1/22/2021 : Ben Pelletier - OF
Before the 2020 season began I wrote a series of articles on select minor league players of interest. Now that 2021 Spring Training is seemingly upon us I thought I’d revisit highlighting a few of the fellas.
Here’s part four of the series ... Outfielder Ben Pelletier. If you missed the first three articles ( LHP Jeff Singer, LHP Bailey Falter & RHP Ben Brown ) here are links
Drafted 34th Round - 2015 Draft - De Mortagne, Boucherville, QC - now 22 years old
The Phillies signed Ben Pelletier to a future services contract on June 17, 2015. He was only 16 years and 9 months old ... at that point the youngest player ever taken in the amateur draft. Although he had not earned his high school diploma he had already completed four years of secondary school which made him draft eligible. Ben had repeated a year of schooling after catching mononucleosis when he was 14.
We first met him shortly after he signed as he spent six weeks in Clearwater after the school year had ended working out at Carpenter Complex. He didn’t participate in official game action till the following season after he completed his high school classes back in Canada and officially earned his diploma.
What we first noticed was the infamous “sound” off the bat when a player barrels the baseball. Only a few have the ability to hit a ball so hard that the “sound” is evident. We remember a similar sound off a right hand bat the first time we saw Rhys Hoskins swing during one of his initial spring training BP sessions also in 2015. Ben is a very strong young man and generates “easy” bat speed that often produces that “sound”. He can pummel the baseball and send it a very long way.
He spent two seasons playing on the backfields in the Gulf Coast League ( 2016 & 2017 ) and put up very good numbers during the 2017 season hitting .333 in 171 AB’s with 13 doubles, 3 home runs and 26 RBIs. The following year he led Williamsport in doubles ( 17 ), home runs ( 9 ) and RBIs ( 45 ) while hitting a solid .277 in 256 AB’s as a nineteen year old.
Ben participated in full season play at Lakewood in 2019 and struggled to find consistency yet still posted 16 doubles, 13 home runs and 40 RBIs in 371 AB’s ... he also played defensively in 15 games as the center fielder ... the first time in his young career playing something other than one of the corner outfield slots.
He’s a decent defender with a strong arm. The struggles at the plate in 2019 were likely expected as he was part of a very young Lakewood roster as a 20 year old ... in fact the second youngest full season roster in the entire minor leagues for that season. Confidence in his ability hasn’t wavered nor should it ... the potential to be a power bat in the middle of the order is evident. I once told Ben his swing sometimes reminds me of Pat Burrell ... he had to google Pat before he knew whether that was a compliment or not 🤓 but after looking at some of Pat the Bat’s videos he thanked me for the likeness 😎.
We look forward to seeing our young Canadien friend back in Clearwater at some point this year and expect that he will continue the climb up the ladder ... perhaps a return to Lakewood to begin now that the Blue Claws are designated as the Advanced A affiliate. Here’s hoping that the “sound” of the ball off the bat becomes a frequent game event for Ben and at some point Mr. Burrell sees him play in the big leagues and wonders out loud “who’s that” 👀 ...
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️