READING — The Double-A Reading Fightin Phils opened their series against the Harrisburg Senators with Phillies’ top pitching prospect Adonis Medina on the mound on Friday night. The Fightins entered the day 1.5 games out of first place. They needed a good outing from their ace to keep gaining ground in the standings.
But Medina’s start had more riding on it than just Eastern League standings.
The Phillies organization clearly wants to make the postseason this season. After making many offseason splashes, they will also be active buyers as the trade deadline nears. In fact, the team has already started to make deals, trading for veteran outfielder Jay Bruce earlier in the week. As the Phillies continue to look to improve their Major League roster, Adonis Medina is a name that could certainly be thrown around in trade discussions. He is a solid trade chip that, in a package of other prospects, could potentially net them a Cy Young-type of pitcher.
The organization needs Medina to perform well in order to get the best possible deal for him. They need teams to believe that he is truly worth the type of return the Phillies will want. And on Friday, Medina showed that he may be the kind of prospect to headline a blockbuster trade.
Medina threw six innings of outstanding baseball. He got ground ball out after ground ball out, not allowing hitters to do any true damage to his pitches. The only run he gave up was unearned off an RBI bloop single. Medina left the game with an 8-1 lead, earning the win as the Fightins held on 9-4.
Although he only struck out five, Medina commanded his sinker with ease to keep the ball on the ground. After the game, he told reporters, through a translator, that he’s been “working on throwing more and more around the plate and creating contact.” This strategy was quite effective for the 22-year old on Friday, and has been for quite a few starts now.
Medina has an ERA of 0.83 over 21.2 innings in his last four starts. He is starting to settle in and really show how he can pitch. The run that he has been on may show a team looking to sell that he is worth investing in. Perhaps he will be the guy that starts the rebuild for another team.
If the Phillies can get the pieces to end their seven season playoff drought, Adonis Medina may be the one to thank.