It has been the year of the no hitter in the minors. with six no hitters having been thrown before the calender turned to May. Yesterday, the Lakewood BlueClaws, the Philadelphia Phillies South Atlantic League entry, added to the list with a combined no hitter of their own.
There have been quite a few impressive pitching performances already in the minor leagues. of those aforementioned six no hitters, two had been perfect games, with Tyler Mahle and Domenic Mazza turning the trick within four days of one another.
The Year of the No Hitter has definitely taken hold in the South Atlantic League. Not only was Mazza’s perfect game in the Sally League, but the Greensboro Grasshoppers had a combined no hitter on April 28. Yesterday, the Philadelphia Phillies entrant into the league, the Lakewood Blue Claws, added to that list, as Nick Fanti and Trevor Bettencourt combined to throw a no hitter over the Columbia Fireflies.
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Fanti was excellent in his outing. He lasted 8.2 innings, issuing three walks and striking out nine batters. He left after issuing a walk to Luis Carpio, running his pitch count up to 113 pitches. Bettencourt, his roommate, came on with runners on first and second, and struck out Michael Paez to put the finishing touches on the no hitter.
Although neither pitcher ranks in the Phillies to 30 prospects according to MLB.com, it is difficult to ignore their production. With that outing, Fanti improved to 2-0 with a 1.48 ERA and a 0.791 WHiP, striking out 31 batters against 10 walks in 30.1 innings. This season is a continuation of what has been an impressive minor league career thus far, as Fanti has a 10-1 record with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.893 WHiP. Over his 99.2 innings, he has struck out 116 batters and issued 25 walks. If he continues at this rate, Fanti should be considered one of the Phillies top pitching prospects.
Bettencourt, meanwhile, is also looking to position himself as a part of the Phillies future. He has done well thus far, posting a 1.23 ERA and a 0.682 WHiP with two saves in his six outings on the season. In his 7.1 innings, Bettencourt has struck out 11 batters, while allowing just four hits and one walk. That type of dominance, if it can be continued, will attract notice.
As this was against the Columbia Fireflies, home of Tim Tebow, there may be some wondering how he did last night. Yes, he was in the lineup, but ended the evening 0-3 with two strikeouts. So, no, he did not receive any of those three free passes.
The future is already bright for the Philadelphia Phillies, as they have an excellent farm system. If Trevor Bettencourt and Nick Fanti continue to perform they way they have thus far, that system will be even better.