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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/15/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Pitchers - Part Eighteen

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 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 pitchers in alphabetical order. The first seventeen articles previously published - see the links if you missed them.  Today we focus on group eighteen.

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

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

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 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 eighteenth article in the 2023 series on pitchers  ⚾️🤓.

RHP Rodolfo Sanchez - 23 years old - acquired in a cash transaction trade with Rays 11/5/20

2023 Stats :  appeared in 41 games (40 with Jersey Shore and 1 with Reading) totaling 52.1 IP with a 4.82 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 31 walks.  Posted a 1.51 WHIP, averaged 18.27 pitches per inning pitched and had a 62 % strike ratio. Was promoted to Reading on 9/16/23 and appeared in one game throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless ball.   He had two outstanding months during the season - in May appeared in nine games (12.2 IP) with a 0.00 ERA posting 15 K’s and 6 walks, opponents hit .171 against him.  In August made 8 appearances with a 2.53 ERA (10.2 IP) with 11 K’s and 4 walks, a 0.84 WHIP and a .143 BAA.

2023 Notes :   has a live arm - gets arm side run on both the fastball and slider.  He’s not the tallest fella at 5’10” but generates a lot of arm speed and torque with his delivery.  Really uses his legs well in driving to the plate.  fastball sits in a range of 91 to 95 mph - max 96, slider and change up.

Rodolfo’s reflections :  “I am preparing to improve my strength and improve my pitching and focus.”

2024 Projection :   minor league free agent

RHP Brett Schulze - 25 years old - drafted in 7th round of the 2019 draft from the University of Minnesota

2023 Stats :  began this season with Reading and earned a promotion to Lehigh Valley after stellar months of June and July at the AA level (0.96 ERA in 18.2 IP).  Overall in 46 appearances (31 with Reading, 15 at Lehigh Valley) posted a 4.26 ERA in 57 IP with 80 strikeouts and 41 walks. Opponents hit just .199 against him, had a 1.42 WHIP, averaged 17.74 pitches per inning pitched and delivered strikes at a 59 % ratio. ERA at Reading was 4.41 in 34.2 IP and 4.03 in 22.1 IP with Lehigh Valley.

2023 Notes :   Brett had Tommy John surgery and missed the entirety of the 2021 season - in fact he hadn’t appeared in a pro game since pitching for Williamsport in 2019 before making his return last summer (July,’22) and pitching at four levels.  He finished the 2022 campaign by pitching in the Arizona Fall League. This season he began at Reading before being promoted to Lehigh Valley on 7/26/23.  He throws a sinker in the 92 to 94 mph range, has a five pitch arsenal including a sweeping slider, sharp curve ball, cutter and a four seamer, will use any of those pitches in any count.  He’s a multi inning reliever who is a strikeout pitcher, was a reliever in college who’s continued that path as a professional.

2024 Projection :  should get a look in some Grapefruit League games in the spring, a return to LHV likely.

RHP Andrew Schultz - 26 years old - drafted in 6th round of the 2019 draft from the University of Tennessee

2023 Stats :  appeared in 34 games for Reading (37.2 IP) with a 5.97 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 30 walks.  Averaged 17.71 pitches per inning pitched, strike ratio of 58 %.  Finished the season well - in thirteen July/August appearances posted a 2.40 ERA with 16 strikeouts, 11 walks.

2023 Notes :  throws a fastball (95 to 99 mph - has reached 101 mph), slider and change up and occasional cutter.  Andrew has a short arm delivery where the baseball appears to get on hitters even quicker than an already high velo output.  Had struggles this season with walks and pitch location.  Has the stuff to be a high pressure situation impact reliever and generally that’s how he’s been deployed in his career to date.  Harnessing the zone and finding consistency are the two areas he needs to conquer to move up the chain,has big league stuff, capable of contributing in the show.  Now has completed two full seasons back in action after missing the 2021 year recovering from TJ surgery.

Andrew’s reflections : “You have to treat every outing the same. Focus on your next pitch and get outs no matter the situation.”

2024 Projection :  should get some looks in Grapefruit League play, in the mix for an AAA level job this spring.

RHP Eduar Segovia - 22 years old - signed as an international free agent 5/9/18 from Valencia, Venezuela

2023 Stats :  made 14 appearances (20 IP) with 29 strikeouts and 20 walks for Low A Clearwater.  Posted a 4.95 ERA and 1.85 WHIP, opponents hit just .162 against him.  Averaged 22.2 pitches per inning pitched and had a 54 % strike ratio.  Came out of the gates strong with a 2.31 ERA in 7 games (11.2 IP) in April with 18 K’s and 12 walks, BAA of .108.  Was part of five pitcher combined no hitter on 4/8/23 against Bradenton.

2023 Notes :  incurred a serious shoulder injury on 8/19/21 which required surgery and a lengthy rehab.  Came back this season but was placed on the IL on 6/9/23 and worked the balance of the year with the rehab team at the complex.  Was a dominant pitcher when we first saw him in the Gulf Coast League in 2019 - we still see that capability when back to good health and form - fastball sits in a range of 92 to 95 mph - max 96, slider, curve and change up.  He’s got a great physique and is a competitor, velocity can tick up even more with repetition.  We think he’s got a real chance to eventually pitch at the upper levels successfully.

Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert :   “Segovia made big strides coming off a major arm injury in '21.  He features a low to mid 90's FB with good carry and a hard slider.  Command continues to be his focal point in development and some of that suffered this season as the workload continued to increase.  With a solid offseason, we look for him to rebound well in 2024.”

2024 Projection :  with good health breaks camp with Jersey Shore - he’s ready for that level in my humble opinion.

RHP Enrique Segura - 18 years old - signed as an international free agent 1/15/22 from San Pedro de Macoris, DR

2023 Stats :  appeared in 11 games (10 starts) amassing 36.2 IP with 33 strikeouts and 29 walks.  Recorded a 1.66 WHIP and averaged 9.19 pitches per inning pitched with a strike ratio of 60 %.  Best outing was on 7/21/23 in Dunedin vs Blue Jays - 5 innings, no runs, two hits, five strikeouts and two walks.

2023 Notes :   I wrote this in January pre camp after watching his bullpen - “Speaking of impressive - it’s the first time we’ve seen 18 year old right hander Enrique Segura throw in person - similar delivery to Aaron Nola in arm slot and pitch release.  Segura humped up on a few of his later deliveries and reportedly popped the mitt at 97 mph - but it’s the ease of his mechanics and how the baseball has distinctive life that stands out - he threw a couple breaking pitches today to catcher Gus Sosa that had my knees buckling with the break and I wasn’t even in the box 😂.”

Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert :  “Low to mid 90’s fastball. Very long loose delivery, with some delivery comparison to Nola.”

2024 Projection :  likely another season in the FCL given his age, has big upside potential.

RHP Casey Steward - 22 years old - drafted in 19th round of the 2023 draft from Washburn University, KS

2023 Stats :  appeared in 5 games (two for FCL Phillies and three with Clearwater Threshers).  Amassed a total of 4 IP with a 4.50 ERA - 3 strikeouts and 10 walks - averaged 19.50 pitches per inning pitched - strike ratio of 48 %.

2023 Notes :  was a starting pitcher in college and has a four pitch mix - generally pops the mitt with a fastball in the 92 to 94 mph range with a slider, curve and change up as secondaries.  We saw him against the FCL Tigers on 8/19/23, his pro debut and he made quick work of the inning he pitched facing just four batters.  He threw a perfect frame three days later against the FCL Blue Jays.

Casey’s reflections :  “Enjoy every moment as the opportunity can be taken away as fast as you got it.  Have fun and not take it too seriously.”

2024 Projection :  likely will be part of the opening day Clearwater Threshers pitching staff.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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