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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

7/9/23 : Just Sayin


After today’s games the full season minor league squads (Lehigh Valley, Reading, Jersey Shore & Clearwater) will be off till Friday, July 14th and the FCL Phillies will be off this coming week till Thursday, July 13th.  The Dominican Summer League will continue to play as normal with games scheduled for Monday thru Saturday with the exception of camp days on Wednesday.


With the 2023 draft beginning later today and concluding on Tuesday with subsequent un-drafted free agent signings to follow it’s a good time for the majority of the player development aspect of the organization to take a brief rest bit.  I had a highly regarded scout from another organization tell me recently that player development typically gets the least amount of fan credit in baseball, many make the inaccurate assumption that it’s an easy process and are critical when some minor league players don’t perform to pre determined lofty expectations.  Watching the process first hand and seeing the daily grind of the effort it takes I can attest to how difficult it is to develop players into major league contributors. It’s tedious and dedicated work on every level and aspect and certainly deserves due respect.   Fun fact - the Tampa Rays organization is highly credited in their player development skills however did ya know that only six players (Taj Bradley, Yonny Chirinos, Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Taylor Walls, Josh Lowe) on their current 26 man active roster were originally signed as amateurs by Tampa and developed internally all the way to the majors within the Rays system?  Conversely the Phillies, who’ve been beaten up over recent years for their perceived lack of player development have five players (Aaron Nola, Ranger Suarez, Alec Bohm, Darick Hall, Bryson Stott ) on their current roster who meet that criteria. 


After the break concludes we look forward to the 2023 draftee and un-drafted free agent signing mini-camp at Carpenter Complex.  It will be our first glimpses of the newest Phillies players.  The Florida Complex League regular season runs till August 22nd this year with Clearwater’s Florida State League regular season slated to end on September 10th and the Division best of three games Playoff Series scheduled to begin on September 12th.  Many of the new players will eventually be added to each of those rosters.


By my count there are currently twenty five Injured List players working at the rehab center in Clearwater with eleven on the long term 60 day IL and two on the Full Season IL.  Some are already in or getting close to returning to game action via rehab assignments after which roster activation may occur.  Two pitchers I’m eager to see as to how they progress in games are 20 year old Micah Ottenbreit and 23 year old Christian McGowan.  We believe both right handers have high level stuff, each young man is continuing their climb back from Tommy John surgery.  Infielder Kendall Simmons is also close to returning to active status with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, he was stinging the ball with authority when he went down with a knee injury at the end of May, we’ve always liked his skill set and anticipate that he picks up where he left off once back in action.


Plenty of scouting buddies on hand on the backfields and in the stands the next few days and weeks as the trade deadline approaches.  There’s plenty of talent in the organization to garner attention, the pool is deeper in outfielders and pitchers however there are catchers and infielders who’ve drawn looks and notations as well.  Our big club is on a roll at present but there is always room for improvement and with a championship goal as the focus making a trade splash will likely be a strong consideration.  From my perspective as a Phillies minor league advocate trades provision opportunities for some of our minor league players that perhaps wouldn’t be availed otherwise.  Last year Logan O’Hoppe, Mickey Moniak and Ben Brown were traded, all three have done good things in their new organizations, Logan was the starting catcher for the Angels before incurring an injury that sidelined him, Mickey is presently hitting over .300 for the Angels and seeing regular playing time in all three outfield positions and Ben has reached the AAA level with the Cubs with a big league opportunity within reach, good stuff from my view.  It also circles me back to where I started, all three of those young men saw the majority of their player development within the Phillies organization and each had their successes and struggles. All were coached and persevered thru the process, player development isn’t always about getting a player to the show in your own organization, it’s also about providing trade pieces that return more experienced players to help current team needs.  It’s all part of it and also warrants its due respect.  Just sayin.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️



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