Phillies Minor League Review: June 15-21

Players of the Week

Player OF Aaron Altherr, Reading...The 24-year-old Altherr recorded hits in all six of his games last week, posting a .440 batting average with a team-high 11 hits, four extra-base hits and 16 total bases. He had three doubles, a triple, four runs scored and two RBI while reaching base at a .481 clip. Altherr had multiple hits in five of his seven games, raising his average 15 points to .293. He was promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley on June 23 following his strong start with Reading. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound outfielder was selected by the Phillies in the ninth round of the 2009 draft and was signed by Brad Holland.

Pitcher - LHP Adam Loewen, Lehigh Valley...Loewen, a 31-year old southpaw, appeared in three games in relief for Lehigh Valley and did not allow a run in any of them. He tossed 5.0 total innings, surrendering three hits while striking out 12 batters. He had back-to-back 2.0-inning outings on June 16 and 18, striking out a season-high six batters in the latter of those performances. Six of his last seven appearances for Lehigh Valley dating back to May 9 have been scoreless. Loewen was signed by the Phillies in April of 2014 as a minor league free agent, and was originally signed by the Orioles and Dave Jennings after being selected in the first round by Baltimore in the 2002 draft.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs - International League North Division…27-45, 5th place…The IronPigs kicked off a successful week by winning four of their first five games, which included a series win over Buffalo. In those five games they held their opponents to three runs or fewer four times and allowed just 13 total runs. A 5-2 victory over Scranton-Wilkes/Barre on June 19 gave them three consecutive wins before they ended the week by dropping two games to the RailRiders.

Top hitting performers - INF Cord Phelps racked up 15 total bases in 6 games as he hit .348 with eight hits-including four doubles and a home run-while driving in five runs and scoring four more…INF/OF Darin Ruf had at least one hit in all but one of his seven games as he hit batted .308 with six RBI.

Top pitching performers - LHP Adam Loewen was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week after striking out 12 batters in 5.0 innings over three games in relief…RHP Aaron Nola made his triple-A debut on June 18 against Buffalo and held the Bisons to just four hits while striking out seven in 5.0 shutout innings…RHP Jason Berken allowed two runs (just one earned) over 5.0 innings against the RailRiders on June 19.

Reading Fightin Phils - Eastern League Eastern Division …36-32, 3rd place…After dropping two of three to the Trenton Thunder, the Fightins rebounded to then win a four-game series with Portland to move them within 1.5 games of first place. Reading will begin a four-game set with Akron this week before traveling to Portland for three games.

Top hitting performers - OF Aaron Altherr went 11-for-25 (.440) with three doubles, a triple, four runs scored and a 1.121 OPS. He hit safely in all seven games and had multiple hits in five of those seven, earning Phillies Minor League Player of the Week honors…OF Kelly Dugan hit .414 in his first week with Reading in 2015. Dugan scored five runs, drove in three and has nine hits in his last 17 at bats…SS J.P. Crawford played in six games, batting .308 with three doubles, three walks, two RBI and a team-high five runs scored.

Top pitching performers - LHP Jesse Biddle started two games for Reading and combined to last 12.2 innings with just two runs allowed (1.42 ERA)…In his first double-A start, RHP Mark Leiter struck out six batters and held Portland to three runs in 7.0 innings of work…RHP Ben Lively tossed 7.0 innings in his lone start, scattering four hits while yielding a pair of runs. It was his first start of 7.0 innings and two earned runs since May 19…RHP Zach Eflin has allowed only three earned runs over his last 24.0 IP (1.13 ERA) after a 6.0-inning start on June 17 during which he allowed four runs (one earned) on just four hits.

Clearwater Threshers - Florida State League North Division…34-33, 2nd place…Clearwater played just four games as their week was shortened due to the Florida State League All-Star Break. All four came against the St. Lucie Mets, who won the first two games before Clearwater took the next two to earn the split. The Threshers have a chance to move into first place if they can sweep three games against the Daytona Tortugas to begin this week.

Top hitting performers - OF Aaron Brown clubbed his fourth home run of the season, walked three times and scored three runs in four games played…OF Dylan Cozens notched a team-high five hits in four games, stole three bases and scored a pair of runs.

Top pitching performers - RHP Victor Arano made his first relief appearance of the year, lasting 4.0 innings and surrendering just one run to St. Lucie while striking out two…RHP Jesen Dygestile-Therrien made two appearances out of the bullpen and combined for 3.0 innings pitched, one hit, four strikeouts and no runs allowed. He has not allowed a run since May 29…RHP Ulises Joaquin also made three relief appearances and held his opponents scoreless over 3.0 innings of work.

Lakewood BlueClaws - South Atlantic League North Division…33-35, 3rd place…Lakewood suffered a difficult stretch last week as they dropped seven of eight games and were shut out twice. Their lone win was a 9-3 victory over Greenville on Sunday to propel the team into the South Atlantic League All-Star Break.

Top hitting performers - OF Herlis Rodriguez produced 10 runs last week for Lakewood, driving in six and scoring another four. He hit two doubles, two triples and a home run, helping him to a .714 slugging percentage in 31 total plate appearances…OF Cord Sandberg had 10 hits in 27 at bats (.370), posting four extra-base hits and three RBI…SS Malquin Canelo continued his torrid month, hitting .290 with a home run, five RBI and four doubles last week. He has hits in 16 of 18 games this month and is hitting .347 since June 1…1B Rhys Hoskins drove in five more runs last week, bringing his season total up to 51. He is one of only two players in the league with more than 45 RBI.

Top pitching performers -  LHP Josh Taylor struck out 10 batters over 12.2 innings in his two starts last week. His last start featured a season-high 7.2 innings pitched, and he also tied a season-high with nine strikeouts…RHP Austin Davis tossed 3.0 scoreless innings with just one hit allowed in a start on June 16, and then proceeded to throw 3.0 innings in relief on June 20 with four strikeouts…LHP Joey DeNato appeared in three games, all in relief, allowing one run in 5.0 total innings. His ERA for the season now sits at a tidy 1.65…RHP Matt Hockenberry yielded one hit, no runs and struck out five in 5.0 innings over his three games last week.

Williamsport Crosscutters - New York-Penn League Pinckney Division…3-0, T-1st place…The Crosscutters began their season with three straight wins and a convincing sweep of the State College Spikes. They scored 18 runs in those three games and currently are hitting .319 as a team.

Top hitting performers - In Williamsport's first three games, RF Jose Pujols managed to record eight hits in 13 at bats (.615) with five of those hits going for extra bases. He slugged 1.077 for the week with a 1.692 OPS…OF Venn Biter crushed a grand slam on June 20 as part of a seven-RBI week. He also scored a pair of runs, doubled and walked…1B Brendon Hayden, the Phillies' 16th round pick in the 2015 draft, made his debut on Sunday and went 4-for-5 with a home run, 2 RBI and two runs scored.

Top pitching performers -  RHP Jose Taveras started for the Crosscutters on Sunday and threw 5.0 shutout innings with five strikeouts…RHP Franklyn Kilome allowed three hits and one run over 5.2 innings to State College on June 21…RHP Alejandro Arteaga got Williamsport's season started with a 5.0-inning, two-run effort that helped them to an Opening Day victory.