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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/21/22 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Outfielders - Part One

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

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.  The next group was on Infielders - we chronicled 40 different players broken down into five postings.  I will list below the article links to the catchers and infielders notes previously published if ya missed them.

The next group of articles is Outfielders - I’ll discuss 36 different players broken down into five postings ( alphabetical order ) :

Group One : Jorge Bonifacio, Emaarion Boyd, Chris Burke, Jared Carr, Justin Crawford, Carlos De La Cruz, Jefferson Encarnacion

Group Two : Ezra Farmer, Cade Fergus, Yemal Flores, Wilfredo Flores, Jorge Garcia, Yhoswar Garcia, Dalton Guthrie, Darium Gutierrez

Group Three : Raylin Heredia, Dakota Kotowski, Matt Kroon, Marcus Lee Sang, Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz, Jerffson Pena

Group Four : Dustin Peterson, Leandro Pineda, Baron Radcliff, Felix Reyes, Gabriel Rincones Jr, Albert Rodriquez, Johan Rojas

Group Five : Ricardo Rosario, Troy Schreffler, Chris Sharpe, Gavin Tonkel, Jordan Viars, Justin Williams, Ethan Wilson

So we continue - the first article in the series on outfielders  - note that speed will be a predominant theme when discussing the  outfielders ⚾️🤓.

Jorge Bonifacio - 29 years old - Birthdate : 6/4/93 - signed as a minor league free agent 3/30/22 -  This Fan’s View - Jorge was signed in 2021 as a free agent to stabilize a young Reading roster and provide both leadership and a middle of the order presence.  He excelled at both and even earned a promotion to the big leagues appearing in seven games with the Phillies.  He was re-signed during 2022 minor league camp and assigned to Lehigh Valley where he hit 17 doubles, 15 home runs and drove in 57 runs in 444 plate appearances.  He’s a clubhouse leader and very popular teammate.   2023 Projection - elected minor league free agency.

Emaarion Boyd - 19 years old - Birthdate : 8/22/03 - 2022 11th round draft selection - South Panola High School, Batesville, MS -  This Fan’s View - we saw Emaarion in 2022 FCL action - lighting quick speed, level swing path and quick hands are our first impressions as a runner and hitter.   Played in 11 games after signing, two with Clearwater, nine in the FCL and went 13 for 36 ( .361 ) with a double - stole 8 bases and posted a .477 OBP.  The soft spoken young man closes on fly balls very well using his plus-plus speed to an advantage, decent arm - not overpowering but will get the job done.  Was in Fall Instructs and Strength & Conditioning Camp - once he learns better techniques defensively and on the base paths he’s capable of becoming a big weapon both offensively and defensively.  In the cages and games we saw a lean right handed hitter - a short, line drive type stroke ( although scouting reports say he veered from that in high school ) but one who is also is very willing to bunt and take advantage of his legs to get on base.  Exciting player to watch develop, especially with the new pickoff rules he can become a big time base stealer.  2023 Projection - will compete for a starting role with Clearwater in Spring Training.

Chris Burke - 21 years old - Birthdate : 8/16/01 - signed 7/16/19 as an international free agent - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - This Fan’s View - converted to outfield this season moving from the Catcher position to take advantage of his speed.  Coming off a wrist injury incurred late in 2021 - saw limited action this summer with the Threshers after being assigned on May 27th.  Was placed on the development list in mid July - spent a great deal of time during the summer focusing on learning the outfield and hitting adjustments.  Post regular season played for Team Australia in the Under 23 World Cup tournament in Taiwan and was named to the All World Tournament team - he posted a .400 OBP in 20 plate appearances and was outstanding defensively as a center fielder.  He tied for the tournament lead in home runs with two.  Chris is presently playing for Melbourne in the Australian Baseball League as a starting outfielder.  He’s capable of becoming a top of the order base stealing threat with some pop to boot. 2023 Projection - in the mix for an outfield role with the Clearwater Threshers

Jared Carr - 23 years old - OF - Birthdate : 5/24/99 - 2021 13th round draft selection - Shepherd University, WV - This Fan’s View -   Played the 2022 season with Jersey Shore accumulating 422 plate appearances.  Left handed hitter who needs to work on pitch recognition - gets long and struggled to consistently put the ball in play this past season.  Generates good bat speed and has the ability to drive the ball - we’ve seen that in game action.  Defensively he is very athletic - can play all three outfield positions well, was a shortstop in high school.  Good baseball acumen - presently playing for Adelaide in the Australian Baseball League - hit three home runs in a game against Korea for them this past week. 2023 Projection - we see him competing in spring training for a role with Reading.

Justin Crawford - 18 years old - Birthdate : 1/13/04 - 2022 1st round draft selection - Bishop Gorman High School, Las Vegas, NV -  This Fan’s View - a big time burner 💨 - we saw him in 11 games with the FCL Phillies where he posted a .395 OBP in 42 plate appearances and stole 8 bases - he then played in five games to end the season with Clearwater and swiped two more bags.  Can flat out fly - strong bat to ball skills and an ability to square up line drives - is very lean but will grow into his body and will add muscle with strength and conditioning work.  Defensively is very skilled - runs good routes, gets quick jumps and has a very strong arm in drills we’ve seen so far.  Is good people - after one of the FCL games a fan was waiting to chat with him, the fella was an army veteran but not in uniform - came up during the conversation - Justin thanked him for coming out to watch the game and the early morning practice before it, he didn’t know the fella before they chatted - really cool.  We’ve found him to be pleasant and interactive.  Has the toolset to advance high and from what we’ve seen has on a strong character and work ethic - solid  baseline for success.  2023 Projection - likely the regular center fielder for Clearwater on opening day.

Carlos De La Cruz - 23 years old - Birthdate : 10/6/99 - signed 8/23/17 as an un -drafted free agent - Yonkers, New York - This Fan’s View - had easily his best season in 2022  as he posted 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 47 RBIs in 102 games between Jersey Shore and Reading - in July he won the system’s Player of the Month Award.  Carlos is 6’8” and very athletic.  He’s played all three outfield positions in his brief pro career to date and recently added first base to the mix.  When we first saw him hit on the backfields in 2017 multiple folks remarked how the ball jumps off his bat - it makes that special baseball loud sound that results from the barreling of the ball on the sweet spot.  He can drive baseballs high and deep into the sky.  This season he got much quicker - developed a shorter swing that pushes the ball where it’s pitched albeit we’ve seen inside out flares to right field as well that in our opinion he couldn’t deliver in years past as swing was longer.  On one of his home runs this year that we observed he took an outside pitch the opposite way over the right field fence with a limited extension - pushed thru the ball and it jumped out of the yard on a line - indicative of how strong this young man is.  Had an excellent Arizona Fall League hitting .307 with 2 triples, 3 home runs and 14 RBIs in 62 AB’s - made an outstanding catch in center field in the championship game and delivered two hits.  2023 Projection - a return to Reading or an assignment with AAA Lehigh Valley out of spring camp.

Jefferson Encarnacion - 21 years old - Birthdate : 8/28/01 - signed as an international free agent 9/12/17 - Bajos de Haina, Dominican Republic - This Fan’s View - promising looking player who unfortunately suffered a knee injury during 2021 extended spring training, had surgery shortly thereafter but it didn’t heal properly and he had to have surgery re-done. It’s been a long couple of years of rehab work for the otherwise happy go lucky young man.  He was back on the field in outfield drills and BP sessions during this year's Fall Instructs and subsequent camp.  Has a powerful  build ( 6’2” ) and we remember good defensive mechanics and arm strength from 2021 - a left handed hitter with a power swing - has to build back full strength in his lower half to generate the full drive we saw before.  It’s been a long return process but seems on the verge of getting to game action - anxious to see how he performs.  2023 Projection - was taken in the minor league rule 5 draft by the Cubs

Top to Bottom - left to right - Jefferson Encarnacion, Justin Crawford, Carlos De La Cruz, Emaarion Boyd, Jared Carr, Jorge Bonifacio, Chris Burke - photos taken by Mark Wylie, George Youngs Jr, Michael Dolcemascolo & Cheryl Pursell

Prior Reports - Catchers & Infielders :

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 -

Infielders :

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

Group Two : Aldrem Corredor, Aroon Escobar, Diego Gonzalez, Sal Gozzo, Jonathan Guzman, Darick Hall, Lou Helmig, Otto Kemp  - article posted 11/15/22 - link -

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 -

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 -

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

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.

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