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September 13, 2015

Loaded with prospects, Reading to play in Eastern League Championship Series

Phillies Minor Leagues
091315_Thompson_AP Tug Haines/Reading Fightin Phils

Jake Thompson threw a three-hit shutout this week.

The Phillies’ minor league affiliates posted a record of 377-319 this season, good for a .542 winning percentage. According to Baseball America, that number is fourth best among the 30 MLB teams.

Of those affiliates, three qualified for the playoffs. In High-A, Clearwater got bounced quickly after posting an excellent 79-58 record during the regular season. The other two teams are still going. In the New York-Penn League, 46-30 Williamsport plays the deciding game of their semifinal series later today.

For the majority of the season, Reading has been the glamor team in the Phillies’ system from a prospect standpoint. After posting a league-best 80-61 record, the Fightin Phils finished off the second-place Binghamton Mets in a three-game sweep. They now advance to face the Bowie Baysox in the five-game championship series starting Tuesday at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

In dispatching Binghamton, Reading got major contributions from the Phillies’ top prospects. For example, the unquestioned top prospect homered and made an amazing defensive play:

A couple of days ago, president-elect Andy MacPhail mentioned that he’s pleased with the stable of position players in the farm system. Behind J.P. Crawford, the highest-rated position player is probably Nick Williams. He had himself a series: 

As for the organization’s top pitching prospect (Jake Thompson), how about a three-hit shutout?

The kids are alright, and they’re getting a taste of playoff baseball before reaching the majors. Whether or not Reading wins the title is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that they’re even vying for one is a good sign for the Phillies going forward.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann