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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

10/13/21 : Today in Fall Instructs

An 11 AM intra-squad scrimmage today on Ashburn Field. I took my perch from the corner of the right field fence just in time for the game start.

It’s instructs so there’s an allowance and expectancy for different things, especially during scrimmages. Today many of the innings started with runners on base and different scenarios with coaches instructing the fielder’s to simulate how many outs there were so that situational baseball could be practiced.

Coaches also were out on the field with the players … teaching as plays occurred. Infield Coordinator Marty Malloy was positioned just behind the second base bag and Outfield Coordinator Andy Abad stayed out in center field the entire scrimmage. It’s cool for an observer like me to watch the interaction and teaching moments.

Even the coaches get instruction and guidance in Instructs … Larry Bowa was in uniform and seemed to be teaching teaching some younger coaches on the nuances of coaching third base … it is a skillset that many may discount but learning when to send runners, what to account for in the decision process and the best angles and approaches is key. It was great to see Bowa who was excellent as a third base coach with the Phillies, Dodgers and Yankees providing tips.

The Game :

Pitchers :

RH Griff McGarry ( 2021 5th rd pick - UVA ) started first on the hill and struck out three batters in two scoreless frames. He yielded just one hit and walk. Griff has a power arsenal which we’ve seen glimpses of this summer, was evident again this morning.

LH Jake McKenna ( 19 yrs old - UDFA signing - 2020 ) pitched the first two innings for the first base dugout team. Jake battled both command and control but pushed thru … he walked five batters and hit another yet also whiffed three batters.

RH Konnor Ash ( UDFA signing 2021 - U of Missouri ) and LH Tristan Garnett ( UDFA signing 2021 - Cal State Dominguez Hills ) each threw two innings, both had perfect first frames but ran into some difficultly in their second frame, Ash yielded a triple and Garnett ran into some wildness with a hit batter and couple of walks.

We got our first look at some fellas up from the Dominican Academy :

RH Oswald Medina ( 19 yrs old from VZ - 2.16 ERA in 58 1/3 IP this year for DSL Phillies Red ) … he went two innings … we also saw RH Jayden Estanista ( 20 yrs old from Curaçao - signed 11/19 ), RH Manuel Urias ( 20 yrs old - Mexico - signed 3/18 - 1.75 ERA in 39 DSL games ( 175 IP ) over three years ) and RH Eiberson Castellano ( 20 yrs old - 1.09 ERA in 33 IP this summer for DSL Phillies White ) … Urias & Estanista pitched two innings, Castellano one.

What stood out to me is the compact deliveries each presented, smooth and quick with a simple aligned approach … very well coached. Urias is a big fella at 6’6” and his length appears to get the baseball on hitters perhaps quicker than velocity reflects. I believe his fastball is generally in the 92-93 range … really liked his mechanics, effortless and he’s a strike thrower ( a minuscule 25 walks in 175 career IP to date ) … gets the ball and gets after it - really impressed today.

Hitters :

Kendall Simmons ( 2018 6th rd draft choice - Macon, GA - now 21 yrs old ) tripled to left center field as did Luis Garcia ( 21 yrs old - 13 HR, 50 RBIs this summer - CW/JS ). On Ashburn Field if you get the ball into the expansive gaps there’s usually a triple to be had with good speed. Garcia’s triple cleared the bases knocking in three runs.

Randy Vasquez ( 18 yrs old - signed 7/19 ) is another youngster up from the Dominican Academy we saw in action for the first time today. The slender Dominican native smoked a double to right center field in his second AB going the opposite way on a hard hit liner.

We continue to be impressed with the quick hands and bat speed of Jordan Viars ( 18 yrs old - 2021 3rd round draft choice - Frisco, TX ). He turned on a couple pitches today with hard contact, one a solid hit to right field that he broke out of the box immediately on and legged his way to second base, all out hustle. Philly fans will appreciate that 👏.

Yhoswar Garcia ( 20 yrs old - signed 3/16/20 ) laid down a perfect bunt alongside the third base line and easily legged it out for a single to start the contest. We really enjoy watching this young man play, speed to burn and an aura of excitement around him. I think we got ourselves a good one 😎.

Defense :

Gavin Tonkel ( 18 yrs old - 2021 9th round draft choice - Brentwood, CA ) showed off his wheels roaming far to his left to field a liner on the fly in right field … made it look easy and got an atta boy from Coach Abad. Marcus Lee Sang ( 20 yrs old - 2019 11th round draft choice - Owings, MD ) goes hard after every ball hit his way, we noticed that quite a lot today as he spent most of the game in right field just in front of us. The outfield depth is the system has some strong talent … a lot of young men who can play and also push hard … no plays off.

Winter League Ball

The Winter Leagues are ramping up … in fact the Mexican League began play on October 5th.

Listed below are a few Phillies players I am aware of participating this season thus far. There will be more as official rosters are announced.

Mexican League :

LHP Jeff Singer - Naranjeros de Hermosillo - just added to roster

Dominican League : play begins 10/27

RHP Ramon Rosso - Águilas Cibaeñas

LHP Manuel Silva - Águilas Cibaeñas

OF Jhailyn Ortiz - Leones del Escogido

IF Jonathan Guzman - Leones del Escogido

RHP Aneurys Zabala - Leones del Escogido

Venezuelan Winter League : play begins 10/23

Puerto Rican Winter League : play begins 11/6

Australian Baseball League : hopefully play begins December

That’s a wrap for today … may be back out Saturday to see what I can see … I think the next couple days are over in Dunedin at the Jays complex.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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