Five IronPigs are Named to Triple-A All-Star Game
The Phillies Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is loaded with prospects. At 50-29, the IronPigs are in first place in the International League North with a 50-29 record. Therefore it should be no surprise that the All-Star game would feature at least a few IronPigs. There will be a record five total when the International League takes on the Pacific League at Triple-A Tacoma on July 12.
Four of the five are legitimate Major League prospects.
Catcher Jorge Alfaro will be a reserve for the International League. The right-handed hitting catcher is batting .256 for the IronPigs with six home runs and 35 runs batted in. Alfaro had a cup of coffee in the Major Leagues with the Phillies last season, coming up briefly while Carlos Ruiz was traded to the Dodgers but before A.J. Ellis could report to the Phillies and then again in September. Alfaro was obtained in the trade that sent pitcher Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers.
Tom Eshelman is often considered the "ace" of the IronPigs pitching staff. After beginning 2016 in Double-A Reading and going 3-0 with a 3.10 earned run average, Eshelman is 6-2 with a 2.15 earned run average for the IronPigs. Eshelman came to the Phillies in the trade that sent Ken Giles to the Houston Astros.
Closer Pedro Beato really does not get a lot of attention, as he is not really considered a prospect. Beato has played in the Major Leagues for the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves, but has not been in the Major Leagues since 2014. As the IronPigs closer, Beato has a league-leading 22 saves. Beato is 0-3 with a 3.67 earned run average in all out of the bullpen. 30 years old, Beato was signed as a minor league free agent before the 2017 season.
Phillies fans generally are well aware of the "Bash Brothers" Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins. Cozens currently has 18 home runs and 51 runs batted in for the IronPigs and an OPS of .796, despite batting just .237. Hoskins has 18 home runs himself, with 62 runs batted in, while batting .304 and logging a 1.004 OPS for the IronPigs.
The promotion happened at a tough time for second baseman Scott Kingery. Kingery probably would have been selected as a Double-A Eastern League All-Star had he not been promoted. Though off to a hot start, Kingery does not have enough time at Triple-A to get All-Star consideration. However, Kingery will represent the Phillies along with Hoskins at the 2017 All-Star Futures Game.