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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/19/2021 : Spring Exit Reviews - Part Four

A bit delayed, quite honestly I forgot that I hadn’t finished this series yet. So here’s the last part ... I quickly finished it up this morning. 🤪

A look at the players who took part in big league Spring Training but didn’t make the 26 man opening day roster and review/projection on their behalf. The 26 players who made the opening roster have been talked about at length by others however it takes far more than the initial 26 to complete a marathon 162 game schedule. The “auxiliary” always comes into play.

This is the final of four parts ... here are links to the first three articles in case you missed them ...

Today’s focus is on the outfielders.

Outfielders :

Odubel Herrera : Odubel ( 29 years old ) had a solid spring training camp tying for the team lead in home runs and finishing second in total bases. It wasn’t enough to earn him an opening day roster spot and he continues to train now as part of the Alternate Camp in Allentown. He got off to a good start there with multi hit games in two early scrimmages against the Yankees and Mets. Odubel has major league skills, he’s proven so in times past albeit inconsistently. There’s evidence that the almost two year layoff from baseball has made him a more mature person and player, dedicated to returning to the big leagues. We think he’s deserving and also believe that if given a chance he will do a credible job and be an asset to the team that does so. Will leave it at that.

Mickey Moniak : the 22 year was called to the majors this past week. He had a good ST camp and I’ve believed for a long while now that he’s going to be a solid major league player. I’m just not convinced that he’s ready to do so right now. In my humble opinion a full season at the triple A level where he would be going against a higher and more robust array of pitchers and pitches is what was needed to truly excel at the big league level in the future. It now seems that learning experience will occur in the major leagues, there will be growing pains ... hopefully the Philly faithful will show some patience.

Simon Muzziotti : ideally the 22 year old would have been in big league camp , then minor league ST and would have opened the season as the starting center fielder in Reading. Unfortunately visa issues prevented him from getting stateside and he’s now been placed on the restricted list. It’s unclear when he will be able to resume his career. Simon is a gifted defender, one might say he’s big league ready in that regard. Offensively he’s a prototypical leadoff hitter with good speed. Let’s just hope when the visa issues are eventually cleared up that he can train in a speedy manner and get back into games without missing a large chunk of the upcoming season.

Matt Vierling : Matt ( 24 years old ) came to 2020 Fall Instructs with a willingness to become a more versatile defender and spent some time in the infield leafing the corner spots. That type of attitude is highly appreciated. In spring training he got 25 AB’s and hit his first Grapefruit League home run. He’s continuing his training at the alternate camp in Allentown and appears likely to be a member of the Iron Pigs once the AAA season begins. We’ve seen flashes of a big league bat, like everyone else he just needs the repetitions and game action to make up for lost time.

Travis Jankowski : the 29 year old has played in 350 major league games with the Padres and Reds. In spring training he showed us speed and defensive capabilities that certainly makes him a viable fill in option in the show if needed. For now he’s training at the Alternate Camp site and it seems likely he will be part of the 2021 Iron Pigs roster.

Jhailyn Ortiz : Jhailyn ( 22 years old ) suffered a hamstring injury early in big league camp which limited him to just two AB’s in three games. He’s now at minor league camp in Clearwater and seems good to go. We’ve seen him in game action with the High A group. Jhailyn certainly has shown a power bat, his issues have been pitch recognition, handling the off speed deliveries and consistency. I could see an initial assignment to Jersey Shore to open the season with hopes that success there leads to an in season promotion to the next level.

Johan Rojas : Johan ( 20 years old ) struggled in his first 14 Grapefruit League AB’s but then got four hits in his last six at bats and hit the ball sharply in each. It certainly built confidence for the very talented “five tool” player. He’s continuing his training in minor league camp and seems likely to open the season as the primary center fielder for the Clearwater Threshers. Johan has a great attitude, is very coachable and genuinely loves playing baseball ... we see a very bright future for the young man ... he also received his high school diploma during big league camp and was awarded with a small ceremony which was attended by some of the major leaguers such as Jean Segura ... pretty cool.

That’s a wrap ... sorry for the delay 🥴.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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