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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

11/30/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Outfielders - Part One

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 articles -

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 articles -

The third set was eight articles on the infielders - if you missed them here’s a link to article 8, it contains within it links to the other 7 infielder articles -

Today we focus on group one of the outfielders :

Group One : Emaarion Boyd, Jared Carr, Justin Crawford, Carlos De La Cruz, Ezra Farmer

The following players will be discussed in future articles :

Group Two : Cade Fergus, Yemal Flores, Jorge Garcia, Yhoswar Garcia, Raylin Heredia

Group Three :  Brewer Hicklen, Marcus Lee Sang, Junior Marin, Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz

Group Four :  Avery Owusu-Asiedu, Dustin Peterson, Leandro Pineda, Baron Radcliff, Gabriel Rincones Jr

Group Five : Albert Rodriquez, Johan Rojas, Ricardo Rosario, Troy Schreffler, AJ Shaver, Cal Stevenson

Group Six : Gavin Tonkel, Santiago Torres, Jordan Viars, TayShaun Walton, Ethan Wilson

So we continue - the first article in the 2023 series on outfielders  ⚾️🤓.

Emaarion Boyd - 20 years old - drafted in 11th round of the 2022 draft from South Panola HS, Batesville, MS

2023 Stats :  posted a .262/.366/.324 slash line in 403 plate appearances with 8 doubles, a triple, home run and 36 RBIs for the Clearwater Threshers.  Walked 35 times,scored 68 runs and stole 56 bases in 74 attempts.  He went 5 for 20 in 20 playoff game AB’s and stole four more bases in four attempts.  Defensively played mostly left field - .979 fielding percentage in 94 chances, also played center and right field.

2023 Notes :  had an outstanding first full year as a pro finishing second in the Florida State League in stolen bases and in the top ten in runs scored.  He has lighting quick speed as a runner, level swing path and quick hands as a hitter.  The soft spoken young man closes on fly balls using his plus-plus speed to an advantage, decent arm also.  A right handed hitter - short, line drive type stroke with plus bat to ball skills but one who is also very willing to bunt and take advantage of his legs to get on base.  Exciting player to watch develop.

2024 Projection :  a bump up to Jersey Shore out of spring camp.

Jared Carr - 24 years old - drafted in 13th round of the 2021 draft from Shepherd University, Shepherd, WV

2023 Stats :   had a .235/.330/.335 slash line in 380 plate appearances for Jersey Shore with 15 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs and 37 RBIs.  Walked 45 times and stole 23 bases in 28 attempts. Defensively played all three outfield spots with majority of time in center field - .987 fielding percentage in 150 chances.

2023 Notes :  left handed hitter who generates good bat speed and has the ability to drive the ball. Defensively he is very athletic - can play all three outfield positions well.  Good baseball acumen.  Comes thru in clutch situations, finds a way to score runners in scoring position.  Team player that can hit anywhere in the lineup, provides outfield versatility.

Jared’s reflections :  “I learned a lot about myself in 2023 as a player and a human, I have a very good idea of what I need to work on and how to execute on the areas of improvement.  I am really going to focus on being able to hit fastballs better and continue to strengthen my arm for the outfield.”

2024 Projection :   in the mix for a Reading roster spot in spring training

Justin Crawford - 19 years old - drafted in 1st round of the 2022 draft from Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV

2023 Stats : When promoted from Clearwater to Jersey Shore on 8/15/23 he left the Florida State League as the leader in batting average (.344), 6th in OBP (.399), 5th in slugging (.478), second in OPS (.877) and third in stolen bases (40).  For the season combined with Clearwater/Jersey Shore he posted a .332/.392/.467 slash line with an .859 OPS in 390 plate appearance.  Hit 22 doubles, 8 triples, 3 home runs and delivered 64 RBIs.  Walked 32 times, stole 47 bases in 55 attempts.  Defensively had a .954 fielding percentage in center field in 153 chances.

2023 Notes :  tremendous first full season as a pro. Was named the Florida State League Most Valuable Player.  Outstanding defender in center field, plus arm which we first saw on display in spring training drills.  Outstanding speed which he utilizes both offensively and defensively.  Left handed hitter who will drop a bunt for a hit, has strong bat to ball skills.  We’ve seen raw power in BP sessions, that will show itself more as he grows into his frame.  Is an electric athlete and player, capable of making plays others don’t have skills to do.  He’s a game changer with his abilities, can alter the course of games with his speed, top of the order weapon.  Exciting player to continue to watch develop. We saw him in High Performance Camp, has increased upper body strength and is working on some swing path adjustments for select pitch zones to further drive the ball off the bat consistently.

2024 Projection :  a return to Jersey Shore to begin the season.

Carlos De La Cruz  - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 8/23/17 - George Washington HS, Yonkers, NY

2023 Stats :  right handed hitter who posted a .259/.344/.454 slash line in 582 plate appearances for Reading.  Had 25 doubles, a triple, 24 home runs, 67 RBIs and 54 walks - a .798 OPS.  Led the Eastern League in hits (132), second in runs (80), third in doubles, third in home runs, fifth in RBIs, sixth in slugging and sixth in OPS.  Defensively played first base (.991 fielding percentage in 352 chances) and all three outfield positions.

2023 Notes :  Carlos is 6’8” and very athletic. He can track fly balls well and is a good thrower.  Picked up the first base position well also. When we first saw him hit on the backfields in 2017 the ball jumped off his bat - made 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.  Has the abilities to be a major league contributor.  An outstanding year at AA ticking off all the boxes for advancement.  Should get a lot of looks in big league spring camp.  Pleasant personality who is driven to succeed. Always says hello when we see him, a sincere person.

Former Reading Hitting Coach Tyler Henson :  “His game is becoming more and more complete, power numbers were up, walked more.  Strikeout numbers probably still a bit high but to me not worrisome.  Key is getting quality at bats, honing in on his approach and swing and what he’s trying to do in each at bat.  Can drive the ball out of the park in any direction - just a matter of getting more quality pitches to do it against.”

2024 Projection :   AAA Lehigh Valley.

Ezra Farmer - 20 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 7/25/22 - Tahquitz HS, Hemet, CA

2023 Stats :  played in 12 games for the FCL Phillies - .167/.390/.233 slash line in 41 plate appearances with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs and 9 walks, one stolen base.  Defensively played both right and left field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 10 chances.

2023 Notes :  a physical development year for Ezra where he worked very hard on strength and conditioning, made big strides in adding muscular weight. We’ve become acquainted with his parents, they came to the complex this summer to visit, very nice folks.  He’s a left handed hitter with good speed and is athletic - also pitched in high school.  Didn’t get much playing time this summer but when he did had an optimal OBP, patient as a hitter, has gap to gap bat to ball skills.  His older brother Caleb is in the Nationals organization. We did a spotlight article on them last season  - here’s the link -

2024 Projection :  likely opens in extended spring training.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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