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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

5/20/24 : Spotlight : Infielder Trent Farquhar

Trent Farquhar is a 23 year old infielder who was signed by the Phillies as an un-drafted free agent on 7/19/23 from Michigan State University.  He’s currently a key member of the Clearwater Threshers.  Trent went to high school at Lakeland High School in White Lake, Michigan where he was a four year letter winner in baseball playing for his father/coach Brad Farquhar.  The team won two Lakes Valley Conference championships.  Also on the squad was younger brother Tate (three years younger) during Trent’s senior season.

Trent enrolled at Bowling Green University to play baseball but only played eleven games there during the Covid shortened 2020 season. When Bowling Green decided to drop their baseball program, (they later reversed that decision), he transferred to Michigan State University where he played three seasons and was a three -time recipient of the Danny Litwhiler Defensive Player of the Year Team Award.  While at MSU he again had the opportunity to play one season as a teammate of younger brother Tate Farquhar who joined the Spartans as a member of the pitching staff.  After the 2023 collegiate season and while playing summer ball for Newport in the New England Collegiate Baseball League he had to weigh whether to return to MSU for one more season of eligibility or to accept the Phillies offer of a professional contract - ultimately he chose the Phillies.

Last season Trent played in 16 professional games (10 with the FCL Phillies and 6 with the Clearwater Threshers) accumulating 65 plate appearances and posted an overall slash line of .269/.406/.346 with four doubles, five RBIs and ten walks.  Defensively had a 1.000 fielding percentage in 63 chances. I first saw him play second base in backfield practices, he turned double plays very well, was a fluid fielder with quick ball exchanges and accurate throws.  In the initial games we saw he was an on-field presence, a take charge type of player - played with enthusiasm and a winning spirit.

This past off-season I asked him what his initial impressions were of pro ball.  He told me “my biggest personal takeaway from 2023 is keeping a level head. There’s going to be lots of ups and downs the rest of my career so just staying in the middle through it all is going to be huge.“

This year he’s been an on-base machine for Clearwater primarily as a leadoff hitter - in twenty-seven games he has posted a .313/.508/.446 slash line in 118 plate appearances with a .954 OPS hitting six doubles, a triple and a home run.  He has walked 32 times and struck out just 19 times. Trent leads the Florida State League in OBP (.508) and is second in OPS (.954) for those that qualify (to qualify, a player must have 2.7 plate appearances per team game played) and is tied for the league leadership in walks (32). Defensively he’s seen time at second base, shortstop and third base.

It’s an outstanding start to the season for the young man - I recently asked Trent a few questions - here’s our Q & A.

Your dad was your high school coach and younger brother Tate was a teammate, Tate was a college teammate as well.  How special were the experiences to be able to play for your dad and with your brother?

“The experiences with my dad and brother on the same team were amazing. Getting to win championships with them at the high school level was a fantastic feeling.”

You had a year of college eligibility left when you chose to sign with the Phillies.  What was the determining factor in choosing to sign instead of returning to school?

“Yes, it wasn’t an easy decision as I loved playing at Michigan State. However, I know getting the chance to play professionally doesn’t come around a lot so I felt like the time was right for me to leave MSU.”

How different has it been playing in the Florida heat as compared to early seasons in Michigan where you played both high school and college ball?

“It’s been different playing in Florida than Michigan but I feel as if it’s been easier to adapt to the heat than the cold. The heat loosens my muscles up and I love that more than having to put multiple layers on to play a game in March.”

You’re a left handed hitter but throw right handed - did you ever switch hit?  Have you always hit left handed?

“I’ve always hit left handed and thrown right handed.”

How would you describe your offensive approach?  You lead the Florida State League in walks, has pitch selection always been a strong suit?

“For my approach I like to hunt fastballs in the middle of the plate early.  However, I’m very comfortable hitting with one or two strikes so that allows me to be able to be picky early in the count and get a pitch I can drive.  I’ve been blessed with good pitch recognition and being stingy to my approach.”

Defense has been a strong part of your game, I recall the first time I saw you in drills at the Complex, made a point of telling you afterwards how impressed I was with your skills.  What do you attribute your defensive acumen to?  We’ve seen you at second, short and third - any preference or favorite position?

“I just try and get better each day on my defense. Being intentional with every rep regardless if it’s live or on the half field with Marty. I try to make each rep a game rep. My favorite position would probably have to be shortstop because that’s where I played in high school but any position that gets me in the lineup works for me.”

The Threshers are off to a great start, it’s the second year in a row that the majority of the draft picks and signings from the prior year have opened the season together as Threshers - has that helped to create a bond amongst the group?

“Yes being close with the guys and comfortable with them has definitely helped our success. We play as a team and not just nine individuals which is rare for minor league baseball.”

Lastly - early impressions of pro baseball as compared to the amateur game?  Thoughts on the process and how the Phillies approach has been thus far?

“The Phillies approach to developing us has been fantastic. They’re very intentional with every player.  Pro ball has been the most fun playing baseball I’ve ever had.”

Our thanks to Trent for taking the time to answer our questions - we wish him continued success - maybe there’s a third opportunity to play alongside young brother Tate in the future as professionals - that would be really cool - just sayin 😎.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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