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 catchers articles - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-21-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-four
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 - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-29-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-eight
Today we focus on group four of the outfielders :
Group Four : Avery Owusu-Asiedu, Dustin Peterson, Leandro Pineda, Baron Radcliff, Gabriel Rincones Jr
Link to previous outfielder articles :
Group One : Emaarion Boyd, Jared Carr, Justin Crawford, Carlos De La Cruz, Ezra Farmer - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-30-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-one
Group Two : Cade Fergus, Yemal Flores, Jorge Garcia, Yhoswar Garcia, Raylin Heredia - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-1-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-two
Group Three : Brewer Hicklen, Marcus Lee Sang, Junior Marin, Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-2-23-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-three
The following players will be discussed in future articles :
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 fourth article in the 2023 series on outfielders ⚾️🤓.
Avery Owusu-Asiedu - 20 years old - drafted in 9th round of the 2023 draft from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, IL
2023 Stats : played in 13 games for the FCL Phillies - .217/.327/.348 slash line with 3 doubles, a home run, 14 RBIs and 7 walks, stole 2 bases without being caught. Had a six game hitting streak to end the season (8 for 24 - .333 with a double, home run and 11 RBIs) including a three hit and five RBI game against the Tigers on 8/21/23. Defensively played center field and had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 26 chances.
2023 Notes : we got to chat with Avery the first week he arrived at the complex after signing, very bright and articulate. Has a big frame (6’4”). The Canadian born right handed hitter impressed with big pop in the BP sessions we saw, defensively showed he can cover ground very well in center field, is a glider who gets good reads and jumps. Ball jumps off the bat in the few times we’ve seen him play, also shows knowledge of being well schooled in baseball acumen. Reminds me a little of Aaron Altherr in build and his ability to track baseballs.
Avery’s reflections : “Biggest takeaway is that it is a long season and it’s important to stay level headed. Focusing on preparing my body to play the whole year in my first full pro season. Also looking to make adjustments to my swing to be more efficient.”
FCL Manager Shawn Williams : “A very high ceiling, can really play center field, great teammate and person. Will do anything possible to help win a game. I remember that he started off slow, something like 1 for 15 … he was on first base with two outs and a routine pop-up was hit down the right field line just beyond the infield. I was just watching and he was running as hard as he possibly can, got to third base. I remember thinking how awesome that was, the ball got caught but the point is he busted his tail. It was great because he was giving 100%, didn’t matter whether he was doing well or not. Next thing ya know he really took off and had a a great finish to the year. You see the tools, big time power, can really run, big body, throws well. Plays the game the right way, gets after it.”
2024 Projection : could be part of the Clearwater Threshers opening day roster
Dustin Peterson - 29 years old - signed as a minor league free agent - 1/18/23
2023 Stats : right handed hitter who played in 85 games for Lehigh Valley, hit .244/.328/.488 in 348 plate appearances with 15 doubles, a triple, 19 home runs and 54 RBIs, walked 37 times. Had a very good month of August - 2 doubles, 6 home runs, 10 RBIs, .298 batting average in 57 AB’s. Defensively played right field (.986 fielding percentage in 70 chances) and left field (1.000 fielding percentage in 25 chances).
2023 Notes : was originally acquired on 4/19/22 from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade for cash considerations, became a free agent in the 2022 off-season and re-signed with the Phillies. Had his most productive home run season in his 11 year minor league career and has always been a steady bat. Was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft out of high school in Gilbert, AZ by the Padres. Gives a professional effort and is a well received teammate, good player to have in an organization.
2024 Projection : minor league free agent
Leandro Pineda - 21 years old - signed as an international free agent - 7/6/18 - Valencia, Venezuela
2023 Stats : .243/.339/.386 slash line in 431 plate appearances with Jersey Shore - 20 doubles, 3 triples, 9 home runs and 67 RBIs with 48 walks, 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts. Went 4 for 11 in the playoffs. Turned twenty one in early June, (was one of the younger players in the South Atlantic League), he struggled early in the season but found his stroke in July and had a great month of August - .342/.393/.494 in 22 games - 79 AB’s with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 22 RBIs and 7 walks. Defensively played mostly right field - .982 fielding percentage in 111 chances with some time in left field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 32 chances.
2023 Notes : left handed hitter and thrower - solid corner defender with a plus arm (right-fielder’s arm strength). Angular build - 6’1” frame who just looks like a ball player - plays hard and does most things right - wants to improve, will work to do so. Leandro’s career numbers don’t jump out at you so if that’s your only perspective you might discount him however there’s genuine baseball talent here that’s ready to blossom. He’s always played as one of the younger players in every league he’s been in to date, the lefty swing he possesses is pure, generates both power and speed, when coupled with a developing ability to recognize pitches along with driving the outside pitch the other way there’s a likelihood that the numbers will be much better going forward, just saying - he can play.
Leandro’s reflections : “My greatest learning was knowing myself as a player, I found many of my weaknesses, that is why I was able to adjust in the second half. I took advantage of my strengths which is my attitude to move forward no matter what happens. My focus right now is to improve my body as much as I can for the 2024 season, work on breaking pitches and strengthen my core to use when hitting.”
2024 Projection : could open the year with Jersey Shore once more.
Baron Radcliff - 24 years old - drafted in 5th round of the 2020 draft from Georgia Tech University , GA
2023 Stats : played in 70 games (5 on rehab - FCL Phillies and 65 in Reading) posting a .211/.299/.395 slash line with 8 doubles, 11 home runs and 21 RBIs, walked 28 times. Defensively played right field - .936 fielding percentage in 47 chances and left field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 38 chances.
2023 Notes : left handed hitter who was off to a good start before suffering a significant shoulder injury diving back into first base on a pick off attempt on 4/15/23. Was at the complex in Clearwater thereafter till 6/20/23 when activated by Reading. Has big time power, can go yard in Yosemite 🤓. Is also a hitter who will take walks, this year after returning from injury had more struggles with plate patience than we saw last season. Is a decent corner defender - we’ve seen a couple wall jumps to rob the opposition of extra bases. Powerful player who’s also very approachable and pleasant, always says hello, cordial young man. We anticipated a breakout season prior to the injury, chalk it up to experience, something to learn from going forward.
Baron’s reflections : “Be present, treat it like the game that it is and have fun playing it, focusing on being more limber, going into next year with my body moving and operating in a way that will help me maximize my potential and of course take care of my shoulder.”
Former Reading Hitting Coach Tyler Henson : “Baron started out of the gates really well. The injury he had made it hard to re-find the swing when he came back. Big time power, biggest thing is controlling zone, getting pitches to hit. Ended the year a bit better. Hitting is about being detailed, honing in on zones where you do really well, approach, plan and executing what we’re trying to do. Really looking forward to him having a healthy full year.”
2024 Projection : return to Reading as part of opening day roster
Gabriel Rincones Jr - 22 years old - drafted in 3rd round of the 2022 draft from Florida Atlantic University, FL
2023 Stats : played in 120 games between Clearwater (48 games) and Jersey Shore (72 games) with a .248/.351/.427 slash line and a .778 OPS in 533 plate appearances - 31 doubles, 3 triples, 15 home runs and 60 RBIs, walked 61 times and stole 32 bases in 38 attempts. Defensively played mostly right field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 126 chances - 5 assists. Had 46 chances as a left fielder - .957 fielding percentage with 2 assists. In the Arizona Fall League hit .293/.426/.463 with a .889 OPS in 101 plate appearances with 6 doubles, a triple, 2 home runs and 14 RBIs - stole 15 bases in 17 attempts. 47 stolen bases total for the year 👀😳.
2023 Notes : We saw him in BP for the first time in 2022 Fall Camp - ball absolutely flies off the bat with easy power - left handed hitter who drove multiple baseballs over the right field fence on Roberts Field and some into the tree line before the hill bank that leads up to Route 19. He has a “pretty lefty swing” using an old baseball term - no wasted motion and direct thru the ball. Has the ability to drive the baseball to all fields. He got off to a great start this season with Clearwater and was named the system’s player of the month for April. Promoted to Jersey Shore on 6/13/23 where his power swing continued to shine and finished in the Arizona Fall League becoming a league all-star. Confident in his abilities, won’t be intimidated by any situation. He’s a better defender than described in pre-draft scouting reports, smart player. Strong frame who’s a team leader, major league skill set.
Gabriel’s reflections : “Working and mastering an approach each time I go up to hit and have a plan, owning the strike zone.”
2024 Projection : Reading opening day roster
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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