11/20/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Catchers - Part Three
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 twenty articles were on the pitchers - if you missed them here’s a link to article 20, it contains within it links to the other 19 pitcher’s articles - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-17-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-twenty.
Today we focus on group three of the catchers. There are twenty-one catchers that we will present notes on in groups of five as listed below.
Group Three : Rafael Marchan, Jorge Mendez, Andrick Nava, Jackie Pertuz, Anthony Quirion
Links to previous catchers articles :
Group One : Lou Albrecht, Kliubert Avila, Jose Colmenarez, Arturo De Freitas, Jordan Dissin - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-18-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-one
Group Two : Vito Friscia, Aramis Garcia, Herbert Iser, Kehden Hettiger, Ryan Leitch - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-19-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-two
The following group will be discussed in a future article :
Group Four : Caleb Ricketts, Cody Roberts, Leonardo Rondon, Gustavo Sosa, Eduardo Tait, Jared Thomas
So we continue - the third article in the 2023 series on catchers ⚾️🤓.
Rafael Marchan - 24 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/3/15 - San Cristobal, Venezuela
2023 Stats : played in 51 games for AAA Lehigh Valley - posted a .297/.391/.440 slash line in 207 plate appearances with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 30 RBIs. He was also 6 for 10 in four rehab games with Clearwater and Jersey Shore. It was his best offensive output since 2018 with short-season Williamsport. Defensively posted a .986 fielding percentage at LHV in 418 fielding chances and threw out 17 of 54 base stealers (31 %). He continues to play in the Venezuelan Winter League for Tigres de Aragua where he’s posted a .345/.439/.436 slash line in 66 plate appearances (16 games) to date.
2023 Notes : Rafael is a switch hitter who began the year on the IL with a hamate fracture and spent the beginning of the season at the complex with the rehab team followed by assignments with the Threshers and BlueClaws. Was activated on the IronPigs roster on 6/20/23. Has always been a skilled defender with a strong throwing arm and good mechanics. We’ve witnessed multiple batting practice sessions, folks may be surprised to know he’s always shown the ability to drive the ball beyond the fences however his offensive prowess is found in a line drive gap to gap swing. Has incurred injuries the past two spring that have delayed starts to the season for him and has instead spent time in extended spring camp. A very likable young man, big league skills all around.
2024 Projection : was reportedly granted a fourth option year for 2024 - can be sent to LHV if doesn’t make big club in spring camp.
Jorge Mendez - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent 8/2/19 - Maracay, Venezuela
2023 Stats : played in 25 games posting a .217/.367/.370 slash line in 60 plate appearances for the FCL Phillies. Had four doubles, a home run and eleven RBIs. Defensively posted a .991 fielding percentage in 114 chances and threw out 6 of 20 base stealers (30 %).
2023 Notes : right handed hitter who has a quick bat with gap to gap power, the FCL club had multiple catchers so playing time was limited, when we saw him play really liked the receiving skills and arm strength, excellent thrower. Bat to ball skills are tremendous - only struck out once all season and just 16 times in 247 career plate appearances - Willians Astudillo like. He had an outstanding season in 2022 with the DSL Phillies Red team (hit .400 with 8 doubles and 19 RBIs in 90 AB’s) so we believe there’s a skill set that can further develop. Has a great attitude and team spirit, leadership qualities.
Jorge’s reflections : “My greatest learning was to always play hard no matter what happens, always play hard. I am focusing on my physique and my batting.”
FCL Manager Shawn Williams : “When you see a catcher that works hard and takes such pride in his defense it’s awesome. Worked with Roly de Armas and really improved his catching skills. Has a great arm. As a hitter finds a way to put the barrel on the ball, doesn’t strike out at all, it’s incredible. Only struck out one time all year. Brings so much more to the table than just baseball, a good teammate and clubhouse leader. Along with Santiago Torres is always one of the first guys to the field every day. Is always ready to play. I like Mendy a lot.”
2024 Projection : will compete for playing time either with FCL Phillies or Threshers in spring camp.
Andrick Nava - 22 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/2/18 - Cabimas, Venezuela
2023 Stats : played in 64 games posting a .221/.333/.313 slash line in 246 plate appearances for Jersey Shore with 10 doubles, 3 home runs and 27 RBIs - drew 34 walks. Defensively recorded a .983 fielding percentage in 412 chances - threw out 14 of 69 base stealers (20 %). He is playing winter league baseball for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League.
2023 Notes : Andrik can swing the bat - solid offensive skills which we first saw in 2019 GCL play, line drive type hitter than can also occasionally turn on a ball and drive it for distance. Is a switch hitter that seemingly always has a competitive plate appearance. Defensively has worked at becoming a more balanced receiver, pop times this year seemed to improve as did throwing to bases. He’s a pleasant young man who’s always said hello each time we’ve seen him. Has fun playing and is a good teammate.
2024 Projection : could return to Jersey Shore for more experience - this season was his first full year there.
Jackie Pertuz - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/2/19 - Barranquilla, Colombia
2023 Stats : played in 18 games and had a .273/.368/.364 slash line for the FCL Phillies in 38 plate appearances with 3 doubles and 8 RBIs. Defensively had a .972 fielding percentage in 71 chances. Threw out 2 of 13 base stealers (15 %)
2023 Notes : a left handed hitter with decent bat to ball skills - played his second season with the FCL Phillies. There were between four to six catchers at various times on the FCL roster this summer so finding playing time was difficult. He’s got a pretty left handed swing when he’s in there. Solid defensive skills, has good size and a strong arm - seems very coachable.
2024 Projection : continues to compete for playing time in spring camp.
Anthony Quirion - 26 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/20/21 - Lamar University, TX
2023 Stats : played in 52 games for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws with a .188/.294/.318 slash line in 204 plate appearances. Had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 19 RBIs - also played in 5 rehab games with the FCL Phillies (8 for 17 with 3 doubles). Posted a .986 fielding percentage in 283 chances and threw out 12 of 55 base stealers (22 %). Played for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball league during the 2022/2023 winter league season and was a key member of the championship team hitting .339 with 5 home runs and 24 RBIs in 130 AB’s as the primary catcher. He has returned to Adelaide for the 2023/2024 season.
2023 Notes : right handed hitter with the ability to drive the ball, has pop. Is a great competitor with leadership qualities - we notice other players migrating to him in that regard, could be a future coach. Was on rehab assignment with an injury at the complex this summer from 5/23/23 till 6/28/23. Is a genuinely nice person, we have had the great fortune to meet his parents as well, good people.
Anthony’s reflections : “I think as an organization we’ve made huge strides in expecting to be the better team every day.”
2024 Projection : should compete for a roster spot with Reading in spring camp.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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