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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/3/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Pitchers - Part Eight

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

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 (191 in total) 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 will be on pitchers.  I’ll present notes on 103 pitchers done in alphabetical order. The first seven articles previously published - see the links if you missed them.  Today we focus on group eight.

Group 8 : Luis Gomez, Mavis Graves, Zach Haake, Daniel Harper, Josh Hendrickson

Group 1 :  Mick Abel, Samuel Aldegheri, Luis Alcala, Shaun Anderson, Erubiel Armenta -

Group 3 : Malik Binns, Josh Bortka, Ben Bowden, Connor Brogdon, Blake Brown -

Group 4 : Cam Brown, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Starlyn Castillo, Ethan Chenault, Ty Collins -

Group 5 : Gabriel Cotto, Hans Crouse, Jack Dallas, Trey Dillard, Jake Eddington -

Group 6 : Jaydenn Estanista, Braeden Fausnaught, Jordan Fowler, Carlos Francisco, Javier Fuenmayor -

Group 7 : Marty Gair, Alex Garbrick, Eric Garcia, Tristan Garnett, Drew Garrett -

The following groups will be discussed in future articles :

Group 9 : Jonh Henriquez, Cristian Hernandez, Jakob Hernandez, Chase Hopewell, Drew Hutchinson

Group 10 : Estibenzon Jimenez, Damon Jones, Nate Karaffa, Orion Kerkering, Keylan Killgore

Group 11 : George Klassen, Taylor Lehman, Adam Leverett, Hunter Loyd, Rafael Marcano

Group 12 : Jordi Martinez, Gunner Mayer, Tommy McCollum, Alex McFarlane, Griff McGarry

Group 13 : Christian McGowan, Tyler McKay, Oswald Medina, Daniel Mejia, Jhordany Mezquita

Group 14 : McKinley Moore, Wesley Moore, Nick Nelson, Mitch Neunborn, Luis Ortiz

Group 15 : Matt Osterberg, Micah Ottenbreit, Andrew Painter, Wen Hui Pan, David Parkinson

Group 16 : Jose Pena Jr, Hector Perez, Jonathan Petit, Tyler Phillips, Dominic Pipkin

Group 17 : Michael Plassmeyer, Alex Rao, Jason Ruffcorn, Matt Russell, Luke Russo

Group 18 : Rodolfo Sanchez, Brett Schulze, Andrew Schultz, Eduar Segovia, Enrique Segura, Casey Steward

Group 19 : Noah Skirrow, Saul Teran, Paxton Thompson, Braydon Tucker, Erich Uelmen, Guissepe Velasquez

Group 20 : Ezequiel Ventura, Jace Vines, Andrew Walling, Jeremy Walker, Danny Wilkinson, Cam Wynne

So we continue - the eighth article in the 2023 series on pitchers  ⚾️🤓.

RHP Luis Gomez - 22 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/14/17 - Santa Teresa del Tuy, Venezuela

2023 Stats :   Posted a 5.24 ERA in 19 appearances for the FCL Phillies (22.1 IP) with 17 strikeouts and 12 walks.  He averaged 7.84 pitches per innings pitched and had a 70 % strike ratio.  Luis was promoted to the FCL on 6/5/23 from the Dominican Academy.  He’s a strike thrower, over the course of his five years of play he’s posted a 79 % strike ratio.  He finished the season strong (five appearances in August, 7.2 IP, 3.52 ERA, .200 BAA and 1.30 WHIP).

2023 Notes :  Backfield baseball (FCL) can be tedious as pitchers often struggle with control.  There was no pitch clock this season in the league as not every team was equipped to do so at their complexes.  Luis was often used in inherited runner situations this summer because skipper Shawn Williams knew he would throw strikes and give his team a chance to make a play behind him rather than watch a parade of walks.  He features a fastball (89 to 92 mph), changeup, slider and curve ball.

2024 Projection :  in the mix for an opening day roster spot with Clearwater in spring camp

LHP Mavis Graves - 19 years old - drafted in 6th round of the 2022 draft from Eastside HS, Taylors, South Carolina

2023 Stats :  appeared in eleven games with the FCL Phillies, 34 IP, 45 strikeouts, 29 walks, 1.88 WHIP, 63 % strike ratio, averaged 10.41 pitches per innings pitched.  Blossomed in the month of August, three starts, 10 IP, 2.70 ERA, .188 BAA, 1.40 WHIP.  Was great to see as he battled to get there in the first couple months of the season.

2023 Notes :  the stuff plays, fastball (90 to 92 mph, touches 94), sweeping curve (an out maker), changeup and slider.  Is finding his way as a professional, very young - turns 20 in November.  We thought the season was one of growth, from extended spring to his last three starts in August he made progress and threw very well in the last starts of the season.  There were bumps along the way but that’s to be expected in first season of play.  Has a big frame (6’6”) and continues to add strength.  Reminds my baseball buddy Jim Peyton and I a great deal of Ben Brown and how he developed.  Akin to Ben, Mavis is a very pleasant young man who is easy to root for.  There’s tools here that can definitely advance, just gonna require some patience and time to develop.

Mavis’s reflections :  “Biggest takeaway from the 2023 season was learning the mental side of the game and bettering myself after tough outings.  This off-season I’m trying to prepare my body better for this season and just get stronger and stay healthy.”

2024 Projection :  with a good spring camp can be part of the starting staff for opening day Clearwater

RHP Zach Haake - 27 years old - signed as free agent 3/30/23 - drafted by Royals - 6th round, 2018 - Kentucky

2023 Stats :  made 12 appearances (11 starts) for Reading accumulating 53.1 IP - posted a 5.06 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 19 walks, a .257 BAA and a 1.33 WHIP.  Averaged 17.76 pitches per innings pitched and recorded a 64 % strike ratio.  After signing with the Phillies spent a good part of the season at the complex working with the rehab and development team on an injury recovery and pitch refinement.  He made four rehab appearances with the FCL (1), Clearwater (2) and Jersey Shore (1) before being activated by Reading on 7/6/23 with Reading.

2023 Notes :  features a sinker (93 to 95 mph), change up and slider.  The sinker flashes even higher - 96 to 97 mph at times.  He’s got a three quarter arm slot, utilizes the change-up on an even par with the sinker, slider is third pitch.  Had games this summer where he was excellent, in July posted a 2.20 ERA in five games (16.1 IP) with 18 K’s and just 2 walks - had a string of 12 consecutive scoreless frames.  Best game of the season was on 9/6 versus Portland when he went six shutout innings allowing just one hit.  On other occasions battled command and control and wasn’t effective.  When he found consistent release point was good, battles that as arm slot alters, particularly on the change up.

2024 Projection :   Eligible for minor league free agency

RHP Daniel Harper - 24 years old - drafted in 17th round of the 2022 draft from University of Kentucky, KY

2023 Stats :  recorded a 6.42 ERA in 23 appearances (33.2 IP) with the Clearwater Threshers.  Posted 27 strikeouts and 25 walks, a 1.99 WHIP, 18.71 average pitches per inning pitched and a 59 % strike ratio.  Was on the IL till 6/9/23 when activated.

2023 Notes :   Fastball ranges from 91 to 95 mph, reached 96, also throws a slider.  Had recurring injury early in the year and spent till June with the rehab group at the complex.  Battled control this summer which also was an issue in his amateur career.  This season he worked on incorporating a cutter for the first time.  Daniel was a closer at Kentucky and has the stuff to do so professionally if can find control and command.

Daniel’s reflections :   “Hey Steve! Biggest takeaway from this season is that I have to learn a third pitch in order to compete day in and day out and with that my goal is to develop a sinker and a more consistent slider.”

2024 Projection : will be in the hunt for an A level bullpen role in spring training

LHP Josh Hendrickson - 26 years old - drafted in 38th round of the 2019 draft from University of San Diego, CA

2023 Stats :  posted a 5.58 ERA in 24 appearances (21 starts) - 108 IP with Reading and Lehigh Valley.  Recorded 91 strikeouts and 49 walks, a 1.65 WHIP and averaged 17.21 pitches per innings pitched.  His strikeout ratio was 63 %.  Pitched  21 games (all starts) for Reading - 98 IP, 5.42 ERA and 3 games for Lehigh Valley - ten innings, all in relief.

2023 Notes :   is an innings eater who returned to Reading from an injury plagued 2022 season where he was limited to 10 appearances (34.1 IP).  Uses pitch-ability to record outs, fastball sits 89 to 92 mph, also uses a cutter, slider, change-up and curve ball.  Is the epitome of a “crafty left-hander”.

2024 Projection :  released 11/7/23

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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