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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

12/1/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Outfielders - Part Two

Updated: Dec 4, 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 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 -

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 catchers 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 infielders articles -

Today we focus on group two of the outfielders :

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

Link to previous outfielder articles :

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

The following players will be discussed in future articles :

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 second article in the 2023 series on outfielders  ⚾️🤓.

Cade Fergus  - 23 years old - drafted in 13th round of the 2022 draft from George Washington University, DC

2023 Stats :  played in 74 games with the Clearwater Threshers - .255/.356/.500 slash line in 261 plate appearances with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 12 home runs and 47 RBIs, walked 29 times and stole 10 bases in 11 attempts.  Had an outstanding month of May - .351/.413/.684 with a 1.097 OPS in 18 games with 7 doubles, 4 home runs and 17 RBIs. Was promoted to Jersey Shore on 8/6/23 and played in 14 games there accumulating 53 plate appearances.  Defensively played all three outfield spots - 1.000 fielding percentage in center and left field in 75 chances and a .987 fielding percentage in center field in 77 chances, had nine outfield assists.

2023 Notes :  a right handed hitter who hit a grand slam home run in a big league spring training game on March 16th against the Tigers.  He hit another on May 16th for the Threshers against Bradenton and a third on July 2nd, also against Bradenton.  Always seemed to come thru in clutch situations for Clearwater.  Good hands and bat speed as a hitter, turns on fastballs, has pop.  He is an outstanding defender, premium speed, excellent throwing arm, can cover a lot of ground.  Cordial young man, pleasant personality.  Loves to play, is a leader who plays hard.  He is playing for the Adelaide Giants this winter in the Australian Baseball League.

2024 Projection :  a return to Jersey Shore to begin the year seems likely.

Yemal Flores  - 19 years old - signed as an international free agent - 2/2/21 - San Isidro, Dominican Republic

2023 Stats :  posted a .282/.417/.513 slash line in 48 plate appearances with 4 doubles, a triple, home run and 8 RBIs.  Had a .930 OPS.  Defensively played both right and left field - had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 77 innings played - 7 chances.

2023 Notes :  has tremendous raw power as a right handed hitter, we’ve seen many a long drive in BP sessions.  Had a strong extended spring, hit five doubles in XST games and had us excited that the summer would be a break out season.  Unfortunately spent a good part of the season on the IL (6/15 to 7/7) and the numbers didn’t pop like we thought but still has us intrigued as when he did play he put up the best numbers of his brief three year career to date.  Defense has also progressed.  It’s the power potential that’s the ticket though, we think it’s gonna shine thru, can see it coming.

FCL Manager Shawn Williams :  “It was a shame that he missed the time to injures this year that he did because he had made huge adjustments and improvements.  Still had the best year that’s he had so far.  I think he has a chance to really do some damage.  He’s worked hard with hitting coach Rafael De Lima.  He’s one of those guys I’m excited to see next spring.  He has incredible power, defense got a lot better also.”

2024 Projection :  likely in extended spring training.

Jorge Garcia  - 19 years old - signed as an international free agent - 2/2/21 - Penonome, Panama

2023 Stats :  did not play in any games - spent the year working with the rehab team at the complex.

2023 Notes :  came stateside this spring to play in the FCL but got injured.  Spent the entirety of the season on the IL.  Was a Dominican Summer League (DSL) All-Star in 2022 for league champions Phillies White.  When healthy has a clean and powerful stroke from the left side of the plate.  Drives the baseball and has shown patience, will take his walks.  Defensively can play all three outfield spots (mostly CF and LF) and is a good fielder - I remember numerous times watching the DSL live stream where his pitcher applauded him for making standout catches - seems to get after the ball well.  We saw him briefly in 2022 Fall Instructs before things shut down - has good wheels, well built - looks like a player.  This fall has been taking BP most every day getting ready for next spring.

2024 Projection :  will be back in action, likely extended spring camp and FCL.

Yhoswar Garcia  - 22 years old - signed as an international free agent - 3/14/20 - Guatire, Venezuela

2023 Stats :  hit .235/.300/.324 in 151 plate appearances with the FCL Phillies, 7 doubles, a triple, home run and 22 RBIs, walked 9 times and stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.  Defensively played all three outfield positions over the course of the year - had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 52 chances (26 in LF, 25, in CF and 1 in RF).

2023 Notes :  right handed hitter who has struggled to find consistency in approach.  Has multiple tools, exceptional speed, ability to drive the baseball, strong arm and is a very good defender - nicknamed the “drone” in his teenage years for his ability to track the ball.   Suffered a broken leg in 2022 and has battled to regain form since.  He’s a very aggressive and impatient hitter, swings at a lot of pitches out of the zone.  When he makes contact it’s usually solid.  We’ve seen infrequent bunt attempts to take advantage of his speed.  Is a likable young man, always waves hello.  Has added body muscle since we first saw him a couple years ago but has a very slender build.

2024 Projection :  will compete to earn a full season roster spot in spring camp.

Raylin Heredia - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent - 2/2/21 - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2023 Stats :  right handed hitter who had a .326/.415/.532 slash line with a .947 OPS in 164 plate appearances with the FCL Phillies - 9 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and 25 RBIs, walked 17 times and stole 7 bases in 10 attempts. He was promoted to Clearwater on 8/14/23 - the then 19 year old standout left the backfields as one of the Florida Complex League leaders - 5th in hits (46), 7th in runs (30), 1st in triples, 5th in batting average, 8th in OBP, 4th in slugging and 4th in OPS.  As a Thresher hit .288/.342/.409 in 73 plate appearances with 3 doubles, a triple, home run, 9 RBIs, 6 walks and 4 stolen bases, was not caught.  Defensively played primarily right field - .928 fielding percentage in 69 chances with 5 assists, also played over 100 innings in center field.

2023 Notes :  we first saw him play on DSL video feeds during the 2022 post season, he was the playoff MVP for Phillies White in their championship run.  It became quickly even more evident in extended spring training that Raylin had great tools to work with when he had three doubles, a triple and home run along with eight RBIs in fourteen games played. Won the organization player of the month in June - .377/.443/.639 in 15 games with a 1.082 OPS.  Consistently hit the baseball hard every time we saw him play, great bat speed.  Can seemingly get his bat on any pitch.  Plays with confidence, poise and passion.  Very appreciative of the opportunities given to him.  He’s got multiple tools, strong arm, power bat, bat to ball, speed, good instincts and range defensively.  Exciting player.

Raylin’s reflections : “Hi, in answer to the question, my greatest learning was that there will always be bad moments but I can't lower my head, I have to keep trying at every opportunity that comes my way; I'm focusing on improving my zone control and eliminating strikeouts more 👊🏽”

FCL Manager Shawn Williams :  “He's extremely talented, was a huge part of our season and offense.  Did really well leading off.  Plays a very good outfield - can play all three spots.  And then went over and obviously did really well with the Threshers with their end-of-the-year run and into the playoffs.  For me he's really exciting because tool-wise he's got it all.  He can hit, hit for power, can really throw and defend.  He’s a young kid that's got an extremely high ceiling and just looking forward to seeing him keep going and playing, keep getting better.”

2024 Projection :  a lineup regular for the Clearwater Threshers

Other Notes :

Former Phillies major league hitting coach Joe Dillon has been hired by the Kansas City Royals as their major league Assistant Hitting Coach.  Free agent minor league catcher Max McDowell has re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, he played most of last season with the Reading Fightins before being traded to Toronto on 9/16/23 for cash considerations.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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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