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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/11/24 : The potential 2024 Reading Fightins  - a way too early look


Baseball practice at the complex has returned with High Performance Camp this week. However I've still got two articles to go in my way too early opening day roster projections for the minor leagues.


I concluded my 38 part notes series detailing the Phillies minor leaguers we saw play during the 2023 season on 12/5/23 which encompassed a total of nearly 200 individual profiles on players.  Here’s a link to the 12/5 last article in the series which contains within it links to the prior thirty seven if ya missed them 🤓.  https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-5-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-six


This is the third of a four part series outlining potential 2024 opening day landing points for Phillies minor league players.  It’s far too early to do so as spring camps will play a large part to determine a much clearer view of who’s going where to start the season but nevertheless we venture down the path anyways.  Here’s a link to part one on the FCL and Clearwater in case ya missed it - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/1-2-24-the-potential-2024-xst-fcl-phillies-clearwater-threshers



The domestic minor league reserve active roster limit for 2024 once the AAA level season starts is 165 players, fourteen of which will be players optioned from the major League reserve list.  The limit is 175 players prior to the season including spring training which excludes those on the 40 man roster.  Active rosters at the AAA and AA levels are limited to 28 players with 30 players being the active roster sizes for both High A and Low A.  There are no roster limits for extended spring training or the Florida Complex League other than the overall reserve cap.  So in effect 116 active player spots is the maximum for the four full season squads however “inactive” players can practice with each of the teams if they are designated as being on the “development list”.   Players on the various injured lists can also stay with the designated full season clubs as inactive spots however more often than not those players come to the Complexes for rehab training.


The Reading Fightin Phils are the Double A level of play affiliate for the Phillies.  Double A is the third rung of the ladder for what is referred to as “full season” play meaning that a formalized league game schedule is played from April to September.  Reading is part of the twelve team Eastern League.


The Phillies organization has a very talented group of young players, here’s my view of the players likely in the mix at the Double A level.  Again more detailed information on each player can be found using the link above to get to my annualized player notes.


Pitchers :


Potential Starters/Bulk Relievers :


LH Jordan Fowler - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/14/20 - Central Missouri University - pitched in 15 games (all starts) for Jersey Shore in 2023 before going on the IL on 7/20/23 - consummate strike thrower.


RH Gunner Mayer - 23 years old - 2019 5th round draft selection - San Joaquin Delta JC, CA - pitched in 23 games (20 starts) with Jersey Shore in 2023 - power arm who can dominate when he throws strikes.


RH Christian McGowan - 23 years old - 2021 7th round draft selection - Eastern Oklahoma State JC, OK - appeared in 10 games (all starts) with FCL, Clearwater, Jersey Shore and Lehigh Valley after being activated from the IL on 7/22/23 - pitched in another 4 games (all starts) in the Arizona Fall League - power sinker pitcher with big league stuff.


LH Matt Osterberg - 24 years old - 2021 15th round selection - St. Cloud State, MN - pitched in 24 games (all starts) with Jersey Shore (18) and Reading (6) in 2023.  Had a very good season, strike thrower who goes right at hitters, no fear.


RH Mitch Neunborn - 26 years old - signed 6/5/23 - born in Johannesburg, South Africa - made 17 appearances (11 starts) for Jersey Shore in 2023 and another 3 appearances in the Arizona Fall League - likely fills the role of bulk reliever - has a put away vulcan grip split finger change up.


RH Efrain Contreras - 24 years old - signed as a free agent 12/23 from Padres organization - originally signed by Padres on 7/8/17 from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico - made 36 appearances (17 starts) for AA level San Antonio in the Texas League in 2023 - could open with AAA Lehigh Valley with good spring camp.


RH Zach Haake - 27 years old - signed as a free agent 3/30/23 from the Royals organization - re-signed 12/23 - appeared in 16 games (14 starts) with FCL, Clearwater, Jersey Shore and Reading (12 games - 11 starts) in 2023 after being activated 6/5/23 - has a power arsenal.  Could open season  in Lehigh Valley instead.


RH Max Lazar - 24 years old - signed as a free agent 12/8/23 from Brewers organization - was 2017 11th round draft selection of the Brewers from Coral Springs HS , Coral Springs , FL - appeared in 33 games last season - 16 at High A Wisconsin and 17 at Double A Biloxi - he’s a bulk reliever who pitched two or more innings in 20 of his 2023 appearances.


RH Robinson Pina - 25 years old - signed 12/11/23 as a minor league free agent from the Angels organization.  Was signed by the Angels on 2/15/17 from Cristobal, Dominican Republic.  He appeared in 34 games in 2023 with High A Tri-City (8), Double A Rocket City (19) and Triple A Salt Lake (7).  Started in 11 of his appearances - pitched two or more innings in 26 games - throws a fastball, splitter and curve.


LH Lachlan Wells - 26 years old - signed 1/24 as a minor league free agent - Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia - He’s had an outstanding Australian Baseball League season for Adelaide posting a 0.73 ERA in seven starts (37 IP) with a whopping 46 strikeouts and a minuscule 4 walks.  His WHIP percentage is also outstanding at 0.84 and he’s averaging 16.2 K’s/9.   This is his first season with Adelaide after pitching for the Sydney BlueSox initially when he was 16 years old beginning with the 2013 season thru the 2021 season - he took a year off before returning this year.  Wells was originally signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2015, he reached the High A level with the Twins and has appeared in 49 minor league games (45 starts) posting a 3.02 ERA in 253 IP and a  1.11 WHIP.  Lachlan had Tommy John surgery in 2019 and was released by Minnesota in 2022.  He features a fastball, curve and change up with the change up being his best pitch and out maker.


Relievers :


RH Konnor Ash - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/20/21 - University of Missouri - made 24 appearances with FCL (1), Clearwater (5), Jersey Shore (17) and Reading (1) in 2023.  Multi inning capability.


RH Andrew Baker - 23 years old - 2021 11th round draft selection - Chipola JC, FL - made 41 appearances for Reading in 2023 and another 7 in the Arizona Fall League.  Big arm back end of game reliever.


RH Jack Dallas - 25 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 8/1/22 - Lamar University - appeared in 42 games with Clearwater (19) and Jersey Shore (23) in 2023 and posted outstanding numbers as both a multi inning and bulk reliever - ability to throw multiple days during the week - mix of pitches with put away capacity.


RH Carlos Francisco - 24 years old - 2019 28th round draft selection - Hillsborough CC, FL - appeared in 49 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (25) and Reading (24) - had a solid season -  pitched as well  in the Puerto Rico Winter League - multi or singular inning reliever who can pitch often.


LH Tristan Garnett - 25 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/20/21 - Cal State Dominguez Hills, CA - appeared in 46 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (34) and Reading (12) - had an outstanding season - put-away change-up - classic over the top delivery.


LH Jordi Martinez - 23 years old - signed 1/22/18 - Santiago, Dominican Republic - appeared in 47 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (39) and Reading (8) - had an very strong year and also pitched in the Arizona Fall League (8 appearances).  Will take the ball every day - mid to upper nineties heat - big league skill set.


RH Tommy McCollum - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/20/21 - Wingate University, Wingate, NC - appeared in 44 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (34) and Reading (10) and had a very strong season, is a strikeout weapon with his high velo and big movement fastball and splitter - pitches on a downward plain - imposing presence - big league skills.


LH Wesley Moore - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 11/9/22 - Kansas State University - appeared in 42 games in 2023 with Clearwater (17) and Jersey Shore (25) - put up outstanding numbers - has the best changeup in the system - major league quality put away pitch - on target to be a big leaguer at some point.


RH Dominic Pipkin - 24 years old - 2018 9th round draft selection - Pinole Valley HS, Pinole, CA - appeared in 23 games in 2023 with FCL(2), Clearwater (3) and Reading (18) - pitched in an additional 3 games in the Arizona Fall League.  Was activated off the IL on 6/16/23 - converted to a back end reliever from starter - big time velo - upper nineties to triple digits.


RH Jason Ruffcorn - 25 years old - 2021 8th round draft selection - University of Oklahoma - appeared in 45 games with Jersey Shore in 2023 - was promoted to Reading 9/17/23 but did not get into a game - had a solid second half of season - will take the ball everyday regardless of situation.


RH Matt Russell - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/21/21 - Missouri State University - appeared in 40 games for Jersey Shore in 2023 - one/two inning reliever who converted from being a starter - can pitch multiple days during the week.


Catchers :


Andrik Nava - 22 years old - signed 7/2/18 - Cabimas, Venezuela - switch hitter who played in 64 games last season (44 as a catcher) for Jersey Shore - is presently playing for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League.  Good offensive skill set - has pop - played last two seasons at Jersey Shore.  Has steadily improved defensively.


Anthony Quirion - 26 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/20/21 - Lamar University - RH hitter - played in 58 games in 2023 with FCL Phillies (5 - rehab) and Jersey Shore (53) - is currently playing for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League.  Caught in 29 games - can also play 1B and 3B.  Is a leader who is well respected.


Caleb Ricketts - 23 years old - 2022 7th round draft selection - San Diego University - LH hitter - played in 72 games in 2023 with FCL Phillies (3 rehab), Clearwater (23) and Jersey Shore (46) - also played in Arizona Fall League (14 games).  Missed some time due to a couple injuries but had an overall good first full season as a professional - may open the year with Jersey Shore instead but I can see a path to an opening day roster with Reading as well.


Carson Taylor - 24 years old - selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft from the Dodgers organization on 12/6/23 - was the Dodgers 4th round draft selection in the 2020 draft from Virginia Tech University - LH hitter who played in 77 games with Double A Tulsa last season catching in 39 - also plays first base and was the DH in 23 games - was an offensive standout in college.  Has above average raw power.


Infielders :


William Simoneit - 27 years old - selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft from the Athletics organization on 12/6/23 - RH hitter - was signed by the A’s from Wake Forest University on 6/22/20 - played in 72 games in 2023 for Double A Midland - caught 30 games, played 1B in 41 games - spent his first three collegiate seasons at Cornell before transferring to Wake Forest.  Is known for his leadership skills.  Can also play third base and left field.  Could open the year with Lehigh Valley instead.


Casey Martin - 24 years old - 2020 3rd round draft selection - University of Arkansas - played in 113 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (52) and Reading (61) - is an excellent defensive shortstop - RH hitter who has struggled to find consistent contact during his three professional seasons.


Pedro Martinez - 22 years old - selected in the minor league phase of the rule 5 draft from the Rays - 12/7/22 - played in 62 games with the FCL Phillies (9 - rehab) and Reading (53) in 2023.  Switch hitter with some pop - defensively is solid at 2B, SS and 3B.


Freylin Minyety - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/20/21 - Wabash Valley JC, IL - played in 57 games in 2023 with Clearwater (28) and Jersey Shore (29) - RH hitter who plays second and third base.


Rixon Wingrove - 23 years old - signed 4/20/18 - Newcastle, NSW, Australia - played in 116 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (101) and Reading (15) - LH power bat - is currently playing for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League - defensively plays first base where he’s progressed to become a very reliable fielder.


Robert Moore - 21 years old - acquired from Brewers in 11/14/23 trade for Oliver Dunn - was the Brewers 2022 CB-B round draft selection - University of Arkansas - played in 123 games at the High A level for Wisconsin in the Brewers organization in 2023 - defensively plays primarily second base but also has played quite a few games at shortstop. Switch hitter.  Is the son of Dayton Moore the former President of Baseball Operations of the KC Royals.  Robert played winter ball for Brisbane in the Australian League in the 2022-2023 season.  He’s noted for good bat speed, soft hands as a fielder and smart baseball acumen along with a high motor.   


Trevor Schwecke - 26 years old - selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft from the Blue Jays organization on 12/6/23 - was Toronto’s 2019 13th round draft selection from Wisconsin-Milwaukee University - RH hitter who played in 87 games last season at Double A New Hampshire (71) and AAA Buffalo (16) - good offensive numbers - defensively played all four infield positions plus left and right field - versatility will serve him well - could open the year with Lehigh Valley instead.


Bryce Ball - 25 years old - selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft from the Guardians organization on 12/6/23 - was the 2019 24th round draft selection of the Atlanta Braves from Dallas Baptist University - in addition to the Guardians has also played in the Cubs organization - played in 95 games last season with High A South Bend (36- Cubs), Double A Tennessee (16- Cubs) and Double A Akron (43 - Guardians) - defensively plays first base - LH power bat who was once a highly regarded prospect in the Braves organization.


Jacob Gonzalez - 25 years old - selected in the minor league portion of the rule 5 draft from the Pirates organization on 12/6/23 - was originally drafted by the Giants in the 2nd round of the 2017 draft - Chaparral HS , Scottsdale, AZ - was waived by the Giants in 2021 and claimed by the Pirates - played in 86 games last season at Double A Altoona - RH hitter - defensively plays 1B, 3B and LF - is the son of former Major Leaguer Luis Gonzalez.


Outfielders :


Marcus Lee Sang - 23 years old - 2019 11th round draft selection - Northern HS, Owings, MD - played in 124 games in 2023 with Jersey Shore (99) and Reading (25).  LH hitter who’s patient and has pop - excellent defensively - played mostly center and left fields in that order.


Leandro Pineda - 21 years old -  signed 7/6/18 - Valencia, Venezuela - played in 110 games with Jersey Shore in 2023 - LH hitter and thrower - came on as the season progressed - strong and accurate arm as a right fielder - can also play left field.


Baron Radcliff - 24 years old - 2020 5th round draft selection - Georgia Tech University - played in 70 games in 2023 with FCL Phillies (5 - rehab) and Reading (65) - LH power hitter - suffered shoulder injury 4/16/23 - returned to game action 6/12/23 -  corner outfielder.


Gabriel Rincones Jr - 22 years old -  2022 3rd round draft selection - Florida Atlantic University - played in 123 games in 2023 with Clearwater (48) and Jersey Shore (75) plus an additional 22 games in the Arizona Fall League - LH hitter - had an strong first full season as a professional - plays primarily right field defensively but has also played left field.  Has both power and wheels - stole 47 bases in 2023 and hit 17 home runs.


Jared Carr - 24 years old - 2021 13th round draft selection - Shepherd University, Shepherd, WV - played in 105 games in 2023 with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws - his second season with Jersey Shore.  A LH hitter who can play all three outfield positions.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️



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