Lancaster JetHawks Update


Welcome to your weekly Lancaster JetHawks Update.  It’s been over a week since Climbing Tal’s Hill last looked in on the high-A club.  Since then, the team has gone 3-4 with some pretty low run support for a team with this talent and in this hitter friendly league.  It’s no surprise that the game they scored 22 runs, they won.  The coach should tell them to do that every day, right?  Let’s look into that game and check in on the biggest stars for the JetHawks.

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The date was May 21st.  A seemingly normal day that turned into a disaster for

Tyler Smith


Ryne Slack

of the High Desert Mavericks – A Texas Rangers affiliate.  These two pitchers were slapped around for 8 and 9 earned runs respectively while leading their team to defeat.  The JetHawks put up crooked numbers in the first three innings to make sure an easy night ahead for starter

Evan Grills


A.J. Reed


Chase McDonald

both homered, and Reed drove in a total of 4 runs in the victory.  Budding superstar

Brett Phillips

was 3-5 with two triples and three r.b.i.

Hey, it’s the California League.  Nights like this are going to happen, but it seems to hold more credence when it comes from the major prospects in the Houston Astro organization.  Let’s look at the numbers the big stars put up over the last week or so:

Brett Phillips has been on fire.  He is 17 for his last 42 with two homers, 12 runs, 11 r.b.i., and seven walks.  The youngster may not be old enough to drink, but he’s a man and he’s now hitting .339 in 2015.  I love checking in on this guy, but I fear that as the Lancaster reporter, my time to do so is running short.  Surely, he’ll be on his way to double-A Corpus Christi soon.

Houston’s Rising Stars are playing in Lancaster this year

A.J. Reed is the big boy over at first base.  He hasn’t homered again since the 21st, but his strikeout to walk ratio is improving along with his batting average.  These are key indicators that he is a real hitter and not just a slugger looking to pop everything out of the yard.  He’s now batting .286 with 11 homers and 36 r.b.i. in just 44 games.

J.D. Davis, the talented young third baseman, has been a little quiet lately.  He’s 6 for his last 38 and hasn’t homered in some time. His average has been buoyed by his sizzling start but is now falling under .280 for the first time.  We’ll see if he can get right over the next week or two.

I don’t usually talk about the pitching for this team because it is hard to judge the inflated ERAs of these weak California League pitchers.  However, it is worth noting that stud prospect Michael Feliz has been promoted to the double-A Corpus Christi team from Lancaster.  In his eight games as a JetHawk, the big righty went 1-1 with a 4.17 E.R.A. (Pretty good in this league) while averaging over a strikeout an inning.  He now joins Mark Appel, Josh Hader, and Vincent Velasquez in what has to be one of the most talented staffs in all the minors.

Be sure to stay tuned to Climbing Tal’s Hill for updates on all the minor league teams as we prime you for the next wave of young talent to join the big club.

Go JetHawks and Go Stros!

Next: Keeping Up with AJ Reed (Interview)

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