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Allen Lessels' On Baseball: Phillie of the Future?
Reading slugger Cameron Perkins brought his big bat to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Saturday. (Bruce Taylor/Union Leader)
"He's kind of a baseball player," said Reading manager Dusty Wathan, whose father is John Wathan, the former Major League player and manager. "Tools-wise, there's nothing that really jumps out at you. He doesn't have an unbelievable arm or unbelievable power. But he's got the one thing you look for in a hitter and it's hand-eye coordination. He has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball and he's done it consistently this year."
"He plays all three outfield positions and he plays first base and he's played great defense for us," Wathan said. "He runs the bases well. He's just a fun guy to watch play. He's a very good fielder and his baseball IQ is high, which always helps."
"I think some of those guys get overlooked a bit in the draft and then once you get them in the organization, you realize, wow, this guy has some intangibles that are really going to help him in his career," Wathan said.
Kevin Nolan of Nashua was back from Triple-A Buffalo and in the Fisher Cats lineup, hitting second and playing shortstop, on Saturday night.
Nolan played seven games with the Bisons in the past week and went 5-for-23 for a .217 batting average.Mike McDade, who played with the Fisher Cats in 2011 and 2012, was in the lineup at first base. McDade split time between the Triple-A teams from the Indians and White Sox last season. He signed back with the Toronto organization in March and has been rehabbing a hamstring injury.
Durham's Sam Fuld didn't take long to make an impact with the Minnesota Twins. Designated for assignment by the Oakland A's on April 11, Fuld was claimed off waivers by the Twins last Sunday.He joined the team for its series at Tampa Bay, his old team, on Wednesday and had five hits in 10 at bats with three doubles and three runs batted in between a 5-4 win in 12 innings on Wednesday night and 9-7 win on Thursday afternoon.
"This was a good place for him to start," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters after Thursday's game. "He put some really nice swings out there, driving the baseball. An exciting player. That was big. He had a big series here, and we needed him to."
Fuld followed up the Tampa Bay games with a two-for-four outing in a 10-6 loss to Detroit on Friday night.
Right-handed pitcher Jordan Cote of Sanbornton has picked up the pace in his conversion to the bullpen with the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees in the South Atlantic League.
Thursday's outing was his best yet. He went a season-high three innings and allowed one hit and struck out three while combining with lefty Caleb Smith on a 6-0 shutout of the Delmarva Shorebirds, a Baltimore Orioles farm team.
Cote, 21, is 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds and was a third round pick of the Yankees out of Winnisquam Regional High School in Northfield in 2011.
Second baseman Mookie Betts and left-hander Henry Owens, considered by some to be the top two Boston Red Sox prospect, continue to shine at Double-A Portland.
The Fisher Cats play eight games against the Sea Dogs in the next month. The teams play a four-game set in Portland May 8-11 in their first meetings of the season and the Sea Dogs are at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium for four more, May 23-26.
Move them up a spot, though. No. 1 is Xander Bogaerts, who is starting at shortstop for the Red Sox.
Catcher Blake Swihart, No. 4 on the prospects list, is hitting .339 for Portland.