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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/10/22 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Catchers - Part Two

Rather than produce a hard copy version of my annual Phillies Minor League Digest this year I’m going with a new approach. A large portion of the digest has been my player notes - views that are not entirely built upon seasonal or short term stats, while I will reference them  I rely more upon my observations, coaches/scouts feedback and positive values I saw develop as the year progressed.  I can attest that I actually watch games each evening, attend practices and interact with a vast amount of players, coaches, scouts and front office folks.

I’ve entitled this series “Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes” and will break down the presentations into parts.  I intend to offer notes on every player I watched perform this past season that at present remains with the organization.

The initial set of articles will be on the catching position.  I’ll chat about 18 receivers and post three articles - done in alphabetical order.  The breakdown is as follows :

Group 1 : Jack Conley, Arturo DeFreitas, Jordan Dissin, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser and Ryan Leitch. -

Group 2 : Rafael Marchan, Nick Matera, Adony Mejia, Andrik Nava, Rickardo Perez & Jackie Pertuz

Group 3 : Anthony Quirion, Caleb Ricketts, Leanardo Rondon, Donny Sands, Gustavo Sosa & Micah Yonamine

So here it is - the second article on catchers, if you missed it before the link to article one is shown above ⚾️🤓.

Rafael Marchan - 23 years old - C - Birthdate : 2/25/99 - signed as an international free agent - 7/3/15 - San Cristobal, Venezuela - This Fan’s View -  Rafael is a skilled defender, he has a very strong throwing arm and good mechanics.  Suffered a shoulder injury in 2021 Winter League baseball  and began the season in extended spring training.  Was activated in mid June with Lehigh Valley - best month of the season was in August when he posted a .297 BA and .357 OBP in 12 games. Recorded his first four official minor league home runs this past season.  2023 Projection - Major league skill set - could possibly be moved in a trade else likely returns to the AAA level - still a very young player.

Nick Matera - 26 years old - C - Birthdate : 8/29/96 - 2018 34th round draft selection - Rutgers University - This Fan’s View - A good defender behind the dish who has a game presence, strong arm and top notch receiving skills.  Lost time this past season from early June to mid August when he suffered a hand/wrist injury.  Prior to the injury was the primary catcher with Jersey Shore.  Has some pop but hasn’t been able to avoid injury setbacks throughout his career.   2023 Projection - will be entering his 6th season with the organization - could be placed anywhere from High A to Triple A level and will do the job well.

Adony Mejia - 21 years old - C - Birthdate : 6/9/01 - signed as an international free agent - 12/7/18 - San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic -  This Fan’s View -  Wiry build, well taught and capable as a receiver with a strong arm.  Offensively we’ve seen him drive the ball with authority, also runs well but hasn't posted numbers nor been able to crack the lineup consistently at any level to date - has shown flashes of offensive skills - line drive type hitter.  2023 Projection - finished the year as a backup with Jersey Shore - with a good spring camp could be in the mix for either a Clearwater or Jersey Shore role.

Andrik Nava - 21 years old - C - Birthdate : 10/6/01 - signed as an international free agent 7/2/18 - Cabimas, Venezuela … This Fan’s View - missed almost the entire 2021 season with a shoulder issue playing briefly in 3 FCL games.  Made the 2022 Jersey Shore roster out of spring camp, finished with Clearwater.   Andrik can swing the bat - very sound offensive skills which we first saw in 2019 GCL play - defensively is not as advanced as others, more focus on commitment to that part of his game is needed. 2023 Projection - with a larger focus on the defensive side of his game could earn regular playing time at either Clearwater or Jersey Shore - short of that could be a struggle to get on the field.

Rickardo Perez - 18 years old - C - Birthdate : 12/4/03 - signed as an international free agent 2/2/21 - Valencia, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - As a hitter ( bats left handed ) he’s got a line drive stroke, quick to the baseball with hands that in this observer’s view project to be successful at any level.  He was slowed early in extended spring when he suffered a lower leg injury but bounced back nicely.  Rickardo has a prototypical catcher’s build and with that a frame that with added strength can develop into a hitter with power.  He squared the ball up often this summer and consistently hits it hard.  As a defender he’s got soft hands and seems to take charge, has a good feel for the game - releases the ball quick and although it was previously written in scouting reports I’ve read that he doesn’t have a strong arm I think that’s somewhat inaccurate - it’s not a howitzer but plays and can develop further.  Looks like a player to me - just needs to gain experience - projects as a good one.  2023 Projection - We envision him potentially opening 2023 with the Threshers on what should be a very young but also very talented team..

Jackie Pertuz - 20 years old - C - Birthdate : 11/1/02 - signed as an international free agent 7/2/19 - Barranquilla, Colombia … This Fan’s View Jackie showed the ability to hit the baseball hard this summer from the left side of the plate.  An interesting player - the defensive skills are evident.  He’s from Colombia and has only been a pro since 2019 - has good size and a strong arm - reminiscent of fellow Colombian Jorge Alfaro - while not a rocket arm like Jorge possesses - Jackie can throw.  I think there’s offensive power still to be unlocked - we saw him make solid contact this past summer - just needs experience to see how he progresses - has good tools.  He’s also noted as a hard worker and as a coachable student of the game.  2023 Projection -  should compete for a full season roster spot in spring camp in a crowded field of projectable lower level catchers for the coming season.

L To R Top down - Jackie Pertuz, Andrik Nava, Adony Mejia, Rickardo Perez, Nick Matera & Rafael Marchan - photos by Mark Wylie, Casey Burns, Michael Dolcemascolo & Cheryl Pursell

Note : I've just partnered  with Fanatics on Phillies Merchandise - if you would like to help support my website and articles here's a link to order merchandise - I get a small commission on any sales - thanks for the support.

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