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  • Steve Potter

12/6/22 : Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes - Pitchers - Part Eight


I’ve entitled this series “Annual Phillies Minor League Player Notes” and will break down the presentations into defensive categories.  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 was on catchers - we chatted about 18 receivers and posted three articles.  The next group was on Infielders - we chronicled 40 different players broken down into five postings.  The third series of articles ( a total of five ) were on 36 outfielders. I will list below the article links to each of the group notes previously published if ya missed them.


The next group of articles is Pitchers - I’ll discuss 133 different hurlers broken down into twenty postings ( alphabetical order ) hopefully finishing before Christmas :


Group One : Mick Abel, Jose Acuna, Mike Adams, Samuel Aldegheri, Aidan Anderson, Chase Antle, Mark Appel - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-28-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-one

Group Two : Erubiel Armenta, Konnor Ash, Andrew Baker, Albertus Barber, Carlos Betancourt, Trevor Bettencourt, Malik Binns - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-29-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-two

Group Three : Josh Bortka, Andrew Brown, Blake Brown, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Starlyn Castillo, Joel Cesar - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-30-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-three

Group Four : Edward Chirinos, Ty Collins, Gabriel Cotto, Hans Crouse, Jack Dallas, Chris Devenski, Nick Duron - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-1-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-four

Group Five : Colton Eastman, Kent Emmanuel, Jaydenn Estanista, Braeden Fausnaught, Jordan Fowler, Carlos Francisco, Jace Fry - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-2-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-five

Group Six : Alex Garbrick, Eric Garcia, Tristan Garnett, Drew Garrett, Maikel Garrido, Jeffrey German, Kyle Glogoski - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-3-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-six


Group Seven : Ofreidy Gomez, Luis Gonzalez, Mavis Graves, Daniel Harper, Buddy Hayward, Josh Hendrickson, Jonh Henriquez - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/12-5-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-pitchers-part-seven


Group Eighth : Jonathan Hennigan, Cristian Hernandez, Jakob Hernandez, Maxwell Hernandez, Jonathan Hughes, Sam Jacobsak, Estibenzon Jimenez


Group Nine : Damon Jones, Nathan Karaffa, Orion Kettering, Michael Kelly, Keylan Kilgore, Taylor Lehman, Adam Leverett

Group Ten : Ethan Lindow, Victor Lopez, Fernando Lozano, Alex McFarlane, Rafael Marcano, Brian Marconi, Jordi Martinez

Group Eleven : James Marvel, Gunner Mayer, James McArthur, Tommy McCollum, Griff McGarry, Christian McGowan, Tyler McKay


Group Twelve : Jake McKenna, Alex McKenney, Oswald Medina, Daniel Mejia, Jhordany Mezquita, Erik Miller, McKinley Moore

Group Thirteen : Francisco Morales, Vinny Nittoli, Braedon Ogle, Matt Osterberg, Micah Ottenbreit, Andrew Painter, Jose Pena Jr

Group Fourteen : Jack Perkins, Jonathan Petit, Tyler Phillips, Nicoly Pina, Dominic Pipkin, Michael Plassmeyer, Danyony Pulido

Group Fifteen : Jesus Querales, Alex Rao, Carlos Reyes, Pedro Reyes, Mason Ronan, Jason Ruffcorn

Group Sixteen : Matt Russell, Christopher Sanchez, Rodolfo Sanchez, Andrew Schultz, Brett Schulze, Tayler Scott

Group Seventeen : Matt Seelinger, Enrique Segura, Eduar Segovia, Ryan Sherriff, Noah Skirrow, Christopher Soriano

Group Eighteen : Billy Sullivan, Tom Sutera, Manuel Urias, Wilson Valdez Jr, Spencer Van Scoyoc, Victor Vargas

Group Nineteen : Guissepe Velasquez, Ezequiel Ventura, Andrew Walling, Zach Warren, Chase Webster,Jared Wetherbee

Group Twenty :  Danny Wilkinson, JP Woodward, Cam Wynne, Gabriel Yanez, Braden Zarbnisky


So we continue - the eighth article in the series on pitchers  🤓.


Thanks to Matt Winkleman ( Phillies Minor Thoughts ) for his diligent efforts in detailing most of the speed gun readings.


Jonathan Hennigan - 28 years old - LHP - Birthdate : 8/27/94 - 2016 21st round draft selection - Texas State University - This Fan’s View - one of our initial player contacts when we started writing the blog back in 2016  - we’ve had the pleasure of watching and interacting with him the past seven years - he has now reached minor league free agency.  Had a solid 2022 season with AAA Lehigh Valley - 45 appearances - 58 2/3 IP - 3.53 ERA - 1.36 WHIP - 55 K’s - 38 BB.  Had an outstanding month of August - 0.00 ERA in 8 games ( 8 2/3 IP ) and strong months of May and June ( 16 appearances - 21 IP - 2.57 ERA ).  Has a big breaking curve ball and uses a splitter as his change up - when he’s commanding the zone is difficult to square up for hitters.  We have always believed he’s capable of contributing in the show - hopefully gets a chance somewhere to continue that pursuit.  Good young man who along with his great wife Randi became parents for the first time this past year - another neat tidbit - they have both pitched professionally - Randi in softball - pretty cool.  The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 91 to 93 mph - max 94 ), slider ( 80 to 82 mph ), curve ( 78 to 80 mph ) and change up ( 81 to 86 mph ).  2023 Projection - elected minor league free agency


Cristian Hernandez - 22 years old - RHP - Birthdate : 9/23/00 - signed as an international free agent - 7/9/17 - Cumana, Venezuela - This Fan’s View -  This past year was both a physical growth and character building one for him that started slow but ended in great success as a key part of a championship team in the Arizona Fall League - in spring training he struggled to find consistency and pitches we saw were flatter than what we’ve witnessed in times past.  He opened the year with Jersey Shore as part of the starting rotation but wasn’t effective prompting a move to the pen initially as a bulk reliever.  The role change resulted in success as he posted a 1.54 ERA in six July appearances ( 11 2/3 IP ) with a focus on simplicity in both approach and mix.  Over the remaining course of the summer he yielded no runs in 15 of his 19 relief appearances.  As a reliever he generally goes with a three pitch mix - the two seam fastball along with a curve and changeup.  All three became quality pitches for him with both good control and command.  As mentioned Cristian was selected for the Arizona Fall League and excelled there - was named to the All-Star game and was a big contributor to the league championship team Surprise Saguaros - posted a 0.82 ERA in 8 regular season appearances - 11 IP - with 11 K’s and 1 walk - 0.909 WHIP.   He  gets after it - not one who lets a situation become overwhelming - is fun to watch. The speed gun : fastball - both two and four seam - ( sits in a range of 90 to 95 mph - max 96 ), slider ( 90 to 94 mph ), change up ( 79 to 85 mph ) and curve ( 76 to 79 mph )- 2023 Projection - with the AFL finish as a springboard is ready to take on the next level - Reading - as either a starter or reliever.


Jakob Hernandez - 26 years old - LHP - Birthdate : 5/9/96 - 2017 21st round draft selection - Texas-Arlington University - This Fan’s View - Jakob has a classic straight over the top delivery and a big breaking slider/curve that he used as an out pitch.   Pitched in 46 games in 2022 with Lehigh Valley posting a 4.22 ERA in 49 IP - 69 K’s - 19 walks - 1.16 WHIP - generally comes in and throws strikes - pitched out of multiple inherited runner jams during the year - is sneaky quick with the fastball which sets up his slider/curve which are his hammer pitches.  When we first saw him pitch at the complex back in 2017 he threw the 12 to 6 big breaking curve almost exclusively - it’s a pitch that when located the hitter can know it’s coming and still not square it up. The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 88 to 92 mph - max 93 ), slider ( 80 to 85 mph ), change up ( 79 to 81 mph ) and curve ( 79 to 82 mph )- he’s now pitching for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League.  2023 Projection - likely returns to Lehigh Valley with an eye on the show.


Maxwell Hernandez - 19 years old - RHP - Birthdate : 5/14/03 - signed as an international free agent 10/26/21 - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - This Fan’s View  - led the entire Dominican Summer League ( DSL ) in ERA for those that qualified ( must have 0.8 IP per team game ) with a miniscule 0.72 mark in 11 starts ( 49 2/3 IP ).  He finished second in the league in WHIP at 0.81 - all in his first full professional season.  He struck out 51 batters and walked just nine.   Maxwell features both a two and four seam fastball and has an outstanding changeup which is his out pitch - comes out of same arm slot and gets downward slope movement.  As he gains strength the velo will perhaps increase a couple notches - just don’t want to sacrifice the movement and spin he already gets on his pitches in that pursuit.  The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 88 to 92 mph - max 93 ), slider ( 77 to 80 mph ) and change up ( 80 to 84 mph ).  2023 Projection - could be stateside in extended spring camp and FCL play.


Jonathan Hughes - 25 years old - RHP - Birthdate : 1/8/97 - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/16/20 - Georgia Tech University - This Fan’s View -  He’s got two very good  off speed pitches with high spin rates and movement.  Converted to a full time reliever role in 2022 making 35 appearances for Jersey Shore - 3.35 ERA in 42 2/3 IP with 36 K’s and 16 walks - threw strikes when called upon and converted 8 saves in 8 chances.  Knows how to sequence and set up pitches - keeps hitters off balance with ability to command the zone and movement he gets on his deliveries.  Fast ball has cutter like action. The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 91 to 93 mph - max 94 ), slider ( 80 to 84 mph ) and curve ( 77 to 79 mph )- 2023  Projection - will be competing for a Reading roster spot in spring camp.


Sam Jacobsak - 24 years old - RHP - Birthdate : 6/11/98 - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/14/20 - Northeastern University - This Fan’s View - pitched in 22 games ( FCL, Clearwater & Jersey Shore ) in 2022 after beginning the year working with the rehab team at the complex - returned to game action on 6/7 - accumulated 35 2/3 innings - 43 K’s, just 9 walks - 4.04 overall ERA.  Spin rates on his deliveries are big league level - at 6’5” he gets both leverage and extension on each of his deliveries - can pop the heater mid 90’s on occasion - generally sits a few ticks below that - slider and curve are both out pitches with high spin and movement.  Was promoted to Jersey Shore on 8/25 and pitched in 4 games with them after throwing very well with Clearwater ( 12 appearances - 22 2/3 IP - 3.18 ERA - 30 K’s - 6 walks - 0.93 WHIP ).  The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 88 to 94 mph - max 95 ), slider ( 79 to 82 mph ) and curve ( 74 to 79 mph ) - 2023 Projection - a return to Jersey Shore out of spring camp is likely with an eye towards Reading


Estibenzon Jimenez - 20 years old - RHP - Birthdate : 1/25/02 - signed as an international free agent - 11/27/19 -  San Felipe, Venezuela - This Fan’s View - finished the 2022 FCL season strong posting a 1.29 ERA in three August games ( 14 IP ) with 15 K’s and 4 walks.  Overall he posted a 2.29 ERA in 35 1/3 IP for the FCL year.  Was promoted and made two starts with the Threshers to finish the season - 9 IP - 3.00 ERA - 12 K’s - 2 walks - 0.78 WHIP - threw five shutout innings in his last game allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 8 batters.  He gets after it, doesn’t waste pitches and throughout his brief two year career has a 3.6 K/BB ratio - was even better in 2022 at 4.08 with a 9.95 K/9 and 2.44 BB/9 projections.  There is seemingly room for growth in velocity as he further matures physically - when coupled with his moxy and baseball smarts presents potential roles as a starter or as a key reliever ( one who can handle critical game situations ).  Doesn’t scare and pitches with a calm demeanor - in control.   We liked what we saw this summer, anxious to see more - could blossom into a really good pitcher at the highest level.  The speed gun : fastball ( sits in a range of 89 to 93 mph - max 93 ), slider ( 79 to 84 mph ), change up ( 82 to 86 mph ) and curve ( 78 to 81 mph ) - 2023 Projection - should break spring camp in the Clearwater rotation.


Left to right - top to bottom - Maxwell Hernandez, Cristian Hernandez, Jonathan Hennigan, Estibenzon Jimenez, Jonathan Hughes, Sam Jacobsak and Jakob Hernandez - photos by Michael Dolcemascolo, Cheryl Pursell and Casey Burns


Prior Reports - Catchers, Infielders & Outfielders :


Catchers :


Group 1 : Jack Conley, Arturo DeFreitas, Jordan Dissin, Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser and Ryan Leitch. - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-9-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers

Group 2 : Rafael Marchan, Nick Matera, Adony Mejia, Andrik Nava, Rickardo Perez & Jackie Pertuz  - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-10-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-two

Group 3 : Anthony Quirion, Caleb Ricketts, Leanardo Rondon, Donny Sands, Gustavo Sosa & Micah Yonamine - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-11-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-catchers-part-three


Infielders :


Group One : Matt Alifano, Alexeis Azuaje, Jamari Baylor, William Bergolla, Erick Brito, Johan Camargo,Ali Castillo, Chad Castillo - article posted 11/14/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-14-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-one

Group Two : Aldrem Corredor, Aroon Escobar, Diego Gonzalez, Sal Gozzo, Jonathan Guzman, Darick Hall, Lou Helmig, Otto Kemp  - article posted 11/15/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-15-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-two

Group Three : Scott Kingery, Hao Yu Lee, Casey Martin, Nick Maton, Freylin Minyety, Cole Moore, Yairo Munoz, Josh Ockimey - article posted 11/16/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-16-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-three

Group Four : Nikau Pouaka-Grego, Ty Penner, Wendell Rijo, Brian Rincon, Daniel Robertson, Jehisbert Sevilla, Kendall Simmons, Marco Soto - article posted 11/17/22 - link - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-17-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-four

Group Five : Madison Stokes, McCarthy Tatum, Will Toffey, Nicolas Torres, Randy Vasquez, Kevin Vicuña, Uziel Viloria, Rixon Wingrove - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-18-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-infielders-part-five


Outfielders :


Group One : Jorge Bonifacio, Emaarion Boyd, Chris Burke, Jared Carr, Justin Crawford, Carlos De La Cruz, Jefferson Encarnacion - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-21-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-one

Group Two : Ezra Farmer, Cade Fergus, Yemal Flores, Wilfredo Flores, Jorge Garcia, Yhoswar Garcia, Dalton Guthrie, Darium Gutierrez - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-22-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-two

Group Three : Raylin Heredia, Dakota Kotowski, Matt Kroon, Marcus Lee Sang, Simon Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz, Jerffson Pena - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-23-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-notes-outfielders-part-3-happy-thanksgiving-tomorrow

Group Four : Dustin Peterson, Leandro Pineda, Baron Radcliff, Felix Reyes, Gabriel Rincones Jr, Albert Rodriquez, Johan Rojas - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-25-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-four

Group Five : Ricardo Rosario, Troy Schreffler, Chris Sharpe, Gavin Tonkel, Jordan Viars, Justin Williams, Ethan Wilson - https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/11-26-22-annual-phillies-minor-league-player-notes-outfielders-part-five



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