CLEARWATER, Florida - The Philadelphia Phillies have announced that eight more minor league players have received invitations to Major League Spring Training, including 2017 Threshers pitchers Cole Irvin and JD Hammer, and catcher Edgar Cabral.
Former Clearwater hurlers Thomas Eshelman and Brandon Leibrandt, second baseman Scott Kingery, and outfielder Andrew Pullin also received invites, along with pitcher Enyel De Los Santos, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres in the Freddy Galvis trade this offseason.
The Threshers will be heavily represented this spring. Third baseman Mitch Walding and catcher Logan Moore also received non-roster invitations earlier this month, building on a 40-man roster which features 26 former Clearwater standouts.
Irvin will get his first taste of big league camp after earning Florida State League All Star honors last season with Clearwater, when he pitched to a 2.55 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). The southpaw finished the season in Reading after receiving a promotion on June 28, and posted a 4.06 ERA with the Fightin Phils while holding opponents to just a .228 average. The 23-year-old has risen quickly through the system after the Phillies drafted him in the fifth round out of the University of Oregon in 2016.
Hammer dominated in his 12 relief appearances in Clearwater last summer, and was named to the All-Prospect team in the Arizona Fall League. The 23-year-old permitted only one run on eight hits and two walks in 15.2 innings for the Threshers, producing a minuscule 0.57 ERA. Along with pitcher Alejandro Requena and shortstop Jose Lopez, Hammer was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitcher Pat Neshek on July 27.
Cabral made the most of a late season promotion to Clearwater, batting .310 in 24 games as a Thresher. Behind the plate, the 22-year-old committed only two passed balls combined between Lakewood and Clearwater while nabbing 48% of would-be base stealers.
Making his second appearance in big league camp, Kingery enters this spring ranked as the top second base prospect in Minor League Baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. Kingery is coming off a year in which he shattered his career high with 26 home runs, represented the Phillies in the MLB Futures Game, and earned a Minor League Gold Glove award. Kingery spent the first half of 2016 in a Threshers uniform, when he hit .293 and earned FSL All-Star honors.
A fellow 2016 Thresher, Eshelman also finds himself on the cusp of the big leagues after a breakout campaign at Lehigh Valley. The right-hander will be making his first appearance in big league camp this spring after going 10-3 with a 2.23 ERA in 18 starts for the IronPigs last summer. The Phillies acquired Eshelman from the Houston Astros in the Ken Giles trade on December 12, 2015.
Leibrandt split 2017 between Reading and Lehigh Valley and recorded an 11-5 record and 3.62 ERA in 25 total starts. The 25-year-old lefty, who made 23 starts for Clearwater between 2015-16, has finished with an ERA in the 3.00's or lower in each of his four professional seasons.
Pullin receives his second consecutive non-roster invite after splitting the 2017 season between Reading and Lehigh Valley. The 24-year-old hit .308 and clubbed 14 home runs with the Fightin Phils before earning a promotion on June 22, and finished with a .272 average combined. Pullin tied for the FSL lead with 14 home runs as a Thresher in 2015.
The Phillies open Spring Training on February 22 at Spectrum Field with an exhibition game against the University of Tampa at 1:05 p.m. Tickets for all Phillies Spring Training games are on sale now at phillies.com or at the BayCare Box Office at Spectrum Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.