It’s relatively rare that a minor league player gets released by a team one summer and then re-signed the following off-season by the same organization but that’s what has occurred for my young friend Mason Ronan. Originally signed on 7/25/22 as an un-drafted free agent LHP from the College of Central Florida the now 23 year old played in two seasons with the Phillies appearing in ten games with the FCL Phillies and Clearwater Threshers. I got to know him during his time with the FCL club as we would chat on occasion between practices and games.
Mason hails from Asheville, PA and graduated from Penn Cambria High School. He was only a year removed from having Tommy John surgery entering 2022 - had a good season in college ball ( transferred to Central Florida from the University of Pittsburgh ) posting a 1.54 ERA and a 15.43 K/9 projection and then played in the MLB Draft League for the State College Spikes appearing in eight games. He was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2018 draft following his high school career but chose college instead. During his first stint with the Phillies he registered high spin rates on his deliveries, showed a swing and miss hook and a splitter with downward sink. He also struggled with command and maintaining velocity.
He was released on 7/1/23 primarily due to minor league roster limitations and the need to create space for the upcoming draft. However he didn’t give up his hope of continuing the pursuit of climbing the ladder in professional baseball as he worked out at Ascent Athlete - a baseball development facility located in Garnet Valley, PA.
I kept in touch with Mason and he texted me earlier this year “I’m doing a pro day in January to get picked up again! I’m doing a lot better than what I was with the Phils so I’m confident I’ll get another shot. Velo is alot better, pitch shapes are better too so I’m excited to see what happens.” He told me that the Pro Day would be on January 15th and I responded that perhaps the Phillies would re-sign him. He told me that he was throwing much harder than before. In fact the fastball was posting in the 94 to 98 mph range as compared to being ticks below that when he was with the Phillies.
The Pro Day showcase went very well. On January 19th Mason texted me with great news! He said that Preston Mattingly had just spoken with him on the phone and indeed he was returning to the Phillies. In Mason’s words “I’m pumped man!” I told him the news made my day 🤓. The signing was officially announced today.
I thought he showed glimpses of what he might become last season. I think Mason has the ability to pitch effective bulk innings in relief or start. I like the spin on the curve/slider and the drop on his splitter - if he can maintain 93-94 (like he showed during his pro day) on the sinker then he’s gonna be effective - the four seamer flashed 96-97 so that’s a plus also. To me he’s a hard worker with a great attitude who’s got upside - very happy for him that he’s received another opportunity to show his skills!
Welcome back Mason!
Mason Ronan - Photo by Casey Burns
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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