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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

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

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 watched 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 third and final article on catchers - if you missed them before the links to articles one and two are shown above 🤓.

Anthony Quirion - 25 years old - C/1B - Birthdate : 10/29/97 - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/20/21 - Lamar University -  This Fan’s View - Anthony began the season with the Clearwater Threshers before being promoted to Jersey Shore on June 6th.  He suffered a hand injury and missed two months from June 18th to August 17th.   Quick hands as a hitter, ability to drive the ball.   Still learning the catching position as he played primarily third base in college.  He’s playing winter league baseball for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League.  Is a great competitor with leadership qualities - we notice other players migrating to him in that regard.   2023  Projection - Could return to Jersey Shore out of spring camp with an eye towards Reading.

Caleb Rickets - 22 years old - C/1B - Birthdate : 5/10/00 - 2022 7th round draft selection - San Diego University - This Fan’s View - Caleb got off to a great start offensively with the Clearwater Threshers posting a .383 OBP with 3 home runs and 10 RBI’s in his first 18 pro games.  He’s a left handed hitter who played a good amount of first base during his collegiate career.  As a catcher we haven’t seen the arm strength and smooth mechanics that others in the group have - he’s a bigger fella at 6’4” so perhaps that hinders him a bit in blocking and pop times - will see.  We don’t have a large sample size at this point. 2023  Projection - will be in the mix for a A level roster spot out of spring camp - with the ability to play first base also being considered.

Leanardo Rondon - 18 years old - C/1B - Birthdate : 3/10/04 - signed as an international free agent 2/2/21 - Caracas, VZ - This Fan’s View - had an outstanding 2022 season in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) posting a .387 batting average and .478 OBP in 93 plate appearances -the young man has a build similar to the Astro’s Jose Altuve and a very quick bat, we watched him quite a bit via game feeds from this year’s DSL action.  He seems to play with great passion and a competitive fire - wants to win and excel. Was converted to the catcher position this summer, work in progress there - also plays first base.  It’s the offensive skill that gets me excited.  2023  Projection - could play another DSL season given the learning curve of adapting to catching however wouldn’t be surprised to see him stateside in extended spring camp.

Donny Sands - 26 years old - C - Birthdate : 5/16/96 - acquired via trade with Yankees 11/19/21 - This Fan’s View - he is a very good hitter as 2022 numbers attest to from Lehigh Valley - .308/.413/.428 slash line in 242 plate appearances - we met him for the first time at the Complex in early May as he was in the midst of rehab work suffering from planter fasciitis - returned to action on June 21st with the Iron Pigs - made his major league debut on September 2nd.  Defensively he’s a work in progress, converted to catching from third base with the Yankees.  Has the arm strength to play the position but has a ways to go strengthening mechanics ( blocking, receiving and pop times ).  Did I mention he can rake 🤓 - that’s the skill set that plays the most. 2023 Projection - is an offense first catcher at this point - likely returns to the AAA level for further defensive work - we think he’s got a big league bat right now.

Gustavo Sosa - 21 years old - C - Birthdate : 7/17/01 - 2022 10th round draft selection - South Mountain CC, AZ - This Fan’s View - we’ve seen Gus in multiple practice sessions and briefly in FCL play, like fellow 2022 draft selection Jordan Dissin he’s now considered in the top mix of the catching contingent in regards to throwing - from our view mechanically sound, soft hands, willing worker and great footwork.  He’s playing winter league baseball in Puerto Rico, is a baseball sponge, loves to play - also a very outgoing young man with a bright smile - welcoming personality - will be a great teammate.   He played in the draft league for the Trenton Thunder and posted good offensive numbers - we’ve not seen enough yet to comment in that regard.  Hails from Staten Island, NY - we’ve already met his parents at the complex - great family.   2023 Projection - playing winter ball will provide a good lead in for his first spring camp - could push for an A level roster spot right out of spring training.

Micah Yonamine - 22 years old - C/1B - Birthdate : 10/10/00 - 2019 29th round draft selection - Iolani High School, Honolulu, HI - This Fan’s View -  Has a power swing - played in 78 games with Clearwater this past summer - 13 extra base hits in 262 AB’s including his first 4 home runs as a professional.  Good at not going outside the strike zone and will take walks.  Defensively isn’t as advanced at catching as others in the mix - has struggles with blocking and receiving which has limited his time behind the dish -  vast majority of playing time was at first base with the Threshers.  If the power progresses has the size ( 6’4” ) and has shown flashes of bat to ball offensive ability to perhaps bust out as a first baseman where he’s also a decent fielder. 2023 Projection - should be in the mix to advance to Jersey Shore as a combination receiver/first baseman.

L To R Top down - Micah Yonamine, Leanardo Rondon, Caleb Ricketts,Anthony Quirrion, Gustavo Sosa & Donny Sands - photos by Mark Wylie & Cheryl Pursell

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