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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

12/4/23 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Outfielders - Part Five

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 five of the outfielders :

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

Link to previous outfielder articles :

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

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  -

The following players will be discussed in future articles :

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

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

Albert Rodriguez - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent - 11/25/19  San Pedro de Macoris, DR

2023 Stats :  played in 24 games for the FCL Phillies - .191/.304/.277 slash line in 56 plate appearances with a double, home run, 4 RBIs and 7 walks.  Defensively played all three outfield spots - right field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 18 chances, had four chances in both center and left, 1.000 fielding percentage for both.

2023 Notes :  angular build, decent speed and has some pop.  Right handed hitter.  Defensively plays well, good arm.  Hasn’t put up the numbers to date in limited playing time.  Quiet young man, has abilities but will need to produce.

2024 Projection :  will need to earn a spot on the backfields

Johan Rojas  - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent - 1/18/18 - San Francisco de Macoris, DR

2023 Stats :   Hit .306/.361/.484 with a .845 OPS in 354 plate appearances for Reading with 20 doubles, 5 triples, 9 home runs and 45 RBIs, walked 24 times and stole 30 bases in 38 attempts.  Was promoted to the big leagues on 7/14/23 and posted a .302/.342/.430 slash line and .772 OPS in 164 plate appearances with 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 23 RBIs - stole 14 bases in 15 attempts.  Struggled in the post season going 4 for 43.  Defensively had a .975 fielding percentage with Reading in 202 chances and 5 assists, in the major leagues had a .986 fielding percentage in 140 chances with two assists.

2023 Notes :  Johan is an outstanding defender in center field, there’s seemingly no fly ball he can’t get to and he also has an exceptional throwing arm.  Routes and reads off the bat are top drawer.  Offensively he generally makes hard contact, lacks sometimes in plate discipline although has outstanding eye/hand coordination, hits pitches that others may not because of that.  When struggling he lacks patience in approach, has always been an aggressive hitter.  He plays with an unbridled passion and flare, brings an energy to the field just with his presence, to me that’s a great thing to have on any team.  We’ve said all along that he can be a special player, we felt that the first time we saw him play in the GCL at the complex and had our initial chat - very pleasant and likable young man.

Former Reading Hitting Coach Tyler Henson :  “when he started to go good in double A it wasn’t about the swing, it was the routine and the work that he did made him feel comfortable, he got in the box and it was about executing the plan.  The quality of his at bats got better and better as the year went on.  Watching from afar in the big leagues I think the game got a little fast for him, especially in the playoffs.  Everything sped up.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing that he struggled, because he will work his tail off and when things like that come again he will be prepared.”

2024 Projection :  will compete for Phillies center field job in spring training

Ricardo Rosario - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent - 7/2/19 - Maracay, Venezuela

2023 Stats :  was promoted to the Clearwater Threshers from extended spring training on 4/21/23.  Posted a .236/.336/.348 slash line in 327 plate appearances with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 7 home runs and 39 RBIs, walked 38 times, stole 29 bases in 32 attempts.  Defensively played all three outfield spots - a .987 fielding percentage in 79 chances in left field, .979 fielding percentage in 47 chances in center field and 1.000 fielding percentage in 6 right field chances.

2023 Notes :  He’s very fleet, the first time we saw him play was on the backfields in a FCL game, he intentionally bunted to the first base side as a right handed hitter and flat out beat the play!  His speed enables him to play all outfield positions, also has strong throwing abilities.  He has  great energy, can tell in the way he interacts with teammates.  Has fun playing the game, is a great competitor.  Well schooled in fundamentals, a smart player with line drive hitting capabilities but can also drive the baseball out of the park on occasion, plays above average defense.  A winning player.

2024 Projection :  a return to Clearwater seems likely.

Troy Schreffler  - 23 years old - drafted in 25th round of the 2022 draft from the University of Maryland, MD

2023 Stats :  played in 61 regular season games between Jersey Shore and Clearwater posting a .262/.388/.415 slash line with a .803 OPS - 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs, 30 RBIs, 34 walks - stole 20 bases in 28 attempts.  Defensively played all three outfield positions - LF - .932 fielding percentage in 59 chances, CF - .955 fielding percentage in 22 chances and RF - .972 fielding percentage in 36 chances.

2023 Notes :   began the year with Jersey Shore, was transferred to the complex to work in the hitting lab on 6/5/23 and then activated with Clearwater on 6/13 where he finished the year.  Is a good defensive outfielder, has plus speed.  He’s a graduate of Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, PA - a right handed hitter who fits the description of one who has the ability to steal bases and impact games with his wheels.  Can also turn on pitches and drive them out of the yard.  Has a strong and accurate arm, was a pitcher as well in high school.

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

AJ Shaver - 22 years old - drafted in 17th round of the 2023 draft from Florida Southwestern State JC, FL

2023 Stats :  played in 11 games with FCL Phillies - .133/.316/.233 slash line with a home run, 4 RBIs, 4 walks - stole 3 bases in 4 attempts.  Defensively played left field - 1.000 fielding percentage in 14 chances and a 1.000 fielding percentage in right field - 3 chances.

2023 Notes :  a right handed hitter who hit a grand slam home run in his second professional plate appearance (was hit by pitch in first PA) on 7/27/23 in an FCL game against the Tigers, a very memorable AB for him!  Began his collegiate career with Florida State and spent two seasons there.  He transferred to Florida Southwestern and set the single season home run record there with 19.   

2024 Projection :  had an injury set back at end of year, if healthy will compete for Threshers roster spot.

Cal Stevenson  - 27 years old - waiver claim from SF Giants - 5/26/23

2023 Stats :  played in 56 games with Lehigh Valley - .271/.437/.472 slash line in 202 plate appearances with a .909 OPS - 5 doubles, 8 home runs, 30 RBIs and 46 walks.  Stole 14 bases in 17 attempts.  Defensively played all three outfield spots, had a 1.000 fielding percentage in all three - 91 chances - 60 in center field.

2023 Notes :  a left handed hitter who did a very good job for the Iron Pigs after coming over from the Giants.  Throughout his career has always shown strong plate discipline and has plus speed.  Was the Blue Jays 10th round draft selection in the 2018 draft from the University of Arizona.  Has played in 29 major league games with the A’s and Giants.  The Phillies are his 4th organization.

2024 Projection :   likely gets a big league spring training non roster invitation.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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