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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

1/26/24 : High Performance Camp - Day Fifteen

Today’s Camp Activities :

First outdoor batting practices of the year!  Like a kid in a candy store I arrived at the complex at 9 AM, set up my chair by Carlton Field and watched 30 players take BP for the next three hours 🤓.  I know … I’m weird but my love of baseball outshines my weirdisms - at least that’s what I tell myself.  Now to temper the enthusiasm and not set high expectations so early it is just batting practice and indeed the first one I’ve seen (they have previously been working indoors) - but it’s still good stuff to hear the crack of the bat and watch the flight of the ball!

There were eight groups of hitters - JT Realmuto joined the second group, I’d say he’s pretty good 😊.  Three players stood out to me - they displayed “easy power” - TJayy Walton, Felix Reyes and Jordan Viars.  They were in the seventh set of hitters and put on a long ball show - between the three of them approximately twenty or so baseballs cleared the fences.  Walton (18 yrs old) showed a smooth path thru the ball, his home runs today were high in the sky hits that seemingly didn’t want to come back down.  On a few I thought they were ordinary fly balls to the outfield (based upon his seemingly easy swing) but they just kept sailing over the walls.  Viars impacts the baseball with great violence - it has no chance but to fly a long way.  He’s always had a pretty lefty swing and shown the ability to drive the ball, he’s been in the organization two and a half seasons now and is still just twenty years old - consistency is his ticket to advancement, the talent is evident, he’s added even more size and muscle than before to an already sturdy frame.  Reyes (22 yrs old) just hits bombs - the baseball goes a very long way when he impacts it.  Today there were multiple launches - the one that went the longest was directly after getting some instruction from hitting coordinator Luke Murton as translated by Assistant Director of Player Development Edwin Soto.  On the very next pitch Felix blasted the baseball over the left center fences into the palm trees beyond the walking path which is at least 400 feet away - that’s good coaching and even better putting it into practice 👍👏.

Big bullpen day on the seven mounds area  - Mitch Neunborn, Jaydenn Estanista and Brett Schulze threw nine square sessions to a target net.  Christian McGowan, Andrew Schultz, Saul Teran, Enrique Segura, Mavis Graves, Micah Ottenbreit, Luke Russo, Tristan Garnett, Estibenzon Jimenez, Jonathan Petit, Cristian Hernandez, Griff McGarry, Tyler McKay, Andrew Baker, Tommy McCollum, Samuel Aldegheri, Andrew Walling, Wesley Moore and Jordi Martinez each threw side bullpens to a catcher.

Big League Pens :

Jose Alvarado, Matt Strahm and Nick Nelson threw side bullpen sessions on the mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn fields.

Player Spotlight :

When you read articles or hear scouts, coaches and leadership talk about seventeen year old catcher  Eduardo Tait (pronounced Tie-eat) his future seems very, very bright.  To this point we had only seen him personally in defensive drills, can attest that he’s a physical presence, a well built young man.  Today we saw his first outdoor batting practice session of the camp.  He keeps his hands situated low and goes right into his swing path, easy and no wasted effort.  Drove the ball with authority, placing quite a few over the fences or in the gaps.  Impressive first showing for this observer.  Eduardo will play stateside this season, likely in the FCL.   Here are my notes on him from last season.

Eduardo Tait  - 17 years old - signed as an international free agent 1/15/23 - Panama City, Panama

2023 Stats :  played in 44 games in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) posting a .333/.400/.517 slash line with 12 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs, 36 RBIs and 12 walks.  Defensively had a .978 fielding percentage in 183 chances.  Threw out 17 of 39 base stealers (44 %).  He was selected as the organization player of the month for July - .340/.417/.566 slash line in 53 AB’s with 6 doubles, 2 home runs and 13 RBIs.

2023 Notes :  a left handed hitter, he didn’t play stateside but I watched him quite often in DSL games on live stream feeds.  Is an exciting young player.  Earlier this season I asked Latin America Hitting Coordinator Edwar Gonzalez about him.  He said that “Tait has shown power to all fields, K percentage is well above average yet he also hits for power, a rare combination for a sixteen year old.”  He consistently squared the ball up in the feeds I watched.  He has played international baseball for his country in multiple tournaments as a member of the under 18 national team.  In his short professional stint he’s shown power to all fields along with the ability to consistently put the ball in play.  Eduardo has shown progress behind the dish defensively and can also play third base. He was selected to play in the DSL all-star game.  Multiple coaches have raved about his skill sets including a strong arm as a receiver, am eager to see him play in person.

Australian Baseball League Playoffs :

Melbourne 3 (1-0) Adelaide 2 (0-1)

First game best of three series - #4 seed Melbourne was victorious.  LHP Lachlan Wells pitched seven innings for Adelaide (1 R, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K’s - 88 pitches - 65 strikes).  Former Phillies minor league RHP Austin Ross pitched a scoreless and hitless inning (1 BB, 1 K).  Adelaide was held to five hits - Andrick Nava doubled and Cade Fergus singled.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Scenes from the week

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