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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/10/24 : High Performance Camp Day Three

Day Three of HP Camp introduced the first infield and outfield drills of the year with four coaches hitting fungos in fifteen minute time intervals to different rotation groupings over the course of a couple hours.  As is the case of every camp run by Field Coordinator Kevin Bradshaw and Florida Complex Coordinator Keith Werman the practice schedules are well organized and timely adhered to.

Today we saw infielders pared into three groups with the outfielders making a fourth.  Pitchers were also divided into four groups for their drills which this morning continued along on the arm build up process of catch and toss albeit many of the fellas (since they’ve been throwing for awhile now on their own back home) are putting a bit more zip on their throws than just a toss.  All of the groups opened their daily practice sessions with tissue prep work and warmups consisting of stretching, calisthenics and running.  That’s followed by band work to get the shoulders and arms loose (this part scares me a bit as I still have memories of what happened to LHP Matt Imhoff a few years back when a band snapped and injured his eye).  After whatever baseball drills the players participate in the practices conclude with strength and body conditioning work in the weight room.  Each day spent at the complex also is inclusive of insuring nutrition is addressed with provisioned meals, energy drinks and snacks.  Mental health is incorporated with scheduled group and individual meetings/discussions with the Mental Performance coaching staff.  These camps are a very thorough and well thought out process and they run like clockwork.

The infield and outfield drills today were focused on securing ground balls - no throwing was incorporated for the initial practices.  Technique is a primary focus with the guidance of pushing the glove thru the baseball, head and eyes following it’s path, fielding the ball out in front of the body (attacking it rather than having it play you) and progressing to a throwing position.  All infielders lined up on the dirt on the left side of the Carlton Field diamond with the outfielders conducting their drill in center field.   It was great to see Nikau Pouaka-Grego as a full participant in infield drills, the young man has worked extremely hard to make his way back from an ACL reconstruction that kept him out of action for the entire 2023 season.

Jim Peyton (writer of the website Phuture Phillies) and I have attended each of the practices together as is our normal course of action.  It’s a hobby for both of us to observe and then provision writings of each day’s discovery.  It’s also an opportunity to chat with the fellas as they conclude their practice sessions, most everyone is aware of who we are and those that aren’t we kindly introduce ourselves to 🤓 - we met a few new coaches and some players we haven’t chatted with before in today’s session.  There are other folks who attend as well, a few of the regular autograph seekers have been in tow the last couple of days.  One thing that is very noticeable and has been for while - the Phillies minor league players, coaches and staff are all very cordial and welcoming, I know that it is a written part of the “Protect the Standard” charter to show respect to others - I can attest from both personal experience and observations that that message is very well adhered to.  It’s something the player development organization prides itself on and it certainly shines thru.

I know that back home in the Philly area it was an extreme weather day yesterday, we had our version of that as well here.  The wind was ferocious and whipped quite a few things about.  The Carpenter Complex fields are resilient though and the grounds crew does an excellent job of maintaining excellent playing standards.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t give Mr. Joe Cynar a shout out as well as in his job as Director of Training Facilities and Equipment he’s a jack of all trades and is on top of his game each day.  The complex runs smoothly just like the daily practices - that’s not by accident - kudos to everyone that makes that happen.  Their combined efforts allows an old goofball like myself a chance to come watch and chat baseball each day without interruption and most importantly keeps the development of the players on target - that’s good stuff!

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Yesterday’s winds took the hitting backstop from its normal place behind the plate on Ashburn Field all the way down to the fencing alongside the right field line - Mother Nature is an amazing presence.

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