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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

5/13/21 : Extended Spring Training

While many of the Phillies minor leaguers have begun game play on various affiliate teams others continue training at the Carpenter Complex either awaiting their turn at a full season assignment else the beginning of Gulf Coast League play on June 28th.

A full extended spring training ( XST ) roster is not available at this time however we stopped by the complex yesterday to watch an intra squad scrimmage played on Ashburn Field. The complex remains closed to the public so we watched with binoculars in tow from the parking lot.

Seeing for the first time ( at least this year ) ...

Wilson Valdez Jr - 21 yrs old - INF - I believe he’s the son of former Phillie infielder Wilson Valdez who took the mound in the infamous 19th inning of an extra inning game against the Reds ten years ago. Wilson Jr was a Dominican Summer League ( DSL ) All-Star in 2019 where he hit .295 in 220 AB’s. Yesterday he was playing second base.

Uziel Viloria - 19 yrs old - INF - he was signed 7/1/19 and is from the Dominican Republic, he is an middle infielder - predominantly a shortstop - played in 28 games in the DSL in 2019.

Felix Reyes - 19 yrs old - OF - signed 2/22/20 - from Dominican Republic - has yet to play in a professional game.

Jefferson Encarnacion - 19 yrs old - OF - signed 9/13/17 - Dominican Republic - we saw him play in the 2019 Fall Instructs - has played two seasons ( 2018-2019 ) in the DSL - was playing left field in the scrimmage.

Juan Herrera - 21 yrs old - 1B/3B - we expected to see him in minor league camp but believe visa issues delayed his arrival from Venezuela. He was signed 7/27/16 and had a very strong 2019 season in the DSL ... we’ve seen him play in both the 2018 and 2019 Florida Instructional League camps. Very angular build at 6’3” 205.

Edward Barboza - 20 yrs old - C - signed 2/23/18 from Venezuela - played parts of both the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the DSL - built like Rafael Marchan

I’m sure there are other new faces to us that we just didn’t notice yesterday. Playing on one of the squads was veteran infielder Ruben Tejada. He was recently signed to a minor league contract, the 31 year old has played in the big leagues with the Mets, Giants, Cardinals and Orioles. Once he’s ready he will likely be added to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs roster, yesterday he played shortstop.

Of course there are players in XST that were also in minor league camp, some are working thru injuries, others just garnering more experience. Infielder Kendall Simmons stroked a double off the left field fence in the scrimmage, we anticipate that he will be assigned a full season roster spot in the not so distant future.

The Phillies XST teams will play scrimmage games against the Tigers, Yankees and Blue Jays thru June 26th with Camp Days interspersed each week. All games will be played at the team’s complexes however each remains closed to the public indefinitely.

We will get out to watch from outside the fences as often as we can.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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