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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/1/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Pitchers - Part Six

Last off-season I started a different writing venture - rather than producing a hard copy version of what was an annual Phillies Minor League Digest I went with a new approach and posted a series of articles on the webpage instead.  A large portion of the digest was my player notes - views that are not entirely built upon seasonal or short term stats - while I referenced them I relied more upon my observations and feedback from players and coaches.

This off-season we continue the series  “Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes”with profiles presented in groupings by defensive positions.  I intend to offer notes on every stateside player I watched perform this past season (191 in total) that finished the 2023 season with the organization.  I can attest that I actually watched most every Phillies minor league game each evening, attended practices and interacted with a vast amount of players, coaches, scouts and front office folks.  Recently I sent a couple questions to the players - asked them what was their  biggest personal takeaway from the 2023 season and what they are focusing on this off-season to prepare for 2024.  Where I have responses I will include them in the notes.  Also where I’m able I will include feedback from coaches and player development leadership.

The initial set of articles will be on pitchers. I’ll present notes on 103 pitchers done in alphabetical order. The first five articles previously published - see the links if you missed them.  Today we focus on group six.

Group 6 : Jaydenn Estanista, Braeden Fausnaught, Jordan Fowler, Carlos Francisco, Javier Fuenmayor

Group 1 :  Mick Abel, Samuel Aldegheri, Luis Alcala, Shaun Anderson, Erubiel Armenta -

Group 3 : Malik Binns, Josh Bortka, Ben Bowden, Connor Brogdon, Blake Brown -

Group 4 : Cam Brown, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Starlyn Castillo, Ethan Chenault, Ty Collins -

Group 5 : Gabriel Cotto, Hans Crouse, Jack Dallas, Trey Dillard, Jake Eddington -

Group 7 : Marty Gair, Alex Garbrick, Eric Garcia, Tristan Garnett, Drew Garrett

Group 8 : Luis Gomez, Mavis Graves, Zach Haake, Daniel Harper, Josh Hendrickson

Group 9 : Jonh Henriquez, Cristian Hernandez, Jakob Hernandez, Chase Hopewell, Drew Hutchinson

Group 10 : Estibenzon Jimenez, Damon Jones, Nate Karaffa, Orion Kerkering, Keylan Killgore

Group 11 : George Klassen, Taylor Lehman, Adam Leverett, Hunter Loyd, Rafael Marcano

Group 12 : Jordi Martinez, Gunner Mayer, Tommy McCollum, Alex McFarlane, Griff McGarry

Group 13 : Christian McGowan, Tyler McKay, Oswald Medina, Daniel Mejia, Jhordany Mezquita

Group 14 : McKinley Moore, Wesley Moore, Nick Nelson, Mitch Neunborn, Luis Ortiz

Group 15 : Matt Osterberg, Micah Ottenbreit, Andrew Painter, Wen Hui Pan, David Parkinson

Group 16 : Jose Pena Jr, Hector Perez, Jonathan Petit, Tyler Phillips, Dominic Pipkin

Group 17 : Michael Plassmeyer, Alex Rao, Jason Ruffcorn, Matt Russell, Luke Russo

Group 18 : Rodolfo Sanchez, Brett Schulze, Andrew Schultz, Eduar Segovia, Enrique Segura, Casey Steward

Group 19 : Noah Skirrow, Saul Teran, Paxton Thompson, Braydon Tucker, Erich Uelmen, Guissepe Velasquez

Group 20 : Ezequiel Ventura, Jace Vines, Andrew Walling, Jeremy Walker, Danny Wilkinson, Cam Wynne

So we continue - the sixth article in the 2023 series on pitchers  ⚾️🤓.

RHP Jaydenn Estanista - 22 years old - signed as an international free agent 11/8/19 - Willemstad, Curacao

2023 Stats :  Totaled twenty-five and a third innings between the FCL and Threshers in fourteen games with thirty strikeouts and twenty-eight walks, an ERA of 8.17 - 55 % strike ratio and averaged 20.84 pitches per innings pitched.  A season to chalk up to a learning experience, a re-focus going forward with a search for consistency. Jaydenn broke spring camp with the Threshers but was placed on the sixty day IL in June and albeit activated in August just never got his footing this summer.

2023 Notes :  Relatively new to baseball as compared to others Jaydenn appeared in ten games (six starts) in the 2021 Dominican Summer League and recorded a 3.23 ERA in thirty and two third innings with thirty-three strikeouts and nineteen walks.  He showed a stealth like fastball that year in Fall Instructs which quickly got our attention. When scouts gather en masse behind the backstop of home plate at the complex with radar guns in tow you know that a pitcher of intrigue is throwing. That’s what happened on regular occurrence in the 2022 Florida Complex League when he pitched.  In twelve appearances the fast ball climbed to a regular range of 93 to 96 mph and touched 97 mph.  It wasn’t just the velocity that played but the movement - it jumped out of his hand. Secondaries were a work in progress but the heater was real.  This season was a struggle with injuries, focus and performance.  The skill set remains - a four seamer running in the 93 to 95 mph range with higher capabilities, a slider, cutter and curve with the vision still to harness the heater and develop the secondaries.  Jaydenn has always been a pleasant young man to chat with when we’ve crossed paths. We are pulling for him and anticipate good results going forward.

Jaydenn’s reflections :  “I will have a bigger focus for 2024 because I need to, I will go all in.”

2024 Projection :  a return to Clearwater to begin the year with positive results creating a bump up the ladder.

LHP Braeden Fausnaught  - 24 years old - signed as un-drafted free agent 8/1/22 - West Chester University, PA

2023 Stats :  Braeden made 24 appearances (seven starts) for the Clearwater Threshers in 2023 accumulating 63 innings and posting a 4.57 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 39 walks.  He recorded a 1.48 WHIP and a .229 BAA, a 61 % strike ratio and averaged 17.30 pitches per innings pitched.   Had a better second half than first - 4.04 ERA in 42 1/3 IP as compared to 5.66 ERA in 20 2/3 first half innings, spent time on the IL with shoulder discomfort from 4/5 to 5/2.  Also pitched in two playoff games - 3 2/3 IP.

2023 Notes :   features two fastballs - sinker & four seamer (sits in a range of 89 to 92 mph - max 94), change up and curve - changeup is an out maker and a primary pitch.  Braeden is a battler, no situation is too big for him, can both start or relieve, is an innings eater either way.  Great attitude, wants the baseball and will take it even on short rest.  Has a winning team approach which shines thru with teammates and coaches.  He was selected to pitch for Adelaide this winter in the Australian Baseball League.

Braeden’s reflections : “Biggest takeaway is how much I learned about myself, you have to know what you do well, and play to your strengths. So I’d say playing to your strengths and taking care of the body.  For next year continuing to develop velo and throwing secondary pitches for strikes.“

2024 Projection :  will compete for a High A roster spot in spring training

LHP Jordan Fowler - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 6/14/20 - Central Missouri University

2023 Stats :   went 3-3 in 15 starts (70 IP) with a 3.73 ERA for Jersey Shore.  Posted 50 strikeouts and 21 walks, a 1.34 WHIP and a .273 BAA.  He averaged 14.60 pitches per innings pitched and had a 67 % strike ratio.   Was very good in the months of May and June - 8 starts - 41.2 IP, 2.59 ERA.  Jordan came into the 2023 season having already pitched 38.2 innings for Adelaide in the 2022 Australian Baseball League where he had a 1.63 ERA.

2023 Notes : was placed on the IL on 7/20/23 and finished the season with the rehab group at the Complex in Clearwater.  He’s a throwback type of lefty, uses his pitch-ability (some call it craftiness) to get hitters out.  Features a fastball (91 to 92 mph), slider, curve ball and change-up.  Attacks hitters, a strike thrower who pitches at a quick pace (doesn’t need the pitch clock to push his deliveries) and therefore is easy to play behind defensively.  Will use all of his pitches in any count.

2024 Projection :  if healthy will compete for an opening day roster spot with Reading.

RHP Carlos Francisco - 24 years old - drafted in twenty-eighth round of the 2019 draft from Hillsborough CC, FL

2023 Stats :  pitched at two levels - began the year with High A Jersey Shore and was promoted to AA level Reading on 6/29/23.  Posted an overall ERA of 4.03 in 49 appearances (60.1 IP) with 73 strikeouts and 32 walks, had a WHIP of 1.24 and a BAA of .203.  Averaged 16.57 pitches per innings pitched and recorded a 62 % strike ratio.  At Jersey Shore he appeared in 25 games (30.2 IP) and had an ERA of 2.93 while at Reading he made 24 appearances (29.2 IP) with a 5.16 ERA.  Was the organization’s minor league pitcher of the month for June (0.93 ERA in 8 appearances at Jersey Shore - 13 K’s, 1 BB, 0.62 WHIP and .152 BAA).

2023 Notes :  Carlos has proven to be a workhorse reliever over his career, this past season even more so as he pitched more innings during the summer than he’s ever done before.  He also pitches winter league baseball in Puerto Rico and threw an additional 17.2 innings there in the 2022 season before heading to spring camp.  He’s returning to pitch in the Puerto Rico Winter League again this winter.  Features a fastball (92-95 mph, reached 97), splitter (changeup) and slider, a power pitcher approach.  From my perspective he’s always been a pitcher that’s intrigued me, an under the radar type that makes a path to the show by performing at a steady pace.  I see those capabilities, has a strong demeanor and work ethic and a sneaky fast heater offset by a splitter that’s got swing and miss qualities.

Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert : “An interesting bullpen arm that made strides in both his strike throwing and walk prevention but also his splitter usage.  It can be a very effective pitch when ahead in the count to both handed hitters.  He has a unique delivery that gives him some deception advantage.”

2024 Projection :  will be in the mix this spring for a spot with AAA Lehigh Valley however a return to Reading is likely.

RHP Javier Fuenmayor  - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent 8/2/19 - Maracaibo, Venezuela

2023 Stats :  posted a 3-1 record and a 2.89 overall ERA in 17 appearances (28 IP) between the DSL Phillies White team (0.90 ERA in 6 appearances - 10 IP) and the FCL Phillies (4.00 ERA in 11 appearances - 18 IP).  Struck out 27 batters and walked 15, had a .188 BAA and a WHIP of 1.18.  Averaged 7.82 pitches per innings pitched and recorded a 69 % strike ratio.  Was promoted to the FCL on 7/2/23 and finished the year there with a .200 BAA and 1.39 WHIP.  Javier pitched well in August - made 6 appearances - 11 IP, 1.09 WHIP, .135 BAA.

2023 Notes :   features a fastball (88-90 mph), change-up and curve.  Is a strike thrower that uses mix and moxy to record outs.  We saw him quite a bit this summer in backfields FCL play, he was often used to go multiple innings as a reliever, gets good vertical break on his curve ball which is generally in the high 70’s range.  Uses three pitch mix effectively to keep hitters off balance.  Issues we saw were in getting too much of the plate as the deliveries generally are pitch to contact type, has to have command to be effective.

2024 Projection :  could return for a second season of FCL play.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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