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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/15/22 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Infielders - Part Two

I’ve entitled this series “Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes” and will break down the presentations into defensive categories.  I intend to offer notes on every player I watched perform this past season that finished the 2022 season with the organization.

The initial set of articles was on catchers - we chatted about 18 receivers and posted three articles - done in alphabetical order.  I will list below the article links to the catchers notes previously published if ya missed them.

The next group of articles is Infielders - I’ll discuss 40 different players broken down into five postings ( alphabetical order ) :

Group One ( posted 11/14/22 ) : Matt Alifano, Alexeis Azuaje, Jamari Baylor, William Bergolla, Erick Brito, Johan Camargo,Ali Castillo, Chad Castillo - link -

Group Two : Aldrem Corredor, Aroon Escobar, Diego Gonzalez, Sal Gozzo, Jonathan Guzman, Darick Hall, Lou Helmig, Otto Kemp

Group Three : Scott Kingery, Hao Yu Lee, Casey Martin, Nick Maton, Freylin Minyety, Cole Moore, Yairo Munoz, Josh Ockimey

Group Four : Nikau Pouaka-Grego, Ty Penner, Wendell Rijo, Bryan Rincon, Daniel Robertson, Jehisbert Sevilla, Kendall Simmons, Marco Soto

Group Five : Madison Stokes, McCarthy Tatum, Will Toffey, Nicolas Torres, Randy Vasquez, Kevin Vicuña, Uziel Viloria, Rixon Wingrove

So we continue - the second article in the series on infielders  ⚾️🤓.

Aldrem Corredor - 27 years old - Birthdate : 10/27/95 - signed as a minor league free agent 1/4/22 from Nationals -  This Fan’s View - Aldrem brought energy and presence to the Reading roster in 2022 - he hit 14 home runs and drove in 70 in 393 AB’s playing primarily first base but also some left field.  A popular teammate with an outgoing personality.  2023 Projection - elected minor league free agency

Aroon Escobar - 17 years old - Birthdate : 1/01/05 - signed as an international free agent 1/15/22 - Caracas, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - we saw Aroon play via streaming feeds from the Dominican Summer League this season.  He’s got a powerful swing and posted 4 doubles, a triple and 3 home runs in 143 AB’s for the Phillies Red team.  He played 2B,SS and 3B during the summer defensively.  One other note - he’s the cousin of Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.  2023 Projection - a very young player who may spend another season in the DSL.  His hitting skills seem likely to bring him stateside at some point.

Diego Gonzalez - 19 years old - Birthdate : 6/7/03 - signed as an international free agent 7/2/19 - Barquisimeto, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - posted solid numbers ( .276 BA, .364 OBP in 140 PA’s ) in the 2022 Florida Complex League very much in line with his 2021 DSL season.  Diego played primarily 2B and SS but also saw action at third base - showed good range albeit a bit erratic in making plays consistently.  Upbeat personality and energetic player.  He is a patient hitter, will work a walk and produced “pro AB’s” more often than not when we saw him play.   He’s not intimidated - will get after it.   2023 Projection - should compete for a full season roster spot in spring training.

Sal Gozzo - 24 years old - INF - Birthdate : 3/29/98 - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/11/19 - Tulane University - This Fan’s View -  played at three levels in 2022 ( Jersey Shore, Reading and Lehigh Valley ) totaling 189 AB’s over 60 games. Was a fan favorite at Lehigh Valley. Good fielder at any infield spot, heady and smart - made appearances at 2B, SS and 3B.  Team player.  2023 Projection - will likely compete for a roster spot at either Reading or Lehigh Valley in spring camp.

Jonathan Guzman - 23 years old - 2B/SS - Birthdate : 8/17/99 - signed as an international free agent - 8/17/15 - Esperanza, Dominican Republic - This Fan’s View - career offensive struggles continued in 2022 with AA Reading - .168 batting average in 404 AB’s  -  defensively is a solid middle defender at both second base and shortstop.   2023 Projection - elected minor league free agency

Darick Hall - 27 years old - 1B - Birthdate : 7/25/95 - 2016 14th round draft selection - Dallas Baptist University - This Fan’s View - 2022 Paul Owens Award winner signifying the best hitter in the minor league organization for the season.  Made his major league debut during the summer and delivered 9 home runs and 16 RBIs in 136 AB’s. Posted a .330 OBP with 24 doubles, 28 home runs and 88 RBIs at AAA Lehigh Valley.  His 126 career minor league home runs by my unofficial count rank 5th highest since 1960 for long balls hit while a member of a Phillies minor league affiliate  behind Joe Lis (164), Pancho Herrera (141), Dan Held (135) and Dylan Cozens (132)  - he’s earned the patent on the nickname “Long Ball Hall”.  Is a very good fielder at first base as well.  2023 Projection - should have a legit chance to earn a big league roster spot this spring.

Lou Helmig - 19 years old - Birthdate : 5/1/03 - signed as an international free agent 1/16/22 - Paderbon, Germany -  This Fan’s View - has a long angular athletic build ( 6’5” ) and tons of energy - first time we saw him play he ran from a normal left field position on a routine fly ball to middle center field and startled his teammate who was camped under the ball with a full out sprint towards him - a coaches chat ensued afterwards 😂.  As a hitter he’s a left handed batter - we saw a somewhat long swing which produced 3 doubles and a triple in 87 Florida Complex League AB’s - pitch recognition, getter shorter and quicker thru the ball and making consistent contact will be development areas. Raw tools at this point.  Defensively he seemed more comfortable at first base than in the outfield.   2023 Projection - likely returns to the back fields for another year of FCL development.

Otto Kemp - 23 years old - Birthdate : 9/9/99 - signed as an un-drafted free agent 8/1/22 - Point Loma Nazarene College, California - This Fan’s View - we saw Otto taking a lot of ground balls and working on mechanics at both second base and shortstop in Fall Instructs and in the follow up camp thereafter.  He played primarily third base in college with some time at second base and the outfield as well.  Seems like a quick and willing learner - I believe the vision is for him to play primarily second base.  Appeared in 12 games with Clearwater after signing and got 48 plate appearances.  We’ve watched him in BP - short stroke but has pop - seemingly good hands and bat to ball approach in short sample size we have watched thus far.   2023 Projection - will break camp with a full season squad - seems likely to be Clearwater but could be higher level.

Top then - left to right - Otto Kemp, Diego Gonzalez, Sal Gozzo, Lou Helmig, Darrick Hall, Jonathan Guzman and Aroon Escobar - photos by Mark Wylie, George Youngs Jr and Cheryl Pursell

Prior Reports - Catchers :

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 -

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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