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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/3/22 : Minor League opening roster projection - Reading

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

We project the Reading roster as our second article in a series on discussing the 2022 opening day Minor League rosters. Similar to our previous LHV projections the roster and roles are somewhat speculative - there will likely be alterations to the below roster as was listed for today’s scrimmage with Lehigh Valley. In fact there are players still in Clearwater participating in Grapefruit League play that could be added and some of the players discussed below might be transferred elsewhere before Reading’s opener this coming Friday.

If you missed the first article on Lehigh Valley here is a link -

2022 Reading Fightin Phils

The team opens the season on Friday, April 8th at home vs Somerset ( Yankees affiliate ).

Manager and Coaches :

Shawn Williams (manager)

Tyler Henson (hitting coach)

Mycal Jones (bench/position coach)

Matt Hockenberry (pitching coach)

Bruce Peditto (strength & conditioning coach)

Andrew Dodgson (athletic trainer)

Pitchers :

Starters :

LH Josh Hendrickson - 24 years old - 2019 38th round draft selection - had a very strong 2021 campaign, he began the year with Jersey Shore and was promoted to Reading on June 8th. He ended the year with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs after being promoted on September 14th. Josh accumulated 95 2/3 IP and an overall 3.57 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. FB generally 90-93 mph - knows how to pitch and generally has both strong control and command.

RH Adam Leverett - 23 years old - 2019 15th round draft selection - had a very solid ‘21 season accumulating 85 1/3 innings at three levels ( Jersey Shore, Reading & Lehigh Valley ). He’s a command and control pitcher who can also produce strikeouts with a four pitch mix. Fastball generally sits in the 90-93 range and secondaries have good spin and movement. I need to get him game photos in Reading as was unable to do so in spring training - sorry Adam 🤦‍♂️.

RH James McArthur - 25 years old - 2018 12th round draft selection - big arm capabilities … fastball flashes in the upper nineties, generally sits in the 93-95 range. His 6’7” height produces a pitch release point and arm angle that gets on the hitter quickly and adds deception as well as an elusion of even higher velocity. Secondary offerings are a curve/slider and change-up. He finished the ‘21 regular season strong with Reading by posting a 2.70 ERA in his last seven games ( 33 1/3 IP ). Is on the 40 man roster and impressed during big league spring camp. Could move up a notch after stretching out more. A major league debut is within reach this season.

RH Noah Skirrow - 23 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/16/20 - pitched in 18 games ( FCL, Jersey Shore & Reading ) in 2021 totaling 58 IP with a 4.34 ERA and 1.43 WHIP. Fastball generally sits low nineties … gets big break on both slider and curve ball - good vertical movement. Fastball will flash higher, even into the mid nineties.

RH Jack Perkins - 24 years old - 2018 11th round draft selection - 2021 was a strong year, the first season hurling over 100 innings as he made 23 game appearances ( 20 starts ) between Jersey Shore, Reading and Lehigh Valley. Has a FB, Curve, Slider, Change-up mix - FB generally in the 91-93 range, won’t beat himself, throws strikes and primarily pitches to contact.

Bullpen :

RH Mike Adams - 27 years old - signed as free agent 1/19/21 - sits 93-95 mph with FB

RH Julian Garcia - 26 years old - 2016 10th round draft selection - will be a multi inning reliever

LH Nick Lackney - 24 years old - 2019 18th round draft selection - pitched at 3 levels in 2021 - solid season & spring camp

LH Brian Marconi - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 6/12/19 - made 2021 all league team for Reading

LH Erik Miller - 24 years old - 2019 4th round draft selection - had a very strong mini and spring training camp - will pitch as a multi inning reliever this season - allows him to focus on using his velocity and plus off speed deliveries while reducing prolonged stress on his shoulder which was an issue last season. It’s also a potential quick path to the big leagues.

RH McKinley Moore - 23 years old - acquired from White Sox in Adam Haseley trade - upper 90’s fastball

RH Bubby Rossman - 29 years old - signed as free agent 11/9/21 - high nineties velocity

RH Matt Seelinger - 26 years old - waiver claim 12/8/21 from Giants - lower 90’s FB and good curve

RH Billy Sullivan - 22 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/16/20 - upper nineties velocity

LH Zach Warren - 25 years old - 2017 14th round draft selection - returns to Reading for 2nd year - big curve ball

RH Braden Zarbnisky - 25 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/21/20 - mid nineties FB

Closer :

RH Francisco Morales - 22 years old signed as an international free agent 7/2/16 from Venezuela. Francisco is a powerfully built pitcher who possesses a major league skill set, fastball can sit in mid to upper nineties, slider is a true weapon. The decision was made in spring camp to convert him to a reliever from a starter so that he can hone in on those two plus pitches and potentially become a dominant backend option. He’s on the 40 man roster - if the conversion to the pen works out there’s a real possibility of big league time this summer. He’s always responded well to challenges - we think he will excel in this one also.

Catchers :

Logan O’Hoppe - 22 years old - 2018 23rd round draft selection - had an outstanding 2021 season playing at three levels ( Jersey Shore, Reading and Lehigh Valley ) with the majority of the summer at Jersey Shore - 17 home runs, 58 RBIs, 19 doubles and an overall batting average of .270 in 393 AB’s. Great leadership skills, strong arm and mechanics defensively - will be the primary receiver for Reading - had a strong spring camp - will be a big leaguer at some point.

Jack Conley - 25 years old - 2018 27th round draft selection - played in 51 games for Reading and Lehigh Valley amassing 160 AB’s - is a good defensive receiver with pop.

Vito Friscia - 25 years old - 2019 40th round draft selection - very solid 2021 campaign primarily with Jersey Shore ( .265 average, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 7 home runs and 40 RBIs ) posting a .378 on base percentage which was the second best mark in the minor league organization ( for those with at least 315 plate appearances ). Will also see time at 1B and DH.

Infield :

Sal Gozzo - 24 years old - UTL - signed as an un-drafted free agent - 6/11/19 - Tulane University - played at three levels during the ‘21 season ( Jersey Shore, Reading & Lehigh Valley ) - appeared in 63 games ( 155 AB’s ) at 2B, SS and 3B. Good fielder at any infield spot, heady player.

Jonathan Guzman - 22 years old - SS/2B - signed as an international free agent - 8/17/15 from the Dominican Republic - struggled offensively in 2021 with Jersey Shore but finished the season with a good month of September hitting .304 in 46 AB’s - continues to be a excellent middle defender at both second base and shortstop. Had a good spring training camp, got to work with big league coach Kevin Long and made some adjustments on pull capabilities to drive inside pitches.

Josh Ockimey - 26 years old - 1B/DH/LF - signed as free agent 2/14/22 from Red Sox organization - was Boston’s 2014 5th round draft choice. Played last three seasons at the AAA level - career .237 hitter in 2,244 minor league AB’s with 96 home runs and 357 RBIs. Provides a middle of the order presence.

Wendell Rijo - 26 years old - 2B/SS/3B - signed as free agent 12/10/21 from Braves organization - a career .240 hitter in 2,523 minor league AB’s over eight seasons. He hit 15 home runs at the AA level last season - had a nice spring and will provide veteran leadership.

Madison Stokes - 25 years old - 3B/1B - 2018 10th round draft selection - had a good ‘21 season with Reading and returns to start a second season. Versatile defender who played all four infield spots plus the two outfield corners during the season. An all around player who’s intelligent and team oriented, has a winning demeanor who won’t back away from challenges. A strong spring training camp offensively - consistently squared up pitches. Will presumably play a lot of 3B this season.

Kevin Vicuña - 24 years old - 2B/SS - signed as a free agent 1/4/22 from Blue Jays organization - middle infielder who’s a career .260 hitter in 1,816 AB’s over six minor league seasons. Will likely see a lot of playing time in the two middle infield spots.

Outfield :

Matt Kroon - 25 years old - 2018 18th round draft selection - made good impressions this spring beginning in mini camp and throughout including appearances in Grapefruit League games. Hit the ball very well, has plus speed as a runner and showed good bat to ball skills. He’s coming off a strong second half 2021 campaign with Reading after battling back from injuries - will likely play primarily a corner spot this season - was in CF last year.

Hunter Markwardt - 24 years old - 2019 13th round draft selection - speed is a huge asset, he’s a smart player who has plus wheels that he uses both offensively and defensively. Played at three levels during 2021, FCL, Clearwater and Jersey Shore - stole 20 bases in 22 attempts. Has the ability to get on base at a high percentage, puts the ball in play - drove the ball with authority this spring - multiple home runs during camp game action. Is a very good outfielder that can play all three spots well.

Simon Muzziotti - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/5/16 from Venezuela. He is a prototype 1970’s type leadoff hitter - meaning that he consistently puts the ball in play and has very good speed - isn’t necessarily a power bat but can drive the ball out of the yard on occasion. He’s a very good defensive outfielder, primarily will play center field. Big league skill set - just needs more experience. He’s on the 40 man roster, could play defensively in the show right now - great reads and routes.

Jhailyn Ortiz - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent 7/10/15 from the Dominican Republic - had the best year of his six year career to date in 2021 - led the Phillies minor league organization with 23 home runs and drove in 54 runs - posted a .346 OBP. Spent the majority of last summer with High A Jersey Shore before being promoted to Reading on July 31st. Has easy power that drives the baseball long distances. Is on the 40 man roster and had a nice spring camp - launched quite a few long home runs on the back fields in both in BP and games. Strong arm and moves well defensively. We believe he will continue to excel this season.

We will preview Jersey Shore in our next article.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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