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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

2/15/24 : Today at the Complex

An overcast day for the second day of pitchers and catchers however that didn’t dampen spirits.  Yesterday’s crowd demographic was a bit of an older audience - today there were more kids in the crowd with their families and younger folks in general.

About 100 people or so again this morning -my interactions and conversations varied with from folks from as far away as Seattle, Washington (a married couple who came to watch baseball and then venture to the other side of the state for something called the Daytona 500 🤷‍♂️🤓) to a family of four from New Jersey whose two kids were attired in Bryson Stott jerseys - we pointed them to the half field to watch Bryson take infield practice.  We also had some fun baseball chats with folks from Upper Merion and a family from the Chester area back in PA.

One cool interaction we witnessed was a young boy being singled out from the crowd by Larry Bowa and brought onto the field.  He was wearing a JT Realmuto shirt.  JT not only came over and signed his shirt and a baseball but also escorted him over to the batting cage where he met coach Kevin Long and Garrett Stubbs.  I’m sure he made a fan for life.

In regards to practice today there was BP for the catchers, receiving and throwing drills and then they caught bullpens.  Some pitchers did fielding practice on Ashburn and Carlton except for those who threw bullpen sessions on the seven mounds area.

To show off my social media versatility I posted multiple videos today on Facebook, Instagram, Threads and X.  Just sayin - can be a utility contributor 😂.  I have accounts on each of those platforms and posted directly to them from the field - instant coverage 👀.

Today’s Spotlight Player :

Rafael Marchan  - 24 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/3/15 - San Cristobal, Venezuela

2023 Stats :  played in 51 games for AAA Lehigh Valley - posted a .297/.391/.440 slash line in 207 plate appearances with 13 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 30 RBIs.  He was also 6 for 10 in four rehab games with Clearwater and Jersey Shore. It was his best offensive output since 2018 with short-season Williamsport.  Defensively posted a .986 fielding percentage at LHV in 418 fielding chances and threw out 17 of 54 base stealers (31 %).  He also played in the 2023 Venezuelan Winter League for Tigres de Aragua where he’s posted a .333/.436/.546 slash line in 133 plate appearances (32 games).

Notes :  Rafael is a switch hitter who began the 2023 year on the IL with a hamate fracture and spent the beginning of the season at the complex with the rehab team followed by assignments with the Threshers and BlueClaws.  Was activated on the IronPigs roster on 6/20/23.  Has always been a skilled defender with a strong throwing arm and good mechanics.  We’ve witnessed multiple batting practice sessions as well, folks may be surprised to know he’s always shown the ability to drive the ball beyond the fences however his primary offensive prowess is found in a line drive gap to gap swing.  Has incurred injuries the past two springs that have delayed starts to the season for him and has instead spent time in extended spring camp.  A very likable young man, big league skills all around.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Rafael Marchan in receiving drills today

Rafael Marchan in throwing drills today

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