Lancaster JetHawks Weekly Update: Brett Phillips on Fire


Alright, Houston Astros fans, it’s time for your weekly Lancaster JetHawks update.  Since last we talked about the high-A club, the JetHawks got hit with the opposite results from the streaking big league club.  The talent rich team lost six times against just one victory.  This is certainly not something that followers of the California league are used to seeing.  Let’s break down the stats to see exactly what went so wrong over the last seven days.

The JetHawks split the final two games of a three game set against Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers), and then proceeded to get swept by Modesto (Rockies) over the next three and dropping the first two games against Stockton (A’s).  The series continues in Stockton tonight at 9pm.

The team may be struggling to win ballgames, but that is not the fault of centerfielder Brett Phillips.  The young stud has been on fire.  Since last Wednesday, the 29th of April, Phillips is 13-26 with 3 homers and 5 rbi.  He is murdering the ball to the tune of a .364 average on the year.

Another bright spot comes from the second base position.  Jose Fernandez, the 6’1″ 170 pound 21 year-old from the Dominican Republic, leads the team with a .365 average.  He is currently on a 14 game hit streak and while he lacks the extra base potential of Phillips, his .446 on-base percentage jumps off the page. He also lead off Tuesday’s game against Stockton with a solo blast to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. On Monday, Phillips held those honors. I’ll keep an eye on him and continue to update his progress right here at CTH.

As for the rest of the big boys, A.J. Reed has been continued to show some progress with a couple of homers over the last 7 days, but his .222 average coming into tonight’s game is less than what the Astro organization has come to expect from the big first baseman.  The third of the “big three” offensive stars (Phillips and Reed) at Lancaster, J.D. Davis, saw his batting average drop below .300 this week.  It is likely no coincidence that the team has struggled with Reed and Davis producing less than expected.  Couple their output with the coming back to Earth of Chase McDonald (0 for his last 18) and you’ve got a recipe for a poor stretch.

While the offense has been poor, the pitching has been equally as bad while giving up at least seven runs in each of the last four contests.  Stud right-hander Michael Feliz has been consistent, but not electric.  His 4.74 E.R.A through 19 innings may be an illusion considering the fact that the California league is so hitter friendly, but it is hard to tell with the Astros two-start rotations.

Amidst this losing streak, Lancaster has seen their record drop to 11-15, and the JetHawks find themselves at the bottom of the division but still just four games out of first. Let’s hope the club can have a more successful coming week and see the offense get going a little.

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