The Phillies are making life harder on Joe Maddon.
The Phils on Thursday announced some minor-league coaching hirings, including Gary Jones as the new manager of the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Jones was the Chicago Cubs' third base coach from 2014 to 2017. Prior to that, he had extensive experience as a minor-league coach. He managed minor-league clubs in the Athletics, Red Sox and Padres organizations and also spent seven years as a roving minor-league infield instructor for San Diego.
Jones is the third man the Phillies have plucked away from the Cubs this offseason. New hitting coach John Mallee served that role for Chicago from 2015-17, and new first base coach Jose Flores was the Cubs' minor-league field coordinator for five seasons.
At Lehigh Valley, Jones replaces Dusty Wathan, who was promoted to the Phillies' major-league staff as Gabe Kapler's third base coach.
Other notable hirings in the Phillies' minor-league system include former 1B Rico Brogna and infielder Wes Helms. Brogna will be a coach on Double A Reading's staff, while Helms will be on Jones' staff at Triple A.
Brogna was the Phillies' first baseman from 1997-2000. Helms spent one of his 13 big-league seasons with the Phillies, in 2007 as a platoon third baseman with Greg Dobbs and Abraham Nunez.
The Phillies also announced they're adding a second Gulf Coast League team, which will allow them more flexibility in finding playing time for their young prospects. It's a sign of improved young depth in the system, particularly in the area of international signings. The Yankees and Tigers also have two GCL teams.
"This is reflective of where we are as an organization," director of player development Joe Jordan said. "We need to make sure we have enough at-bats and innings for all the players so they can develop and be evaluated."
Jim Salisbury contributed to this report.
Kyle. Freakin'. Schwarber.
Rhys Hoskins put on a show in the Home Run Derby Monday night in Washington, D.C., but he, unfortunately, faced off against Schwarber in the second round and Schwarber went off.
Hoskins hit 20 in the semifinal round, which to that point was the most all night. Schwarber started rather slowly, but began cranking jack after jack and hit his 21st just as the four-minute clock expired.
It was a dramatic walk-off from Schwarber, but he actually had 30 more seconds to play with because he hit two homers farther than 440 feet and was awarded some extra time.
In the other semifinal, Bryce Harper beat Max Muncy 13-12. Smh. Harper went on to knock off Schwarber in the final round to claim the Home Run Derby title.
In all, Hoskins hit 37 homers in two rounds, with the deepest two going 466 and 463 feet. He homered on nearly half of his swings.
An extremely impressive first showing in the derby for Hoskins, who may want to return because of the unfinished business.
Leading off the derby, Hoskins cranked 17 jacks to upset 1-seed Jesus Aguilar, who hit 11.
With 17, Hoskins tied Muncy for the most in the first round, though Muncy and Harper stopped before time expired because they had already beaten their opponent.
Hoskins just had a much quicker pace than Aguilar, who took his time between swings, as did his pitcher.
Entering the night, Hoskins was 11/2 to win the derby, per Bovada. Aguilar had the second-shortest odds at 7/2, behind only Harper.
A cool moment occurred midway through the first round when Hoskins called his one permitted timeout and fist bumped with Harper, who was expressing awe at the ease of Hoskins' homers.
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Adam Haseley had one heck of a first week in Double A.
The Phillies' first-round pick in 2017 (eighth overall) was promoted to Double A Reading on July 11 and responded by going 5 for 13 (.385) with a double, two homers and two walks in his first four games.
As a result, Haseley was named Eastern League Player of the Week in his very first try.
Haseley has already been promoted four times over the last calendar year. Last summer, he began in the Gulf Coast League, was promoted to Low A Williamsport after three games, then made it to Class A Lakewood by season's end.
He began this season at High A Clearwater and earned the promotion to Reading after hitting .300 in 354 plate appearances.
All told, Haseley has hit .296/.352/.423 with 27 doubles, seven triples and 10 homers in 616 plate appearances in the minors.
The 22-year-old University of Virginia product was a more polished prospect than the previous year's No. 1 pick, Mickey Moniak.
Moniak, who turned 20 on May 13, has hit .242 with a meager .268 OBP in 75 games at Clearwater this season. The power has been slow to come around, and Moniak has slashed just .247/.290/.350 in 999 plate appearances the last three seasons.
There's still plenty of time for Moniak, but he can't be satisfied with how he's hit to this point, nor can an organization that used the first overall pick in the draft on him. Some baseball people have questioned whether Moniak will grow strong enough to consistently drive the baseball as the quality of pitching he faces increases.
Rounding out the first-round pick updates, Cornelius Randolph has struggled even more than Moniak. Randolph, drafted 10th overall in 2015, has hit .215 with one home run in 80 games at Double A this season.
Randolph was drafted for his offense specifically but things haven't clicked yet. He's hit .252/.346/.362 with 17 homers in 1,328 plate appearances since being drafted.
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