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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

9/29/21 : Let’s Review 🤔 - Catchers

Here’s the fifth 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 the catching position … perhaps the group with the deepest amount of upside on the position player pool of minor leaguers. 🤔

Rafael Marchan ( 22 yrs old ) played 20 games ( 52 AB’s ) in the big leagues and 67 in the minors to date ( 238 AB’s ) this year. He was recalled/optioned six times which prohibited any consistency in playing time. Rafael’s stats for 2021 are meaningless due to the yo-yo effect. He’s a solid receiver with all the tools ( including a plus plus arm ) who many project as capable of everyday play in the show. We like him a lot, have since seeing him in 2018 instructs. Very cordial and happy young man as well, easy to root for !

Logan O’Hoppe ( 21 yrs old ) had a breakout season playing at three levels ( Jersey Shore, Reading & Lehigh Valley ) posting a very solid .274 batting average in 379 AB’s to date with 18 doubles, 2 triples, 16 home runs and 56 RBIs. When drafted in the 23rd round of the 2018 draft we noted a defensive presence and leadership skill set evident from his first workouts that summer at Carpenter Complex. Logan also is a very popular teammate and has a great personality, another young man we’ve felt could be a big leaguer at some point, he’s certainly made the case even stronger with this year’s play.

Rodolfo Duran ( 23 yrs old ) has battled knee issues the past couple of years which limited his play to just 35 games this summer between Reading & Lehigh Valley. He’s eligible for minor league free agency this off season. When healthy Rodolfo has shown a good defensive skill set and an ability to hit the long ball. He can swing the bat.

Oscar Gonzalez ( 20 yrs old ) impressed in very limited action this summer, we saw him early in extended spring primarily at first base but did get to see him in action behind the dish with the FCL Phillies, Jersey Shore and Reading. Strong arm and built like a tank … reminds me of Bo Diaz for those of you old enough to remember him with the Phillies in the early 80’s.

Juan Aparicio ( 21 yrs old ), Chris Burke ( 20 yrs old ), Freddy Francisco ( 20 yrs old ) Arturo De Freitas ( 20 yrs old ), Edward Barboza ( 20 yrs old ) & Micah Yonamine ( 20 yrs old ) are young receivers who spent the summer at the FCL/Low A level either at the Complex or with the Threshers. Each have shown glimpses of their potential. Aparicio, Barboza and Yonamine have offensive skill sets that project for future success … Burke and Francisco are more advanced defensively.

Andrik Nava ( 19 yrs old ) spent the year on the injured list, we noted his play in 2019 for the Phillies West team in the GCL as a 17 year old when he hit .314 in 156 AB’s. Still very young and early in his career, we believe there’s a ton of upside once he’s back in action.

Adony Mejia ( 20 yrs old ) was brought stateside on 8/28/21 to finish the season with the FCL Phillies. He was having a very strong season in the DSL at the time. We saw him play just a couple times, similar build to Marchan with a similar quick release on his throws.

Rickardo Perez ( 17 yrs old ), Kliubert Avila ( 18 yrs old ) and Jackie Pertuz ( 18 yrs old ) all showed flashes of of what might be during DSL play this season. Each receiver is in his first season of professional play.

Nick Matera ( 25 yrs old ), Jack Conley ( 24 yrs old ) & Herbert Iser ( 23 yrs old ) are solid defenders who played extensively in college, each has made game appearances at all four levels of full season play since being selected in the draft.

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