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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/12/24 : High Performance Camp - Day Five

First side bullpen sessions of the new year as four pitchers - RH Tyler McKay, RH Andrew Baker, RH Mick Abel and LH Samuel Aldegheri threw to catchers Jordan Dissin & Lou Allbrecht on the warmup mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn fields.  From our view Tyler McKay looked really sharp for how early it is with command, mix, location and zip - he was in good form.  I’ve long been a fan of Tyler - below I’ll repeat my notes I wrote on him from 11/10/23 accumulated during my off-season player profiles.

Eleven pitchers followed with sessions off the mounds as well but instead in a training drill entitled “9 Square” where they throw to a square net instead of a catcher containing nine different pockets.  The object is to focus on hitting spots and delivering the baseball into each of the pockets.  It’s a much more difficult task than it seems but the fellas did quite well with the drill.  Being an old pitcher from way back in the day I think I’d be fighting aiming rather than throwing in this drill but no one seemed to have any issues in that regard, good stuff actually as they each pretty much filled the nets during their sessions with no indication of slowing their motions down to do so - instead had their natural deliveries.  Pitchers who participated today were RH Alex Rao, RH Jean Cabrera, RH Wen-Hui Pan, RH Ethan Chenault, RH Gunner Mayer, RH Cam Brown, RH Jake Eddington, RH George Klassen, RH Cristian Hernandez, RH Casey Steward and RH Brandon Beckel.

Pitchers who weren’t scheduled to throw off the mounds continued their flat ground work of toss and catch.  Position players continued their training regimen of defensive drills along with some indoor offensive cage work on tracking pitches.  All players continued their individualized strength and conditioning programs as well.  Perhaps we will get to see some batting practice sessions next week.   There are no practices scheduled for this weekend - back at em on Monday!

Winter League Round Up :

Thought I would sneak this in here rather than do a separate article.

Winter league reporting on Phillies and former Phillies playing winter league baseball for games between 1/11 and 1/12/24.

Australian Baseball League :

The brunt of the Phillies league contingent plays for the Adelaide Giants.

1/12 : Adelaide 7 (23-11) Sydney 1 (11-23)

Rixon Wingrove singled, walked three times and scored twice. Nick Ward singled, walked and had two RBIs.  Cade Fergus walked twice in four plate appearances.  RHP Cam Wynne pitched two innings in relief (1 unearned R, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K -  33 pitches - 19 strikes).

Venezuelan Professional Baseball League :

1/11 : Former Phillies minor leaguer Ali Castillo went 2 for 3 for Bravos de Margarita against Leones del Caracas.

Today’s Player Spotlight - RHP Tyler McKay :

As mentioned earlier here are my notes on Tyler McKay written in my off-season player notes venture - if ya would like to see others in the thirty eight part 200 player series here’s a link to the last page in the series (within it are links to the other 37 pages) -

RHP Tyler McKay  - 26 years old - drafted in 16th round of the 2018 draft from Howard JC, TX

2023 Stats :  began at Reading where he posted a 2.54 ERA in 25 appearances in 28.1 IP converting six of eight saves with 32 strikeouts and 10 walks, a 1.02 WHIP and a .179 BAA.  He was promoted to Lehigh Valley on July 14th where he appeared in 23 games (27 IP) posting a 2.67 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP with 24 strikeouts and 19 walks.  Overall a 2.60 ERA in 48 appearances, 55.1 IP, 56 strikeouts and 29 walks, a .200 BAA and a 1.29 WHIP.  Averaged 16.16 pitches per inning pitched and had a 59 % strike ratio.  Had stellar months of April (1.50 ERA in 5 games - 6 IP, .091 BAA, .083 WHIP) and June (1.74 ERA in 9 games - 10.1 IP, 15 K’s, 1 BB, .211 BAA and a 0.87 WHIP).

2023 Notes :  In 2022 spring training converted from a starting pitcher to a reliever and hasn’t looked back.  Tyler has a riding two seam sinker (92-94 mph), a sweeping slider and a heavy tumbling action change up to go along with a cutter that he will primarily use against left handed hitters.  He is a strike thrower who attacks the zone, reminds me a lot of Connor Brogdon both in build and approach, I’ve always thought of him as a major league candidate ever since I first saw a side bullpen session back in 2018, we’ve witnessed that there’s more velocity there if he needs it but the movement he gets on his pitches, especially the changeup, give him an arsenal that doesn’t necessarily require it to get hitters out at any level.  Fun fact - he spent time this past year with the big club pitching to Bryce Harper when he was going thru his rehab BP’s.

Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert : “McKay was outstanding at both Reading and LHV this season. He was used in high leverage spots in both places. He features a low, three quarter arm slot with a nasty two seamer/sinker and sweeping slider.  His go to pitch is his change-up. Tyler improved his overall physicality in the offseason, which helped keep him healthy all year and was a durable backend option.”

My 2024 Projection :  has earned a big league spring training invitation in my opinion, the big club staff needs to see him pitch.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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