11/18/22 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Infielders - Part Five
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 : Matt Alifano, Alexeis Azuaje, Jamari Baylor, William Bergolla, Erick Brito, Johan Camargo,Ali Castillo, Chad Castillo - article posted 11/14/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-14-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-one
Group Two : Aldrem Corredor, Aroon Escobar, Diego Gonzalez, Sal Gozzo, Jonathan Guzman, Darick Hall, Lou Helmig, Otto Kemp - article posted 11/15/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-15-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-two
Group Three : Scott Kingery, Hao Yu Lee, Casey Martin, Nick Maton, Freylin Minyety, Cole Moore, Yairo Munoz, Josh Ockimey - article posted 11/16/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-16-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-three
Group Four : Nikau Pouaka-Grego, Ty Penner, Wendell Rijo, Brian Rincon, Daniel Robertson, Jehisbert Sevilla, Kendall Simmons, Marco Soto - article posted 11/17/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-17-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-four
Group Five : Madison Stokes, McCarthy Tatum, Will Toffey, Nicolas Torres, Randy Vasquez, Kevin Vicuña, Uziel Viloria, Rixon Wingrove
So we continue - the fifth and last article in the series on infielders ⚾️🤓.
Next week we will start our Outfielder series - I will discuss 36 players over the course of five articles.
Madison Stokes - 26 years old - UTL - Birthdate : 4/25/96 - 2018 10th round draft selection - University of South Carolina - This Fan’s View - Solid all around player who’s intelligent and team oriented, winning demeanor who won’t back away from challenges. Had a tough 2022 season with injuries - first a wrist and then a thumb injury when working his way back on rehab. Missed from May 5th till August 8th. Finished up the season with Lehigh Valley after beginning with Reading. A very versatile defender - can play all infield and outfield spots - well schooled on fundamentals - knows how to play the game the right way. 2023 Projection - should be in the mix for a role with Lehigh Valley in spring camp.
McCarthy Tatum - 26 years old - 3B/1B - Birthdate : 5/15/96 - 2019 10th round draft selection - Fresno State - This Fan’s View -
McCarthy was on a good roll offensively with Jersey Shore in May ( .313 average, .377 OBP in 25 games ) when he suffered a wrist injury ( a lot of fellas were hit with pitches in the hand/wrist area this season ) and went on the IL on May 21st - didn’t return to game play till late July. Was promoted to Reading on August 8th. He saw action at all four infield spots for the first time in his career in 2022 and handled the middle infield positions well given his size ( 6’6”). Is a good fielder at both corners and has some pop in his bat. Very likable young man. 2023 Projection - a return engagement with AA Reading or role with AAA Lehigh Valley out of spring camp seems the target.
Will Toffey - 27 years old - UTL - Birthdate : 12/31/94 - acquired in trade with Giants for Luke Williams - 3/27/22 - This Fan’s View - had a solid season for the AAA level Iron Pigs - 23 doubles, 4 triples and 9 home runs with 37 RBIs - .350 OBP in 388 plate appearances. Defensively saw action at 1B, SS, 3B and LF. Made the trip to Toronto with the Phillies as a Covid call up. 2023 Projection - a return to Lehigh Valley seems likely
Nicolas Torres - 23 years old - UTL - Birthdate : 9/23/99 - signed as an international free agent - 7/2/16 - Puerto Cabello, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - very versatile defender who has played every position on the field except pitcher and catcher. Great team player, keeps head down, works hard and takes on any role without hesitation, winning attitude and solid skill set. A down year with the offensive numbers this summer after a mini break out in 2021. Struggled a bit defensively as well. Needs a bounce back year. 2023 Projection - either a return to Jersey Shore or a spot with Reading being the target.
Randy Vasquez - 19 years old - INF - Birthdate : 12/16/02 - signed as an international free agent - 7/2/19 - San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic - This Fan’s View - left handed hitter who shows pop - earned a stateside assignment in 2022 after playing in the Dominican Summer League the prior season. Defensively we saw improvement at third base over the summer, my initial thoughts were that he lacked the arm strength to play the corner but as the year progressed we saw that there’s enough there to man the spot. At first base he’s smoother and we even saw him at second base near the end of the year. Randy’s got decent speed and can take advantage of balls in the gaps to extend to the extra base. While we saw home run power in Extended Spring it didn’t manifest itself during the FCL season but the frame is there to add strength so that can come. I think he needs to continue to grow both physically and mentally to unlock what he might be as a ball player - like most players on the backfields is learning how to be a pro. 2023 Projection - played in 4 games with Threshers in 2022 - has a shot to break spring camp with them this time around.
Kevin Vicuna - 24 years old - UTL - Birthdate : 12/31/94 - signed as a minor league free agent from Jays - 1/4/22 - This Fan’s View - hit .272 with a .326 OBP in 343 plate appearances for Reading - has played every defensive position in his career other than pitcher and catcher. Good wheels, smart player who can steal bases. We met him at the Complex this summer during an injury rehab session - pleasant young man. 2023 Projection - elected minor league free agency
Uziel Viloria - 21 years old - INF - Birthdate : 1/14/98 - signed as an international free agent 7/1/19 - Dominican Republic - This Fan’s View - winner of the 2022 Phillies Minor League Step Up Award for his community service. Uziel was assigned to Jersey Shore on May 20th from extended spring training. He made appearances at all four infield positions during the summer. Has some pop but also gets long in his swing - max effort type of hitter - shorter stroke and adjustment in approach warranted. Has tools - just needs a focus. 2023 Projection - in the hunt for a full season infield role.
Rixon Wingrove - 22 years old - 1B - Birthdate : 5/23/00 - signed as a minor league free agent 4/20/18 - Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia - This Fan’s View - battled illness in spring training which delayed training - got off to very slow start with the Threshers and was assigned to extended spring after 8 games. When promoted to Jersey Shore on May 24th he caught fire and hit .300 in 90 AB’s from that point till end of June with 5 home runs and 16 RBIs. Finished the year with 12 homers and 43 RBIs in 252 PA’s with the Blue Claws. Defensively played well at first base - even made a cameo appearance as a pitcher in a blow out game. Swing can get long and overextended on the pull side as a left handed hitter which makes it slow but has home run power to all fields when he stays within himself. Very outgoing personality, plays hard, competes to win. Is playing winter ball for the Adelaide Giants in the Australian Baseball League and is a member of Team Australia in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. 2023 Projection - will compete in spring camp for a roster spot with either High A Jersey Shore or AA Reading.
Top then - left to right - Rixon Wingrove, Kevin Vicuña, McCarthy Tatum, Madison Stokes, Randy Vasquez, Uziel Viloria, Nicolas Torres & Will Toffey - photos by Mark Wylie, George Youngs Jr, Michael Dolcemascolo and Cheryl Pursell
Prior Reports - Catchers :
Group 1 : Jack Conley, Arturo DeFreitas, Jordan Dissin, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser and Ryan Leitch. - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-9-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers
Group 2 : Rafael Marchan, Nick Matera, Adony Mejia, Andrik Nava, Rickardo Perez & Jackie Pertuz - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-10-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-two
Group 3 : Anthony Quirion, Caleb Ricketts, Leanardo Rondon, Donny Sands, Gustavo Sosa & Micah Yonamine - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-11-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-three
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