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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

2/20/24 : Today at the Complex

Major League Camp :

Another large crowd for the morning workouts - I’d estimate at least 2,000 on hand.  I didn’t arrive till around 11 AM and had to park up near Drew Street which is about a half mile from the Carpenter Complex entrance - got my steps in today 😎.

Multiple fields and practice areas were in use when I got to the complex, batting practices, fielding, and bullpens.  Got to watch five live BP’s - Dylan Covey, Yunior Marte, Nick Nelson, Orion Kerkering and Luis Ortiz.   Covey faced what appears to be a slimmed down version of Kyle Schwarber in his group - the power hitting lefty seemed intent on driving the baseball to the opposite field (just my observation).   Kerkering showed those who watched his session on Ashburn Field why he’s a special talent - he’s been throwing for awhile here (began in January) and today was throwing both the sweeping slider and the heat - JT Realmuto caught him - in one AB against Scott Kingery JT flipped the ball towards third base after three pitches even though no fielders were on the diamond feigning the strikeout toss around after a K 😂.

I like Marte’s stuff - if he can develop consistency he has the repertoire to stick in the show and be an effective bullpen contributor.

Minor League Mini Camp :

The majority of the  crowd dispersed shortly after outdoor major league practice ended in the early afternoon and the minor league portion of the day began.  Infielders and outfielders went thru fielding drills on Carlton field while catchers did their work on Roberts and the seven mound area.  BP sessions were held on both Roberts and Ashburn fields so we got more steps in moving from field to field to observe.

Seventeen year old Eduardo Tait continues to hit rockets in BP, he impressed both folks who were seeing him for the first time as well as this observer who’s seen him multiple times now.  During scouting week in January here I had a well respected scout tell me the way to observe BP is to mark down how many hard hit baseballs a player strokes - that’s the player to then want to see more of.  Tait has seemingly always smoked the ball in every BP I’ve watched him take, just a quick, pure, powerful hitting approach. Marcus Lee Sang put on a power show in his BP session and also stroked a couple well hit drives later in the day in live BP.  I am continually impressed by Bryson Ware (2023 8th round draft selection - Auburn) in BP - he’s got as clean a batting stroke as anyone in camp and makes solid connection, squares the baseball consistently with “loud” contact.   Ware hit 24 home runs in his senior season at Auburn and set the school’s single season home run record.  The young man can swing the lumber.

Pitchers Mavis Graves, Jonathan Petit, Enrique Segura, Wilmer Blanco, Jordi Martinez, Luke Russo, Casey Steward, Alexis De La Cruz, Jaydenn Estanista, Cristian Hernandez and Micah Ottenbreit threw side pens today.

There were two live BP sessions at around 2 PM - it’s cool how the other pitchers in camp gather behind the backstop to support their teammates during the session.  Andrew Baker threw first, he showed a nasty fadeaway changeup to go along with his patented slider and fastball.  Andrew threw a live BP on Friday so is on schedule to perhaps get some early looks in Grapefruit League games.   Carlos Francisco followed - the big right hander is coming off his most productive season splitting the year between Jersey Shore and Reading - he too will likely get some opportunities in Grapefruit League games.

I then made the trek back to my car to conclude my day of baseball observance - literally walking a mile to get it done 🤓.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

2/20/24 : Today’s views

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