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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/28/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Infielders - Part Seven

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


The second set was four articles on the catchers - - if you missed them here’s a link to article 4, it contains within it links to the other 3 catcher’s articles - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-21-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-four


We now present notes on infielders in eight groups of as listed below.


Today we focus on group seven of the infielders.


Group Seven :  Bryan Rincon, Devin Saltiban, Jehisbert Sevilla, Kendall Simmons, Madison Stokes


Link to previous infielders articles :


Group One :  Keaton Anthony, Zach Arnold, Pierce Bennett, William Bergolla, Erick Brito - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-22-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-one


Group Two :  Chad Castillo, Kody Clemens, Oliver Dunn, Drew Ellis, Trent Farquhar - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-23-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-two


Group Three :  Wilfredo Flores, Diego Gonzalez, Jim Haley,  Darick Hall, Lou Helmig - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-24-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-three


Group Four :  Otto Kemp, Scott Kingery, Dakota Kotowski, Matt Kroon, Casey Martin - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-25-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-four


Group Five :  Pedro Martinez, Aidan Miller, Freylin Minyety,  Cole Moore, Nick Podkul - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-26-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-five


Group Six :  Nikau Pouaka-Grego, Marco Soto, Ty Penner, Esteban Quiroz, Felix Reyes - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-27-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-six


The following players will be discussed in future articles :


Group Eight :  Will Toffey, Nick Ward, Bryson Ware, Weston Wilson, Rixon Wingrove


So we continue - the seventh article in the 2023 series on infielders  ⚾️🤓.


SS - Bryan Rincon  - 19 years old - drafted in 14th round of the 2022 draft from Shaler Area HS , Pittsburgh, PA


2023 Stats :  played in 99 games combined for Clearwater and Jersey Shore.  He was promoted to the BlueClaws on 8/15/23 and played 18 regular season games with them plus 3 post season contests. Overall he posted a .234/.368/.361 slash line in 425 plate appearances with 17 doubles, a triple, 8 home runs and 52 RBIs.  Walked 68 times and stole 27 bases in 41 attempts.  Had a .970 fielding percentage at shortstop in 371 chances.


2023 Notes :  was voted as the best defensive shortstop in the Florida State League in a Baseball America survey amongst scouts.  Has great hands, range and arm, covers a lot of ground, first noticed that this spring in camp.   He’s a switch hitter who has strong bat to ball skills and a great approach, makes pitchers work deep into counts and takes walks.  He’s got pop as well, particularly from the left side - can really turn on pitches as a lefty hitter, drives the ball.  Has great energy and presence, will jump pitcher’s mistakes - really good eye-hand coordination and is baseball savvy.  One to watch - has a lot of tools to work with and can be a very solid high level performer at a premium position.  Folks should take note, this young man has a big league skill set.


2024 Projection :  likely starts the year with Jersey Shore.


SS - Devin Saltiban - 18 years old - drafted in 3rd round of the 2023 draft from Hilo HS , Hilo, HI


2023 Stats :  played in 10 games with the FCL Phillies - hit .333/.391/.452, an OPS of .843 in 46 plate appearances with 2 doubles, a home run and 7 RBIs.   He walked 3 times and stole 5 bases in 6 attempts.   Defensively had a .929 fielding percentage in 14 chances.


2023 Notes :  dynamic player with great energy, adapted to shortstop flawlessly.  Right handed hitter who drove the baseball with authority in the couple times we saw him, quick hands and pop. We chatted with him briefly, upbeat personality that shines thru both on and off the field.  He was an outfielder in high school but is converting to shortstop as a professional player.


FCL Manager Shawn Williams :  “I think he’s gonna stick at shortstop, has extreme tools, special things he’s gonna do.  Hadn’t really played infield before and came in and played the position really well.  Great attitude, loves playing, very high ceiling, no telling how good he can be.  Can run, has power, isn’t very big but he’s put together.  Exciting player, very impressed with what I saw.”


2024 Projection :  likely to open in extended spring training to continue learning shortstop position.


2B - Jehisbert Sevilla - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/2/19 - Maracay, Venezuela


2023 Stats :  played in 27 games for FCL Phillies - .182/.289/.242 slash line in 76 plate appearances with 4 doubles, 5 RBIs and 6 walks.  Defensively played second base (.955 fielding percentage in 89 chances) and some third base (3 games - 1.000 fielding percentage in 8 chances) after playing mostly shortstop in 2022.


2023 Notes :  right handed hitter who’s struggled to put up offensive numbers in his two seasons of FCL play.  He is a very good athlete with baseball skills, particularly as a fielder.  Has the arm strength of a shortstop, helps him in turning double plays as a second baseman.


2024 Projection :  extended spring training is likely.


2B,3B - Kendall Simmons  - 23 years old - drafted in 6th round of the 2018 draft from Tattnall Square HS , Macon, GA


2023 Stats :  played in 50 games with Jersey Shore posting a .267/.362/.494 slash line in 213 plate appearance with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 8 home runs and 37 RBIs with 22 walks - .856 OPS.  Played in 9 rehab appearance games with the FCL Phillies and Clearwater Threshers (1 game) - .346/.455/.615 in 33 plate appearances with 4 doubles, 1 home run and 5 RBIs.  Defensively played 300 innings at second base with a .979 fielding percentage in 141 chances and 146 innings at third base with a .902 fielding percentage in 51 chances.


2023 Notes :  a very muscular young man with one of the brightest smiles in the entire organization, always one of my favorites to chat with.  Has battled the injury bug throughout his career, this season was no different as he spent multiple stints on the IL. Suffered an oblique injury in spring camp which delayed the start of his season till 4/25/23.  Was back on the IL with a different injury from 5/30/23 to 7/21/23 and again from 8/1/23 to 8/13/23 with concussion protocol and once again in September.  When he was on the field had a very strong year, hit .316 with an OBP of .400 in 21 games in May with 5 taters and 17 RBIs, 9 walks - one of the best months of his career.  Had an excellent pre camp before spring training, really felt it was going to be a bust out season.  The talent is evident, a right handed hitter with very quick hands and outstanding power, can turn on high inside fastballs better than anyone I’ve seen in the current group of minor leaguers.  Just needs to find a way to stay on the field, if he can then the numbers will pop.  Kendall has played both second and third base, personally I think he’s best suited to second, just seems like a better fit for his athleticism.  He’s now playing for the Adelaide Giants in Australia this winter to make up for lost AB’s, really believe the young man has big league power - hoping he can avoid the injury bugs and show it.


Kendall’s reflections :  “I would say my biggest take away from this year is “YOU can do it.” My focus’s this off season is “just keep playing kid, keep going.”


2024 Projection :  either a return to Jersey Shore to begin the season else a bump to Reading out of camp.


UTL - Madison Stokes  - 27 years old - drafted in 10th round of the 2018 draft from University of South Carolina, SC


2023 Stats :  played in 102 games with Reading posting a .215/.341/.344 slash line in 431 plate appearances with 21 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 31 RBIs, had 64 walks and a .685 OBP.  Defensively played every position with the exception of pitcher and catcher.  The majority of his time was at shortstop - 38 games - 327 innings - .974 fielding percentage in 152 chances followed by center field - 22 games - 178 innings - 51 chances - 1.000 fielding percentage.


2023 Notes :  Madison began the year out of spring camp on the development list, was activated on 4/15/23 and delivered as per usual, a true team player who’s always willing to play whatever defensive position is needed.  Generally will give a solid AB each time, true professional.  Right handed hitter. Will now look for an opportunity with another organization - fine young man, we wish him well.


2024 Projection :  released 11/7/23


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️



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