11/17/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Pitchers - Part Twenty
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 has been on pitchers. I’ve presented notes in alphabetical order. The first nineteen articles previously published - see the links if you missed them. Today we focus on group twenty. The last in the series on pitchers. I’d like to thank Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert, Pitching Coach Phil Cundari and others for their input as well as Matt Winkelman of Phillies Minor Thoughts for sharing pitching data throughout the summer.
Group 20 : Ezequiel Ventura, Jace Vines, Andrew Walling, Jeremy Walker, Danny Wilkinson, Cam Wynne
Group 1 : Mick Abel, Samuel Aldegheri, Luis Alcala, Shaun Anderson, Erubiel Armenta - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-10-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-one
Group 2 : Konnor Ash, Andrew Baker, Brandon Beckel, Carlos Betancourt - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-26-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-two
Group 3 : Malik Binns, Josh Bortka, Ben Bowden, Connor Brogdon, Blake Brown - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-27-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-three
Group 4 : Cam Brown, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Starlyn Castillo, Ethan Chenault, Ty Collins - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-30-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-four
Group 5 : Gabriel Cotto, Hans Crouse, Jack Dallas, Trey Dillard, Jake Eddington - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/10-31-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-five
Group 6 : Jaydenn Estanista, Braeden Fausnaught, Jordan Fowler, Carlos Francisco, Javier Fuenmayor - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-1-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-six
Group 7 : Marty Gair, Alex Garbrick, Eric Garcia, Tristan Garnett, Drew Garrett - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-2-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-seven
Group 8 : Luis Gomez, Mavis Graves, Zach Haake, Daniel Harper, Josh Hendrickson - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-3-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-eight
Group 9 : Jonh Henriquez, Cristian Hernandez, Jakob Hernandez, Chase Hopewell, Drew Hutchinson - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-6-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-nine
Group 10 : Estibenzon Jimenez, Damon Jones, Nate Karaffa, Orion Kerkering, Keylan Killgore - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-7-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-ten
Group 11 : George Klassen, Taylor Lehman, Adam Leverett, Hunter Loyd, Rafael Marcano - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-8-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-eleven
Group 12 : Jordi Martinez, Gunner Mayer, Tommy McCollum, Alex McFarlane, Griff McGarry - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-9-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-twelve
Group 13 : Christian McGowan, Tyler McKay, Oswald Medina, Daniel Mejia, Jhordany Mezquita - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-10-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-thirteen
Group 14 : McKinley Moore, Wesley Moore, Nick Nelson, Mitch Neunborn, Luis Ortiz - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-11-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-fourteen
Group 15 : Matt Osterberg, Micah Ottenbreit, Andrew Painter, Wen Hui Pan, David Parkinson - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-12-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-fifteen
Group 16 : Jose Pena Jr, Hector Perez, Jonathan Petit, Tyler Phillips, Dominic Pipkin - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-13-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-sixteen
Group 17 : Michael Plassmeyer, Alex Rao, Jason Ruffcorn, Matt Russell, Luke Russo - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-14-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-seventeen
Group 18 : Rodolfo Sanchez, Brett Schulze, Andrew Schultz, Eduar Segovia, Enrique Segura, Casey Steward - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-15-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-eighteen
Group 19 : Noah Skirrow, Saul Teran, Paxton Thompson, Braydon Tucker, Erich Uelmen, Guissepe Velasquez - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-16-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-nineteen
So we continue - the twentieth article in the 2023 series on pitchers ⚾️🤓.
RHP Ezequiel Ventura - 21 years old - signed as an international free agent 8/7/18 - Maracaibo, Venezuela
2023 Stats : posted a 4-1 record in 18 appearances (six starts) between the DSL Phillies Red (seven appearances - 2.19 ERA in 12.1 IP), FCL Phillies (nine appearances - four starts - 5.00 ERA in 27 IP) and Clearwater Threshers (two appearances - 3.00 ERA in 9 IP) with a total of 42 strikeouts and 21 walks, a cumulative ERA of 3.91. He averaged 10.06 pitches per inning pitched and a 67 % strike ratio (79 % - DSL, 69 % - FCL, 55 % - Threshers). He also pitched three scoreless innings in the Florida State League playoffs on 9/14/23 against Lakeland.
2023 Notes : features a sinker (90-93 mph), slider, change up and curve ball. At the end of the season made three starts including a six inning effort for the Threshers on 9/3/23 where he yielded just one run on two hits - followed that with a strong performance in the playoffs. Is a strike thrower - we saw him on a few occasions on the backfields pitching for the FCL Phillies. Compact seamless delivery keeps him aligned to his target and able to consistently be in the zone. Knows how to pitch.
2024 Projection : strong chance to open the season with the Clearwater Threshers.
RHP Jace Vines - 29 years old - signed as a free agent 3/30/23 from KC Royals organization
2023 Stats : made four rehab appearances (one with Clearwater and three with Jersey Shore) before being activated with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs where he appeared in 13 games (12.1 IP) with a 2.43 WHIP and 8.03 ERA. Averaged 18.53 pitches per inning pitched and had a 60 % strike ratio. Was placed back on the IL on 7/20/23 and didn’t pitch the balance of the year.
2023 Notes : incurred an injury setback - had missed the second half of the 2022 season with the Royals organization after incurring injury. When he’s healthy will fire a four seam fastball in the 95 to 97 mph range offset with a cutter and occasional sinker. Was anticipated that he could be a bullpen weapon.
2024 Projection : released 11/7/23
LHP Andrew Walling - 23 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 8/1/22 - Mississippi State
2023 Stats : very strong season - appeared in 40 games (55.2 IP) with a 3.23 ERA, 73 strikeouts and 29 walks. Averaged 16.56 pitches per inning pitched and had a 62 % strike ratio. At Clearwater - 26 appearances (39 IP) - 46 strikeouts and 26 walks, a 1.41 WHIP, 3.23 ERA and .206 BAA. Promoted to Jersey Shore on 7/26/23 where he appeared in 14 games (16.2 IP) with 27 strikeouts and a minuscule 3 walks - 66 % strike ratio, .164 BAA, 0.72 WHIP.
2023 Notes : during spring training I had a scout ask me who was the lefty throwing on Ashburn Field with the live arm, he couldn’t believe that Andrew went un-drafted and thought the Phillies had made a real discovery. Andrew is a three pitch reliever with a fastball consistently in the 93 to 97 mph range and a sharp slider along with a cutter. Has multi inning capabilities - in 18 of his 40 appearances he went multiple innings. Likable young man whose desire to excel shines thru, can handle pressure spots in games, has baseball savvy and moxie - strong competitor with talent to pitch at upper levels and eventually the show. Reminds me a bit of former Phillie Jake Diekman.
Andrew’s reflections : “Personal takeaway would have to be understanding more of the type of pitcher I am and what leads me to have success on the mound. This off season I plan to focus on adding to my repertoire with a variant of a changeup/split finger.”
Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert : “Walling made big strides in his ability to command the strike zone. He has an electric fastball that is complemented well with his cutter/slider combo. He thrived in high leverage spots for both CLW/JS and gained confidence as the season went on.”
Jersey Shore Pitching Coach Phil Cundari : “I don’t know what’s tougher, playing catch with him or trying to hit him 🤓. He’s got electric stuff, very strong young man who made tremendous strides this season. Throws a bowling bowl of a cutter, varies his slider from a cutter to one that has more sweep, both have great velocity, exceptional breaking stuff. Has a strong fastball already but I believe that velocity down the road with the fastball will be sitting 96-98 mph. As he learns to throw more strikes with his pitches can move quickly up the chain. Tremendous worker and an outstanding young man.”
2024 Projection : could open the year with Jersey Shore with a viable path to AA Reading
RHP Jeremy Walker - 28 years old - signed as a free agent - 12/8/22 from Tampa Rays organization
2023 Stats : had a good season for AAA Lehigh Valley, posted a 2.90 ERA in 47 appearances (68.1 IP) with 52 strikeouts and 31 walks. Opponents hit .221 against him, had a 1.24 WHIP. Averaged 16.14 pitches per inning pitched and recorded a 61 % strike ratio. Had an good month of May - 11 appearances - 17.2 IP - 2.04 ERA and finished the last three months of the season very strong with 20 appearances - 26.2 IP - a 1.69 ERA - 20 strikeouts, 8 walks and a 1.05 WHIP.
2023 Notes : was a stabilizing presence in the LHV bullpen and a workhorse. Had prior big league experience having made six appearances with the 2019 Braves posting a 1.93 ERA in 9.1 IP, is a good friend of Weston Wilson, in fact they both signed with the Phillies as minor league free agents so that they could be teammates. Throws a four seamer and sinker (90 to 93 mph) and a curveball.
2024 Projection : minor league free agent
LHP Danny Wilkinson - 23 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/25/22 - Villanova University
2023 Stats : an incredible season with the Clearwater Threshers in regards to strikeouts with 106 K’s in 34 games (56.2 IP) with a .177 batting average against and a 6-0 record. Led the minor league organization in K’s Per Nine (at least 40 IP) with a count of 16.8. Posted a 4.45 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, averaged 20.12 pitches per inning pitched and had a 58 % strike ratio. Danny had a stellar month of July posting a 0.59 ERA in 8 games (15.1 IP) with 33 K’s and a 0.978 WHIP which won him recognition as the system’s pitcher of the month. Also had a strong month of August - 8 games (12.1 IP) with a 2.19 ERA , 23 K’s and 7 walks.
2023 Notes : a three pitch mix hurler (fastball, slider, curve) who gets big spin and break on his off speed deliveries and rising action on his fastball (ala Arizona’s Paul Sewald). While he pitches off his fastball as predominant delivery he can also “pitch backwards” using his slider 30 to 40 percent of the time. All three pitches are quality deliveries, unique fastball with big time backspin in the 90 to 92 mph range (plays up higher due to movement) complimented by the slider in the low 80’s and a 12-6 curve. Is a strikeout machine, was this season and all throughout his collegiate career. Will be fun to watch him climb the ladder.
Danny’s reflections : “I think my biggest personal takeaway was that it’s a long season and you really have to be on top of your schedule every single day and working hard every second. Also I had a ton of success when I was confident in my pitches and my location. So confidence is definitely a huge factor in having success. Throughout this off-season I’m going to be working on my mobility and strengthening my entire body to try and come back throwing harder with less effort, just trying to get the average velocity up for of all my pitches.”
Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert : “An interesting lefty with some funk and deception to his arsenal. In today’s game where we can measure each pitch and how it flies to the plate, Danny possess a fastball with high carry. He doesn’t get a ton of extension and throws from a high slot, has the ability to spin two breaking pitches with a sharp curve and harder slider. As he continues to gain strength and physicality we look for his velocity and stuff to continue to improve as well as his ability to command counts and limit walks as he advances.”
2024 Projection : breaks camp with High A Jersey Shore.
RHP Cam Wynne - 24 years old - drafted in 20th round of the 2021 draft from the University of Nebraska
2023 Stats : had a very good season with Jersey Shore appearing in 34 games (42.2 IP) with a 2.55 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, opponents hit just .190 against him. He averaged 14.74 pitches per inning pitched and had a 65 % strike ratio. Finished the season especially strong - in August - 0.73 ERA in 8 games (12.1 IP) with 12 K’s and 3 walks, a .100 BAA and 0.57 WHIP - from May thru August he appeared in 25 games (31 IP) and posted an outstanding 1.74 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP.
2023 Notes : Cam spent a large part of last season at the Complex with the rehab group. This year he was healthy and broke spring camp with Jersey Shore - was solid all season when called upon. He’s a power arm with the fastball ranging between 93 to 97 mph, also has a slider and changeup and mixes in a cutter. Has a mound presence - when he throws strikes can dominate. Will pitch this off-season for the Adelaide Giants in the Australian Baseball League.
Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert : “Cam had an interesting year in which we saw his stuff and velo were down in the early part of the season. With some adjustments in his daily work, delivery and weight room routine, we were able to get some gains. Cam is a physical, dynamic arm with some high octane stuff. We are excited to see him continue his development in the ABL.”
2024 Projection : will compete in spring training for a AA Reading roster spot.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
Note : I've 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.