Rather than produce a hard copy version of my annual Phillies Minor League Digest this year I’m going with a new approach. A large portion of the digest has been my player notes - views that are not entirely built upon seasonal or short term stats - while I will reference them I rely more upon my observations, coaches/scouts feedback and positive values I saw develop as the year progressed. I can attest that I actually watch games each evening, attend practices and interact with a vast amount of players, coaches, scouts and front office folks.
I’ve entitled this series “Annual Minor Phillies Minor League Player Notes” and will break down the presentations into defensive positions. 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 will be on catchers. I’ll chat about 18 receivers and post three articles - done in alphabetical order. The breakdown is as follows :
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
So here we go - the first article on catchers ⚾️🤓.
Jack Conley - 25 years old - C/OF - Birthdate : 1/16/97 - 2018 27th round draft selection - North Carolina State University - This Fan’s View - Jack is a true team player who is willing to help wherever he’s needed, this past season he even logged innings in all three outfield spots in addition to catching in 42 games. Spent most of the season with Reading before finishing the year with Lehigh Valley. Is a good defensive receiver and is both well regarded and respected. 2023 Projection - a similar role seems likely perhaps although it may begin this time around at the AAA level with the Iron Pigs.
Arturo De Freitas -21 years old - C - Birthdate : 5/28/01 - signed 3/13/18 as an international free agent - Maracay, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - Arturo earned the starting role behind the dish for the Clearwater Threshers out of 2022 spring camp, is an excellent defender and thrower - threw out 43 % of would be base stealers ( 50 of 117 ). Finished the regular season with Jersey Shore - has some pop but was inconsistent hitting this past summer - well spoken young man and takes pride in his defense as well as supporting his pitchers. 2023 Projection - is now playing winter ball in Australia with the Adelaide Giants - likely returns to Jersey Shore to start the season - has defensive skills to continue to advance - if can find a consistent stroke could turn heads.
Jordan Dissin - 20 years old - C - Birthdate : 5/29/02 - 2022 12th round draft selection - Saddleback Junior College - Saddleback, CA - This Fan’s View - Jordan is already regarded as one of the better throwers in the Phillies minor league catching contingent. We’ve only seen him in very limited play ( hit .353 in 17 AB’s in Florida Complex League ) in game action after the draft and also in Fall Instructs. He’s shown very good defensive instincts, seems well schooled and intuitive. He’s originally from Pottstown, PA and went to Malvern Prep ( 2020 graduate )which is where he played high school baseball. Too early to tell much more but has impressed thus far. 2023 Projection - Younger players often times start their careers on the backfields in extended spring and the FCL however Jordan’s throwing and receiving skills could earn him a Clearwater roster spot out of spring camp.
Vito Friscia - 25 years old - C/1B/OF - Birthdate : 12/19/96 - 2019 40th round draft selection - Hofstra University - This Fan’s View - a take charge player wherever he’s playing Vito has put up strong OBP’s each of his three seasons, in 2022 he posted a .364 mark which is in line with his career mark of .368. He hit led off in multiple games for Reading - finished the season with Lehigh Valley. Vito also played for Team Italy in the European Championships this summer. When he puts the ball in play it’s usually with a high velocity, can swing the bat. 2023 Projection - the ability to play 1B and LF along with catching is a good ability to have - could fill that role again with either LHV or Reading next summer.
Herbert Iser - 24 years old - C/1B - Birthdate : 12/14/97 - 2019 23rd round draft selection - Dallas Baptist University - This Fan’s View - Herbert began the year in extended spring training due to an injury suffered in spring training. He eventually returned to full season play and actually appeared in games at all four levels during the summer. He’s a solid receiver with a lefty power stroke, finished the year with Reading getting regular time and putting up decent numbers. 2023 Projection - a return to Reading in the mix for the regular catcher spot is likely.
Ryan Leitch - 21 years old - C - Birthdate : 8/26/01 - signed 8/1/22 as un-drafted free agent from Marshall University. This Fan’s View - He’s an excellent defender whom I believe ( based on what I’ve seen ) has a very strong throwing arm, has the classic behind the ear release. He played briefly with Clearwater before incurring a shoulder injury however he was back in action during Fall Instructs. I like his actions in the drills I’ve seen, think he can develop into a very solid receiver. 2023 Projection - should return to Clearwater to begin the season.
L To R Top down - Ryan Leitch, Herbert Iser, Arturo DeFreitas, Vito Friscia, Jack Conley & Jordan Dissin - photos by Mark Wylie & George Youngs Jr
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