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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/27/21 : Let’s Review 🤔 - Outfielders

Here’s the fourth in a series of articles from this observers view of the “state of the system.” I’ll attempt to “keep it real” … not a doom and gloom, there’s no talent in the system editorial but also not a “pie in the sky” everything is great PR piece … just a somewhat educated “fan’s view”.

If ya missed the first article here’s a link …

We pick up the series with a group of young outfielders on the rise …

Dominican Summer League :

We have yet to see any of the DSL players in person and it remains unknown to us who is on the Florida Instructs roster … we do know that there will be a handful of players ( 7 ) attending but not till the DSL season concludes in another week.

Twenty year old Jeury Corona has posted a strong batting average for Phillies Red ( .346 in 78 AB’s ) and has stolen 16 bases in 19 attempts. Seventeen year old Yemal Flores doesn’t have the stats this year to reflect his talent but could be a FIL invite. Nineteen year old Erick Brito has had an outstanding season for Phillies White and although primarily an infielder he has also logged innings in both left and center field.

The FCL/Low A Corps :

This summer’s play showcased and infused a strong group of outfield talent to the system. Marcus Lee Sang ( 20 yrs old ) continued to progress as a left handed bat ( 11th round pick - 2019 draft ) on the backfields, he drove the ball with authority ( 6 doubles, 1 triple & 5 home runs ) in 88 FCL AB’s and even saw limited action with the Threshers. Marcus generates great bat speed, future focus areas are making sure to get quality pitches to swing at and developing consistent contact, talent is there to succeed.

Jadiel Sanchez ( 20 yrs old ) saw more action with the Threshers than in the FCL but had his season cut short when multiple players were quarantined due to Covid issues. Jadiel also generates big time bat speed and has power to all fields, he’s a switch hitter who was selected in the 12th round of the 2019 draft. He’s also an excellent thrower and is capable of playing all three outfield spots.

In the few instances we saw Jordan Viars play it became readily apparent that the 18 year old lefty hitter has a great deal of raw power, we saw him drive the baseball out of the park with an smooth and easy swing. He also showed a propensity to produce runs ( 18 RBIs in just 47 AB’s ) and an ability to not chase outside of the zone ( 11 walks … 12 K’s ). Jordan is a big fella and will get plenty of reps at first base in Instructs but he’s very athletic from what we’ve seen and fully capable of manning an outfield corner.

18 year old Gavin Tonkel can flat out fly, we saw evidence of that in an FCL contest where he beat a routine grounder to short for an infield single. The slender build right handed hitter looks very athletic … we hope to see more of him in Instructs.

Threshers :

Yhoswar Garcia ( 20 yrs old ) suffered a leg injury on a foul ball off the bat in a 7/1 contest, he didn’t return to game action thereafter. We saw him early on in extended spring training hammering the baseball off the outfield fences, in particular to the gaps. He’s super quick as well, stole 11 bases in 13 attempts. It was very evident, even in a limited and small sample size, that he has the tools to excel. When he’s healthy we are eager to see him play again.

Felix Reyes ( 20 yrs old ) showed us glimpses of raw and impressive power from the right hand side of the plate in both FCL and Threshers low A level action. He’s well built at 6’4” 195 … we saw a very small sample size but notation definitely made to keep an eye on.

Baron Radcliff ( 22 yrs old ) drew 70 walks and hit 11 taters in 254 AB’s … he’s long in the swing though and punched out 112 times as well. When he makes contact the ball certainly flys, if he can harness the length of the bat whip just a bit he has more than enough strength to deliver consistent contact and power.

Jared Carr ( 22 yrs old ), Logan Cerny ( 21 yrs old ) and Ethan Wilson ( 21 yrs old ) were all 2021 draft selections … we only saw glimpses of them in action … hopefully will see more in Fall Instructs. Wilson’s swing from the left side is compact but generates a lot of speed and drive from what we’ve seen.

Jersey Shore :

Johan Rojas ( 21 yrs old ) has all the tools to be a productive everyday major leaguer. He’s an excellent defensive center fielder with a plus arm, gets great reads and has more than ample speed to track balls off the bat. Offensively he’s got power, bat speed, pitch recognition and contact capabilities that project him as a top of the order weapon. He led the system with 34 stolen bases … 20 of those came after 8/13 upon return from being quarantined for a few weeks on 7/23 with Covid issues. We’ve truly thought he could be special since the first time we watched on the backfields in 2019 GCL play, haven’t wavered from that opinion. Johan plays with a different level of energy, he loves the game and it’s so evident in how he pushes the action. There are no plays off for this young man, excited to see him continue … no doubt in my mind if he stays healthy that he’s gonna be a big league contributor.

Carlos De La Cruz ( 21 yrs old ) and Ben Pelletier ( 23 yrs old ) didn’t put up numbers this summer but both possess power bats that can turn heads when they hit em. Missing the 2020 season hurt them more than others it seems, hopeful they can bounce back and find the consistency to continue advancing.

Hunter Markwardt ( 24 yrs old ) had a roller coaster summer with injuries and Covid exposure/quarantine but showed us flashes of a skill set that can produce at the top of the order, very good speed and contact skills.

Reading/Lehigh Valley :

Simon Muzziotti ( 22 yrs old ) was hampered by a late start to the season, he’s a prototype lead off hitter who’s also an outstanding defender. In a perfect world he would have played most of the summer with Reading and be better positioned for 2022 for big league consideration. He’s still definitely in the mix I would think at some point, just needs more minor league reps in 2022.

Matt Kroon ( 24 yrs old ) transitioned to center field this season, he’s athletic enough that he played well there, needs more reps to develop better reads and routes. Matt had a solid season for Reading offensively posting a .285 average in 193 AB’s.

Jhailyn Ortiz ( 22 yrs old ) had by far his most productive season before an oblique issue sidelined him. Jhailyn led the minor league organization with 23 home runs. He’s also a plus defender, very strong arm and much quicker than his body type portrays. Early in his career he dealt with vision issues which now are seemingly behind him and it’s evident in his pitch recognition. Jhailyn made much more consistent contact this summer which enabled his tremendous power to shine thru, hits very loud and long home runs. From my perspective he will need to be added to the 40 man roster this off-season else exposure in the Rule 5 draft will result in another organization taking him. Great young man, very popular teammate and person. Very pleased for his success this summer.

Adam Haseley ( 25 yrs old ), Mickey Moniak ( 23 yrs old ) and Cornelius Randolph ( 24 yrs old ) were all Phillies first round draft choices. Cornelius is eligible for minor league free agency this off-season. Adam has had a solid September and is a candidate for winter league play. Mickey bounced up and down to the majors this year, he’s gonna play in the Arizona Fall League for a second time in order to gain more AB’s for time lost to the shuttle between AAA and the show.

Johan Rojas - photo by Mark Wylie

Jhailyn Ortiz - photo by George Youngs Jr

Next article … Catchers

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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