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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

6/5/23 : FCL (Florida Complex League) Preview

Today the Florida Complex League (FCL) officially opens, fifteen teams will participate with three divisions established (East, North and South).  Games will be played exclusively within each division so as to minimize travel.  The North division consists of the  Astros, Cardinals, Mets, Marlins & Nationals.  The South division has seven teams; the Braves, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox and Twins.  The Phillies will play in the East division with the Yankees, Tigers and Blue Jays.

The Phillies are scheduled to play 55 games, generally five games per week with no games scheduled for either Wednesday’s or Sunday’s.  Games are slated as 12:00 noon starts except for Saturday’s which begin at 10:00 AM.  There are no roster limitations in the FCL other than players must be amongst those counted in the overall minor league roster limitation of 180 players else be on rehab assignments.  Generally the rosters are younger players however more experienced players are not prohibited.

All games are played on the complex fields however on occasion a game may be played in the stadiums if schedules allow.  The Phillies contingent, like all the other teams, have been training in extended spring games since late March.  Unofficially I have the Phillies final extended spring training record as 12-5-5.  They played the Blue Jays almost entirely however there were a few games included with the Tigers, Braves and Yankees.

Jim Peyton has kept track of the stats from the Phillies extended spring (XST) games, 33 position players participated in games this year.  C/IF Leonardo Rondon was an XST standout posting a .609 batting average (14 for 23), a .640 OBP and a 1.423 OPS.  SS William Bergolla hit .452 (19 for 42), posted a .521 OBP and a 1.045  OPS.  Both are teenagers with bright futures, watching them play this spring I can attest to their baseball acumen and skill sets, they get after it.  Infielder Matt Alifano posted a high OBP (.578) as he recorded 8 hits and 16 walks in 45 plate appearances, he hit .308.  Outfielder Gavin Tonkel had a .357 OBP in 28 plate appearances.  Two promising young outfielders (Yemal Flores & Raylin Heredia) showed power potential, Flores hit 5 doubles and drove in 6 runs while Heredia had 3 doubles, a triple and home run along with 8 RBIs, both are 19 year olds. OF Yhoswar Garcia flashed his plus plus speed with 12 stolen bases.

On the pitching side 34 Phillies hurlers threw pitches in this years XST action.  Nathan Karaffa stood out, he threw 12 innings and posted 11 K’s with a 1.50 ERA (ERA’s in XST games are skewed a bit as often times innings start with runners on base to simulate situations, having a low one like Nate did is even more telling that he’s thrown well).  Mavis Graves has also thrown the ball very well, the 19 year old posted a 1.13 ERA in 8 IP with 7 strikeouts.  Mason Ronan struck out 14 batters in 6 2/3 IP.  Other promising pitchers who saw action include Jose Pena Jr, Luis Gomez, Eiberson Castellano, Guissepe Velasquez, Nicoly Pina, Christopher Soriano and Enrique Segura.  Peña Jr showed flashes of what he can become, the 19 year old has electric stuff, harnessing command is a work in progress but when that happens lookout!  Segura is another young man with electric stuff, he’s just 18 years old with a very bright future.

The Phillies FCL opening day roster is as follows :

Pitchers : 25

LH : Mavis Graves, Mason Ronan, Christopher Soriano

RH : Konnor Ash, Josh Bortka, Eiberson Castellano,Starlyn Castillo, Ty Collins, Eric Garcia, Luis Gomez, Zach Haake, Nathan Karaffa, Oswald Medina, Daniel Mejia, Francisco Morales, Mitch Neunborn, Fernando Ortega, Jose Peña, Nicoly Pina, Jesus Querales, Yoniel Ramirez, Enrique Segura, Saul Teran, Guissepe Velasquez, Chase Webster

Catchers : 5

Kliubert Avila, Jose Colmenarez, Jorge Mendez, Jackie Pertuz, Leonardo Rondon

Infielders : 7

Matt Alifano, William Bergolla, Lou Helmig, Dakota Kotowski, Jehisbert Sevilla, Marco Soto, Diego Gonzalez

Outfielders : 11

Ezra Farmer, Yemal Flores, Jorge Garcia, Yhoswar Garcia, Raylin Heredia, Albert Rodriquez, Gavin Tonkel, Santiago Torres, Junior Marin, Troy Schreffler, Ryan Holgate

Now we turn to FCL play, the Phillies open today with the Blue Jays at Dunedin (no spectator admission there), they host the Blue Jays on Tuesday, play the Yankees in Tampa on Thursday and host the Yankees and Tigers on Friday and Saturday in that order.  The full FCL schedule is shown below.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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