Photographs courtesy © Gary Jarvis

By 1989 they were getting closer… no star players yet but some kids were making waves, pitching real good ball for 5-8 starts then getting promoted to Advanced-A ball. They would finish only 2 games under .500 and were starting to show some an upward swing. Under the Phillies umbrella, it would still take awhile for the team to get playoff bound and they wouldn’t always break the .500 mark but they were always close. No more 13 games under .500; always within a game or two of breaking even, if not sailing way above.  By 1990 they had cracked the mark, going 41-35. Sean Ryan owned the plate batting .273 and slamming 16 bombs, while Michael Owens hit 12 of his own. Future 8 year MLB veteran Steve Parris was the best pitcher going 7-1, 2.64, Albert Baur was 4-0, 2.28, Elliot Gray was 5-3, 2.89, David Ross was 3-1,  2.20, Garland Slaughter was 1-2, 1.90 and future 2 time Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Mike Williams was 2-3 with a 2.30 ERA. 1991 saw 3 young prospects come to town on their way to the bigs… unfortunately they would do very well in the Minors and never really make a splash in the Majors. Mike Grace (1-2, 1.39), Matt Whisenant (2-1, 2.45) and Tyler Green (1-0, 1.20) would all do so well in Batavia that they were quickly promoted to the next level before they had a chance to make an impact on Batavia. Neither however would live up to their reputations in the Majors. Tyler Green would become the only All-Star, pitching well in the 1st half but then heading down the steep slope in the 2nd half. They finished 2 games under in 1991 and then swapped that in 1992 finishing 2 games over but produced no noteworthy players. In 1993 they were back to a game under (again still way better than the recent 7 year stretch with 10 games under or worse).