with the Pigs. Young prospects JoJo Romero, Deivy Grullon and Jan Hernandez are at the Triple-A level for the first time in their careers. Local hero Matt McBride returns for a second season after playing high school ball for Liberty High School and college ball as a Lehigh Mountain Hawk.
With just three games left in the regular season and long odds on reaching the playoffs, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms don’t appear to have given up just yet. After a slow, ugly start against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday, the Phantoms kicked it up a few notches and wound up with a 10-6 win, their second in as many days against the Penguins. The 10 goals were also a franchise record for the squad.