Hood has a career day, Fightins take down Fisher Cats 12-5
Right fielder Destin Hood was released by Cleveland earlier this season and picked up by the Phillies in July. Since his debut in Reading the 25-year-old has 27 RBI in 29 games, averaging .290. Hood was successful in Akron too, hitting .293 before the Indians released him in a strange move to open a spot in Double-A.
In Reading’s 12-6 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Wednesday Hood drove in half of the teams runs with a career-high six RBI, including two, two-run homeruns and a two-run double.
Hood said he had been in a “funk” in the least week or so, indicating he’s very hard on himself when he doesn’t perform, but went out Wednesday just trying to have fun.
“For the last week I’ve been feeling a little off and I finally feel like I’ve started to put it back together,” Hood said. “For me personally, I’m just trying to have fun. Go out there and beat the odds.”
Nick Williams proving his worth
In a little over two weeks in Reading, 21-year old CF Nick Williams has created a buzz in the Phillies blogisphere about his potential in the organization. Acquired from Texas as just one of the five prospects dealt in the Cole Hamels trade, Williams hit lead-off for Reading in his first game with his new Double-A team and has batted in that same spot ever since.
In just 15 games as a Phillies prospect, Williams is hitting .373 with a .613 slugging percentage, sitting comfortably as one of the top sluggers in Reading (beaten out by former Phillie Chase Utley - who earned a .625 SLG% in two rehab games with the Fightin Phils.)
Now, realistically these numbers don’t mean much in terms of average due to his short tenure in the city, but Reading manager Dusty Wathan has high hopes.
“He’s definitely has tons of talent, but there’s still a lot of things we have to work on defensively, but he’s already made some good adjustments,” Wathan said. “I’ve been really happy with him and his patience at the plate and the way he’s swung the bat. He’s got a good chance to move up. Obviously he’s already here at 21-years-old so I would say he’s in the right place and going the right direction.”
Williams went three-for-five Wednesday night.
Another Ken Giles?
With 72 wins under their belt, the Fightin Phils are sitting easy on top of the Eastern League. In the middle of a 15-1 stretch and a five-game winning streak Wathan is happy with his team’s success late in the season.
“I think right now we have a really good chance [at winning the game] every night, no matter what happens,” Wathan said. “There’s a lot of confidence right now and everyone has been playing well but the bullpen has been outstanding.”
Reading has built a bullpen riddled with talent like Stephen Shackleford, Tom Windle, Hoby Milner, and new acquisition, Jimmy Cordero.
Acquired in the Ben Revere trade earlier this month, Cordero has ‘wow’d’ fans in Reading with his high-velocity pitching. Cordero came in for relief Wednesday, and in two innings, the 23-year-old was consistently over 100 mph in 30 pitches against his former team.
He walked one batter and allowed one home run - a long shot to right by Dwight Smith Jr. off of a 102 mph pitch - and while his speed would impress anyone (and intimidate any batter), it took him a few pitches to really hone-in his control.
Wathan said Cordero was “amped up” throwing against his former teammates, but said he was happy with his control after facing the first few batters.
“He’s got some things to work on but it’s fun to work with guys who have a lot of talent,” Wathan said. “God blessed him with a good arm and lucky for us we were able to acquire him.
“If we can mold him into another Kenny Giles or one of those... If you can get Jimmy to a situation where he could hit in the seventh or eighth inning in the big leagues, then that would be really good with the guys we have up there already.”