Phillies Minor League report: April 20-26

Players of the Week

Player - SS Malquin Canelo, Lakewood...The 20-year old Canelo flipped a switch in the past week, going 12-for-26 (.462) with three doubles, a home run, five RBI, four walks, 18 total bases and a .533 OBP. Entering play on April 20, Canelo was hitting .243 and has since raised that average 90 points in just seven games. Canelo recorded five multi-hit games, including each of his last four where he combined to go 9-for-16 (.563) with four runs scored. With his three doubles, he is now tied for the league lead with eight and is either first or second on Lakewood in hits (21), total bases (32), walks (8), runs (12), average (.333), OBP (.408) and slugging (.508). Canelo was signed by the Phillies and Koby Perez as an amateur free agent on April 19, 2012.

Pitcher - LHP Brandon Leibrandt, Clearwater…Leibrandt, a 22-year old southpaw, continued his dominant start to the season with two strong outings against the Tampa Yankees. On April 21, he shut out the Yankees over seven innings, yielding only five hits while posting a season-high seven strikeouts. Five days later, he met up with Tampa again, this time holding them to just three runs (two earned) on two hits in six innings of work. For the week, Leibrandt went 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA, seven hits and a walk (0.62 WHIP) and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings. In all four of his starts this year, he has pitched at least six innings, surrendered two or fewer earned runs and allowed six or fewer hits. In his professional career, he has a 2.52 ERA in 85.2 innings. Leibrandt was selected by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2014 draft and was signed by Aaron Jersild.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division… 5-13, 6th place…Lehigh Valley had a tough week, winning just two of their seven games, but their record does not tell the whole story. The IronPigs just finished up a four game series against Buffalo, and have now played 12 of their first 18 games against the top two teams in the International League (eight against Buffalo, four against Pawtucket). They did end the week on a strong note, riding the right-arm of spot starter Phillippe Aumont to a 3-1 win on Sunday against the first-place Bisons.

Top hitting performers - OF Darin Mastroianni led all IronPigs players in hitting this past week, batting .389 with two doubles and two runs scored. He had at least one hit in all four games he played in, including a 3-for-4 day to cap the week on Sunday…INF/OF Russ Canzler continued his impressive start to the season, batting .308 with five runs, two walks and a .357 OBP while playing in all seven games this week for Lehigh Valley…INF Chris Nelson collected hits in all five games he appeared in, batting .286 with three doubles and three RBI. His two-double, two-RBI night on April 21 helped Lehigh Valley to a 6-1 win over Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

Top pitching performers - RHP Phillippe Aumont started his first game on Sunday since Sept. 2, 2010 with Clearwater, and did not disappoint. The hard-throwing righthander tossed five scoreless frames and surrendered just three hits to the first-place Buffalo Bisons. This came after a four-inning, one-run relief appearance earlier in the week, giving Aumont a 1.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in nine innings…RHP Severino Gonzalez started one game and pitched six strong innings, yielding just a run on six hits while striking out three…RHP Seth Rosin appeared in three games out of the bullpen, pitching a scoreless inning each time while earning his first save of the year on Sunday.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division … 9-7, 3rd place…Reading's week started off slowly, but picked up over the weekend as they won two of their last three games to remain within 1.5 games of first place. As was the case during the first couple weeks of the season, the Fightin Phils used a combination of potent offense and dominant starting pitching to end their week on a strong note.

Top hitting performers -1B Art Charles built off his first several games, exploding this week for four extra-base hits (two doubles, two triples) six RBI, a .357 average, .768 slugging percentage and 1.256 OPS in four games. He is now hitting .343 with six extra-base hits in 10 games this season…1B Brock Stassi went 2-for-4 with a home run Sunday, bringing his league-leading RBI total up to 18 through 15 games. Stassi hit .294 in six games this week with three extra-base hits (three doubles, home run)…CF Roman Quinn has been getting on base and scoring runs-six of them in his last seven games to be exact. In those seven games he rapped out eight hits in 24 at bats (.333) and stole his eighth base of the year…OF Aaron Altherr hit .292 with his first home run of the season to go along with six RBI.

Top pitching performers -RHP Ben Lively made one start and did not allow a run through six strong innings of work. He gave up just three hits and struck out five, cruising to his second quality start in as many opportunities this young season…RHP Aaron Nola pitched seven innings for the first time in his professional career on April 23, striking out six while surrendering just two runs.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division… 9-9, T-3rd place…Clearwater is currently tied with Reading for the most wins among all Phillies affiliates, and they have been in the top three in the standings for a good portion of the first three weeks of the season.

Top hitting performers - C Willians Astudillo recorded hits in six of his seven games, going 10-for-27 (.370) with a couple of doubles and a .414 OBP (snapped a 14-game hit streak on Sunday)…2B Angelo Mora had four hits, an RBI and a run in 12 at bats.

Top pitching performers - LHP Brandon Leibrandt pitched seven shutout innings on April 21 against Tampa, and followed up that performance with six innings and three runs (two earned) against those same Tampa Yankees on April 26. He finished the week 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA and just seven hits allowed in 13 innings, earning him Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week…RHP Edubray Ramos appeared in two games out of the bullpen, did not allow a run and picked up his first save of the season…RHP Ulises Joaquin threw two scoreless innings this week and struck out four. Joaquin has yet to allow a run in six innings pitched this season (6 IP, 0 BB, 7K)

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division…8-10, 6th place…The BlueClaws started the week off strong, winning three of their first five games and outscoring their opponents 14-6 in those three wins. The BlueClaws continue to receive quality outings from their pitching staff, which has allowed three runs or less in four of seven games this past week and has a 3.32 ERA for the season.

Top hitting performers - SS Malquin Canelo has done nothing but hit, posting a lofty .462 average to go along with a .533 OBP in seven games. He hit three doubles, a home run and knocked in three, accumulating 18 total bases en route to Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors…1B Rhys Hoskins was not far off of Canelo's pace. The 22-year old Hoskins went 4-for-4 with two home runs on April 23, one day after going 2-for-3 with a round-tripper. He finished the week with 20 total bases, five RBI, a .909 slugging percentage and 1.389 OPS in six games. CF Carlos Tocci added six hits to his team- high 22 on the season. Tocci went hitless on Sunday, snapping a 12-game hit streak

Top pitching performers - RHP Tyler Viza logged seven innings in his only start, surrendering just three hits and two walks (0.68 WHIP) while striking out six on the way to a 4-0 victory over Hagerstown on April 23...RHP Ranfi Casimiro also pitched seven solid innings in his start, recording six strikeouts and no walks while allowing just a lone run…RHP Matt Hockenberry converted both of his save opportunities, striking out four in three scoreless innings of work.