8/22/23 : Minor League Promotions
As we head into week twenty-one of the minor league season the Phillies have announced new promotions with the players taking the field with their new clubs this week. I am very happy for the following young men and their families and friends.
1B Rixon Wingrove - promoted from Jersey Shore to Reading - 23 years old - signed as a minor league free agent 4/20/18 - Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia - leaves the South Atlantic League second in RBIs (63), tenth in home runs (15), tied for sixth in doubles (20), twelfth in hits (90) and first in personality. Rixon plays hard, competes to win. The effervescent Aussie left handed hitter can drive the baseball with the best of them, we’ve seen him progress from being a converted catcher who initially struggled learning to play first base on the backfields to one who can more than hold his own at the position. During his time with the BlueClaws he hit 27 home runs, 15 this year and 12 last year which tied him for third all-time in franchise history with Darick Hall. Buckle up Reading, the big fella is headed your way!
RHP Max Kuhns - promoted from Reading to Lehigh Valley (announced 8/19/23) - 28 years old - signed as a free agent 2/8/23 - is a fastball/slider pitcher who has touched 98 mph with the heater this summer and generally fires in the 93 to 97mph range. He had a rough patch during May and June, thereafter spent time in Clearwater working on mechanics and returned to Reading on July 26th, big arm skillset.
LHP Jordi Martinez - promoted from Jersey Shore to Reading (announced 8/19/23) - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent 1/22/18 - Santiago, Dominican Republic - we first saw Jordi pitch in 2019 Fall Instructs and came away thinking “Wow” - ball seemed to jump out of his hand. This year he converted to a full time reliever after making 34 starts in his first four years of play. The changeover has worked well, he appeared in 39 games (47 w/3 IP) with a 3.97 ERA posting 59 K’s and 27 walks with Jersey Shore. Jordi made his first Reading appearance on Sunday pitching two scoreless innings. The stuff we saw in 2019 still plays, features a fastball in the 93 to 97 range and has reached higher, a change up and slider. He’s pitched more than an inning in eleven of his appearances and two or more frames in eight games. Generally used in the 8th and 9th innings of games Jordi had an outstanding month of June posting a 1.35 ERA in 10 appearances (13 1/3 IP). He’s incorporated more of his lower half in his delivery as I remember when we initially saw him it was a straight up style that seemingly would place more stress on the elbow, in fact he has lost time with arm issues in the past. Coming out of the bullpen has allowed Jordi to open the throttle on his pitches, the fastball velocity has always been something we’ve seen but not as consistent as this year. Good stuff.
RHP Wen Hui Pan - promoted from Clearwater to Jersey Shore - 20 years old - signed as an international free agent - 1/15/23 - Hualien, Taiwan - in his first pro season stateside Pan has put up impressive numbers to date - 2.81 ERA in 27 appearances - 57 2/3 IP with 81 strikeouts and 19 walks, a 0.87 WHIP and a .154 batting average against. Word had it that Pan came with a ten pitch arsenal and that may have been the case however he’s throwing a three pitch mix now, a fastball (96 to 98 mph), slider and splitter. He’s got an easy motion, starts in the stretch, one side step, a rock and then fire delivery. The fastball has great life and movement and has dominated hitters at the low A level as reflected by the numbers. He features the splitter more than the slider as a secondary but both pitches are still works in progress as he attempts to master them. An off-season focusing on high performance conditioning and refinement of pitches will only improve what’s already a highly regarded skill set. Pan has been a multi inning reliever this season going more than an inning in 23 of his appearances, two innings 14 times, three innings 5 times and four innings once. Some folks have asked if starting may be in his future and that’s certainly a consideration however maintaining velocity over an elongated outing and developing stronger command and delivery of secondaries would have to develop, for now he’s a very good bulk reliever which is an important role. Just 20 years old, a very bright future ahead.
RHP Jonh Henriquez promoted from Clearwater to Jersey Shore - 23 years old - signed as an international free agent - 6/7/22 - Dominican Republic - we first saw Jonh on video last season as he made his pro debut in the DSL with Phillies Red, what stood out was the movement and velocity, he was a walk-on signee at the Academy and the talent shown got folks really excited. This year he’s appeared in 30 games stateside, all in relief, posting a 14-1 record in 61 2/3 IP with a 3.21 ERA, 3 saves, 60 K’s and 36 walks, opponents are hitting a meager .181 against him and his WHIP is 1.22. Jonh has shown the ability to pitch multiple innings, doing so in 24 of his appearances, three or more innings in seven games. He features a four pitch mix (four seamer - 91 to 95 mph, slider, change-up and cutter) but predominantly uses the four seamer and slider, the spin generated on the slider in particular often gets in the major league elite levels which is exciting in itself. He sequences his pitches really well and generally goes right at hitters, the first time we saw the slider up close on the back fields we were very impressed.
1B Cole Moore promoted from Clearwater to Jersey Shore - 24 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/31/22 - Dallas Baptist University - We saw Cole play in the Florida Complex League after he signed and in multiple practices at the complex - is a very good defender at first base, soft hands on throws, moves well and good range, that has continued this year, I believe he’s the best defensive first baseman in the organization. With the Threshers he posted a .250 batting average in 156 AB’s with nine doubles, a triple, three home runs and sixteen RBIs. He also drew twenty five walks. Cole had a big month of July when he hit .372 in 43 AB’s. By my count he becomes the fifth Dallas Baptist alum to advance to the BlueClaws since 2017.
1B Dakota Kotowski promoted from FCL Phillies to Clearwater - 23 years old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/25/22 - Missouri State. Dakota made the transition from outfield to first base this summer defensively but didn’t let that effort hinder his offensive production a bit. He led the Florida Complex League in home runs with 15 and drove in 34 runs in 150 AB’s. Posting a .287/.397/.653 slash line with eight doubles, a triple and twenty-two walks the alum of Ryan Howard’s college can smoke the long ball akin to the Big Piece, a well deserved bump up to full season action.
RHP Saul Teran promoted from FCL Phillies to Clearwater - 21 years old - signed as an international free agent 2/2/21 from Caracas, Venezuela - had a solid season in the FCL posting a 4.50 ERA in fifteen appearances (24 2/3 IP) in just his third year of professional baseball. He’s generally a strike thrower who’s fastball sits in the 90 to 94 mph range, will keep hitters off balance with a slider and changeup - good run on his pitches with a ten mph differential on the change up.
There will be some further promotions and assignments coming from the FCL Phillies and the 2023 draft class to the Clearwater Threshers in the next few days. The BlueClaws roster now has fourteen players who were on the early season roster of the Clearwater Threshers (Crawford, Rincon,Fergus, Rincones Jr, Kemp, Brito, Ricketts, Walling, Moore, Dallas, Pan, Henriquez, Moore and Aldegheri) - these previous residents of “Pressureville” have now taken up home at “JerseyScore” !
Congrats to all these young men, will be fun to watch them at their new levels.
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