Crosscutters' Hiciano lumbers up

Phillies prospect homers twice, plates career-high eight runs

By Jonathan Raymond / | August 17, 2013 6:53 PM ET

The power potential has been there all season for Samuel Hiciano, even if it seemed to be dormant at times.

On Saturday, it was out there in plain sight.

The Phillies prospect had the kind of game his talent would suggest he could have, homering twice and driving in a career-high eight runs to lead short-season Williamsport to an 11-0 whitewash of Batavia.

Hiciano also delivered a two-run double for his first three-hit night of the season.

"He got lucky," joked Williamsport manager Nelson Prada, adding, "No, no, just kidding."

Prada said the real difference Saturday was Hiciano's selectivity.

"He was patient at the plate, looking for his pitch. And I think he's been hitting lefties better than righties this year, so his strength was that and staying back and seeing the ball better, being a little patient. He was looking for the one pitch to swing at and he found it," he said.

After his double in the fourth inning put the Crosscutters in front for good, Hiciano slugged three-run homers in the sixth and seventh.

The 19-year-old outfielder was hitting .205/.307/.375 in 28 games in his first season in the New York-Penn League, but Prada said a wrist injury had contributed to a sluggish start that featured no homers through his first 12 contests.

Hiciano has been much better since, with all six of his homers and a .263 average over his next 17 games, including a stretch from July 31-Aug. 2 in which he went yard on three consecutive days.

"He played through some difficulties. He had some problem on his left wrist early in the season and he didn't really say anything until he really felt it," Prada said. "He talked to me one day in the office and said, 'I've been playing with this little pain here,' and at that time he only had one homer in, I think, 50 at-bats. And when he said that we gave him a break for about a week, to work with him and get him healthier. And after that, pretty much his last 35-40 at-bats, he's made a lot of good decisions, looking really good.

"He had the back-to-back-to-back days with three straight homers. He has the power."

Overall, the native of the Dominican Republic is batting .226/.321/.462 with six homers and 16 RBIs in 29 games.

Prada said the key for Hiciano going forward is continuing to be a choosier hitter.

"Normally, that's when he's a better hitter. That's the key for him," the manager said. "Right now, he chases sometimes. What happened today is he was patient at the plate, hit his pitches, got his swings. When he's impatient is when he has problems. But he's a young guy. You just got to get him to be more consistent and he'll be OK."

In addition to Hiciano, Justin Parr went 3-for-5 and scored three times for Williamsport, with Dylan Cozens, Zach Green and Malquin Canelo driving in the other runs.

Drew Anderson (6-3) allowed four hits over five innings as the Crosscutters posted their third shutout of the season.

Jonathan Raymond is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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