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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

8/7/22 : Just Sayin

It’s great to see sustained big league success once again for the Phillies.  Star players are performing like stars and the complimentary players are coming thru.  As a player development system advocate it shouldn’t be discounted that ten of the current 26 men on the roster are original signees of the organization and came up thru the system.  Six of those players were draftees from the 2016 thru 2019 classes.  Of the contending National League playoff qualifiers only the Cardinals have more on their current roster signed and developed from 2016 or later.  Just sayin - giving credit where it’s due 😎.

This year’s draft and un-drafted free agent class added four talented catchers to the organization ( draftees Caleb Ricketts, Gustavo Sosa, Jordan Dissin and UDFA Ryan Leitch ).  In roster allotment they in essence replace traded Logan O’Hoppe & recently released Edgar Cabral, Freddie Francisco & Oscar Gonzalez.  All four newcomers, from my initial views, are well equipped defenders.  Leitch seems to be an exceptional thrower.  Ricketts has had a very strong offensive start to his pro career this week with Clearwater.  All four are now active - Sosa & Dissin played for the FCL Phillies yesterday and Leitch joined Ricketts on the Threshers roster.

Keep an eye on a potential emerging standout.  RHP Jaydenn Estanista has quietly put together multiple outings on the backfields for the FCL Phillies where he’s been dominant.  The 6’3” twenty year old from Curaçao has added physical strength this summer and it’s translated into an uptick in velocity whereas he’s now consistently in the 94-96 mph range and reaches 97 to 98 🔥😳.  He continues to have the same exemplary ball movement we saw in Fall Instructs but with added speed.  Secondaries are still developing with a slow curve and slider being targeted.   He’s a hard worker and has real talent - just sayin - with continued good health watch him climb the ladder 🪜.

LHP Ethan Lindow continues to have a strong season for Reading.  The 23 year old threw seven innings last night allowing just two runs en-route to victory.  He posted a 2.59 ERA in five July starts.  While not a “hard thrower” by today’s standards Ethan is a pitcher’s pitcher relying on location, mix and movement as opposed to speed.  When he’s on he’s fun to watch as he carves up hitters with Glavine like precision.  Gotta believe there’s still places in the game for that approach 🧐.

Simon Muzziotti has had a recent power surge at Reading - in his last nine games he’s hit four home runs.  The 23 year old outfielder has contended with leg issues this season but now appears past that.  It’s hard to drive the ball without a lower base - now that he’s healthy he’s quieting those who have suggested he can’t drive the ball - good for him !

Another one to watch for on the rise is LHP Taylor Lehman.  The 6’8” twenty six year old is now active on the Reading roster after returning from Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2021 season.  He’s saw an uptick in Velo sitting in the 93-95 mph range and has both a sharp breaking slider and hook as secondaries.  Coming out of the bullpen with his size and length he’s got the ability to get the ball on the hitters quickly and produce swings and misses.  Just saying the Penn State graduate should be on the radar if he’s not already.

RHP Tyler Phillips may be someone you are unaware of at present but here’s a heads up that you should be.  The 24 year old is on his way back from TJ surgery and has progressed to throwing bullpens.  Working with Pitching Coach Pat Robles he’s on track to re-engineering the promise he showed as a young hurler in the Rangers system.  The Bishop Eustace Prep graduate from Pennsauken, NJ can pop the mitt in the mid to upper nineties and has a starter’s mix.  While he’s still in the early stages of his rehab work I’m excited on what’s possibly to come.  The 6’5” hurler could be a strong addition to the mix next spring/summer - stay tuned.

Lastly the Painter and Abel show was on full display last night in Lakewood.  Both young hurlers dominated as starters in a twin bill sweep against Hudson Valley.  They both have upper nineties heat but also great ball movement and still developing plus secondary offerings.  They are learning to pitch with mix and location.  If ya can’t get excited about their potential big league capabilities I just don’t know what to tell ya 🤦‍♂️.  They are special arms, very down to earth people and have their feet planted the right way - all keys to continued success - just sayin 👍🔥.

Btw today is my wife Barb and I’s 40th wedding anniversary - from this old ballplayer’s perspective she’s a superstar and a definite major leaguer !  I love her with all my ❤️.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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