100 Lakewood BlueClaws have now gone from the Shore to the Show
In what would have been their 20th season on the baseball diamond that was cancelled along with other affiliated teams by Minor League Baseball due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Lakewood BlueClaws can still celebrate a major milestone in 2020.
If you're a Die Hard Philadelphia Phillies and Lakewood BlueClaws fan already, you may know already but even if you do let's all take a moment to round the bases with our Jersey Shore baseball team on reaching the plateau of developing 100 players who have gone on to play at the Major League level.
Of course, dozens and hundreds of other players have set foot in the batters box at First Energy Park over the last two-decades and hit their share of homeruns, extra-base hits, pitched a gem and made some spectacular plays but not everyone can make it to the next level or to the Show.
100 players who donned the BlueClaws uniform have now officially made it from the Jersey Shore to the Show.
Pitcher Connor Brogdon was number 100 when he made his Major League Debut on Thursday for a Phillies bullpen that's been serving more cookies of late than a bakery on a Sunday morning.
The 25-year old is touted among the Phillies creme de la creme reliever prospects, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, who says the tall 6'6 righty has used his fastball-changeup 1-2 punch to the tune of a 2.61 ERA and 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings as he sprinted up three levels in the organization last season.
The Phillies bullpen has been getting taxed of late as well and the pitching staff overall has had some issues with the Orioles of late who just swept the team at Citizens Bank Park.
Brogdon had a rough debut Thursday giving up 2 home runs and 3 runs overall but did strike out a pair, so the future looks bright for him an other prospects now getting their chance to shine.
The 99th former BlueClaws player to make the Show did so as well on Thursday for the Phillies as Alec Bohm made a splash early with a double in his first at-bat.
Bohm will get plenty of at-bats coming up being their top offensive prospect and he'll have a near daily presence at third base according to ProBaseballTalk with Phillies Manager Joe Girardi and GM Matt Klentak shuffling players like Jean Segura and Scott Kingery around to help pick things up.
The 98th BlueClaws prospect to make his debut with the Phillies was Spencer Howard who pitched on Sunday and will make a start on Friday night, according to NBC Sports, replacing Vince Velasquez.
Everyone is familiar with the first BlueClaws player to make it to the Show and he also helped the Phillies win a World Series in 2008 and that's power hitting first baseman Ryan Howard who played in Lakewood in 2002 and debuted with the Phils in 2004.
Howard (#29) and another former BlueClaw Cole Hamels (#19) have both had their numbers retired at First Energy Park in recent seasons.
Pitcher, Gavin Floyd, who played with Howard, was the 2nd BlueClaws player to make it to the Major Leagues and did so in 2004, two days after Howard.
Carlos Ruiz, who was behind the plate for the Phillies 2008 World Series championship team, was a member of the original BlueClaws in 2001 and made his big league debut in 2006.
Five former BlueClaws have made big league debuts as well in 2020: Ramon Rosso, Spencer Howard, Bohm, and Brogdon with the Phillies and Franklyn Kilome with the Mets.
Spencer Howard, who debuted on Sunday, spent 2018 at the Shore.
With the BlueClaws, he went 9-8 with a 3.78 ERA.
The BlueClaws recalled his most memorable moment with the team as they looked back this week, when he threw a postseason no-hitter in Game 2 of the South Atlantic League Northern Division Championship Series while with the team.
He was a 2nd round pick of the Phillies in 2017 from Cal-Poly.
Bohm, the 3rd overall pick in 2018 from Wichita State, opened 2019 with the BlueClaws.
He played 22 games and hit .367 with three home runs and 10 multi-hit games.
Bohm followed Mike Zagurski (BlueClaws 2006, Phillies 2007), Kyle Kendrick (2006, Phillies 2007), RJ Swindle (2007, Phillies 2008), Sergio Escalona (2008, Phillies 2009), Lendy Castillo (2011, Cubs 2012), Drew Anderson (2016, Phillies 2017), and Ranger Suarez (2017, Phillies 2018) as BlueClaws to make their big league debuts in the season following their time spent at the Jersey Shore.
Brogdon, a 10th round pick in 2017 from Lewis & Clark State, was a teammate of Spencer Howard with the BlueClaws in 2018.
He went 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA with Lakewood that summer, and had a 1.42 ERA over 38 innings as a reliever.
Give a standing ovation from your couch, yard or where ever you're following the BlueClaws and Phillies in 2020 to these players whose efforts have been rewarded with a trip to the Major Leagues with bright looking futures.
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