2017 Spring Training, 3/4

Minor League camp is set to start full bore Sunday.  Friday, the pitchers checked in and attended meetings and had their physicals.  They did some long toss and running but were dismissed by noon.  Saturday, the pitchers worked out while the position players checked-in, attended meetings, and took their physicals.  After lunch, the pitchers were dismissed and the position players broke into four groups, one on each of the four fields.  The coaches put them through some defensive drills while conducting batting practice.  

It was nice greeting the players back to Clearwater.  It was even nicer when a couple remembered me.  Some random observations –

  • Bailey Falter looks a little taller
  • Derick Hall is big
  • Kyle Young may have grown another inch
  • Sixto Sanchez still seems to be a short six footer
  • “C” Randolph has shed his contacts and is wearing glasses for the first time ever
  • Carlos Tocci looks the same, maybe a little thicker in his arms
  • Looks like C Greg Brodzinski is now officially a coach

And breaking news, I think.  The Phillies’ 15th round pick from the 2017 draft has apparently signed.  Alex Wojciechowski was in camp today and taking part in drills and BP. This means the Phillies have signed their top 22 draft picks from the 2017 amateur draft. Wojo is out of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  In his senior year, he hit .444 with 33 home runs and drove in 101 runs in 55 games.  The 6-foot-5, 230-pound, right-handed-hitting first baseman won five player of the year awards in D2.  Wojo suffered an elbow injury around draft day and initially went unsigned.

These are Randolph’s first batting practice swings.  You can’t see his glasses.  He made good contact and cleared the right field fence several times.  He looks a little stockier than I remember before he went to Lakewood.

Here’s a couple of Jose Pujols’ swings in his first BP session.  I had never seen the power in Clearwater that everybody talks about.  His pre-game batting sessions in Williamsport are legendary.  Well, today I finally saw Pujols’ power in action.  He must have cleared the fence a dozen times.  I stopped taking video so I could get a better position to watch the balls fly over the fence.  Most went to left center.  It was BP and he had a slight tail wind, but I’m looking forward to his presence in the Threshers’ line up this summer.

In the morning, the pitchers split up on three fields while the overflow from the big league camp took fielding, PFPs, and BP on Ashburn Field.

PFP’s on Ashburn. Ricardo Pinto on the mound.
Pitchers and coaches on Roberts. This is as close as I could get this morning.
Long toss on Schmidt.
And long toss on Carlton.

The group lists aren’t available yet.  But, the position players were sent to the fields in groups designated from 1 to 4.  They didn’t stand still long enough to make this easy, but I persevered and recorded all the players in each group.  Keep in mind that that these lists are fluid.  The first “cuts” from the major league camp are supposed to happen next week. The groups are as follows (group #, field, # of players, coach with the group, and the coach’s current assignment)-

  1. Roberts Field (16), looked like the Reading coaches – Joel Fisher, Austin Bossart, Kyle Martin, Wilson Garcia, Angelo Mora, Drew Stankiewicz, Malquin Canelo, Jorge Flores, Harold Martinez, Mitch Walding, Joey Curletta, Aaron Brown, Carlos Tocci, Herlis Rodriguez, Christian Marrero, Osmel Aguila
  2. Carlton Field (16), Shawn Williams (CLR) – Deivi Grullon, Gregori Rivero, Edgar Cabral, Damek Tomscha, Chandler Hall, Evan Rogers, Emmanuel Marrero, Jan Hernandez, Grenny Cumana, Danny Zardon, Zack Coppola, Jose Pujols, Mark Laird, “C” Randolph, Jiandido Tromp, Cord Sandberg
  3. Ashburn Field (17), Hector Berrios (WPT) – Brett Barbier, Henri Lartigue, Rodolfo Duran, Dan Garner, Edwin Rodriguez, Luis Espiritu, Daniel Brito, Arquimedes Gamboa, Jose Antequerra, Luke Williams, Darick Hall, Cole Stobbe, Jesus Alastre, Mickey Moniak, Luke Maglich, Carlos Duran, David Martinelli
  4. Schmidt Field (17), Roly de Armas (GCL) – Lenin Rodriguez, Rafael Marchan, Nerluis Martinez, Juan Aparicio, Caleb Eldridge, Greg Pickett, Luis Encarnacion, Enmannuel Garcia, Jonathan Guzman, Keudy Bocio, Raul Rivas, Malvin Matos, Jhailyn Ortiz, Simon Muzziotti, Josh Stephen, Ben Pelletier, Alex Wojciechowski

Players not listed include Zach Green and Juan Luis who I have seen here over the past few weeks.  I would guess they are on some sort of rehab.  Another not listed who may be here, but I didn’t see is Derek Campbell  who was with Clearwater last season.

LA players from the DSL or unassigned include C Juan Aparicio, C Rafael Marchan, IF Keudy Bocio, IF Jonathan Guzman, and OF Simon Muzziotti.

I would remind you that there will be a lot of movement among the groups as players return from the major league camp.  Most of the IronPigs roster is still up there.  If you like guessing at the rosters for the four full-season teams that will break camp soon after the Phillies do, consider that last year the Phillies released 28 players by March 31st, and traded one  and released 3 more by April 5th.



34 thoughts on “2017 Spring Training, 3/4

  1. FWIW I see the Phillies website is not as current as your PP report as it still lists Alex W as unsigned. So, assuming that he was not signed as of Aug 15 does that imply there is really no deadline for college seniors?

    1. It’s possible the Phillies signed him contingent on a physical after the signing date. If he wasn’t tendered due to the injury, he’d become a free agent wouldn’t he, and free to sign with anyone including the Phillies, wouldn’t he?

        1. I got this response from Matt Eddy – “Looks like he was a college senior in 2016, so he is not bound by the signing deadline. The Phillies control his rights and can sign him up through this spring.”

          1. Thanks very much for the research, Jim and good (though highly surprising) to know for future reference that with seniors the signing deadline doesn’t apply.

          2. JP….thanks, and that is interesting
            Seems he only played the one season as a senior in DivII ball at UMinny-Duluth and the three previous years at Concordia-St Paul. But wherever he played he packed the power. Also played ice hockey, but being from Minnesota I guess that is not unusual.

            1. Romus – He played at Duluth all four years. You can see stats from all four years on UMD’s website.

      1. It might be, if my amateurish perusal of the Draft rules as posted on the fallible internet are correct – he’d be a free agent able to sign with anyone except the Phillies. Regardless, you saw him – unlikely to be there for the free food. Maybe as you write, they signed him contingent on a physical before the signing date

  2. As always a great read. Headed down today for the week. Any tips for us the off day Monday would be welcome and appreciated.

    1. The Complex should be hoppin’ Monday. They’ve kept their schedules pretty close to the vest, but I would expect activity to start around 10:00AM with minor league groups on all four fields. The major league camp’s “off day” might see them out early at the Complex and possibly taking fielding and batting in Spectrum Field. If so, it may be open to the public. If I find anything definitive, I’ll post it in tonight’s “Open Discussion” article.

    2. Joe…my son and I are driving down from ATL on Monday and hope to run into you, Jim and all other PP readers this week. We will drive to Lakeland on Tues for sure. Not sure we will go to Orlando on Wed…may go to beach. But we will definitely be at the complex on Thursday and Friday.

  3. From CSNPhilly:

    “Alumni Day
    Sunday is Alumni Day in Clearwater and more than a dozen former Phillies greats including Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Dick Allen, John Kruk and Ron Clark will on hand for a pre-game honor.”

    I’m not sure I’d be so quick to include Ron Clark as a “former Phillies greats.” He’s borderline for the Phillies Wall of Fame, and its more unlikely than likely that his uniform number will ever get retired.


    1. When I read the CSN Philly report, I wondered how I didn’t remember Ron Clark as a Philly player. I see why. He struck out in his only AB as a Philly. It just wasn’t memorable enough.

  4. Looking at Pujols’ tall, wiry, slender frame and swing…sort of reminds me of a young Jay Alex Rios. Though Jose has had a lot more swing and miss in his profile so far, still hope he has some sort of similar success down the road.

  5. Jim – thanks for this great info, its appreciated. I’ll be down Thursday and I’ll try to say hello. Wojo put up some amazing numbers but he and Hall as college guys will have to move fast if there’s to be a future in baseball. Pujols still has a chance to be something and looks a bit stronger in your video. So, our 6’10” pitcher is now 6’11”? If he can throw a bit harder he could become something big…

    1. Before his physical he told someone he thought he might have grown. We’re waiting to see if they update his weight and measurement afterwards. Oh, “something big”. I get it.

  6. I don’t know if most people saw the ST game yesterday but there was a lot to like from our young players. Here are some brief observations:

    1. Drew Anderson is interesting. Right now he looks like another mid to back rotation pitcher, with the possible upside for more. Like virtually all of more our advanced young pitchers except Velasquez and Nola, he looks like a back to mid rotation starter unless he picks up somewhere between 2-3 MPH on his fastball from what I saw yesterday. He has a nice breaking ball and decent moving FB, both of which he commands pretty well and he is not afraid to pitch inside. I have to say, however, that while it’s great to have some mid to back rotation candidates, you don’t need 9 of them. One of the big challenges is to start developing more pitchers with top of the rotation potential – but I think the new regime gets this and is trying to do something about it. Kilome and Sanchez have the potential to break this trend and among the group we have now, it’s possible one or two might develop the stuff to break out of the routine starter mold. But we’re not there yet.

    2. Alfaro is just a freaking beast of a human being. I could see him doing okay for a while and then breaking out in a big way as a 24 or 25 year old like Gary Sanchez did for the Yankees. He needs to command the strike zone better and he needs to build a little lift in his swing. But the tools are elite almost across the board. Not good – elite. He hits the ball about as hard as anyone you will ever see.

    3. Crawford looks like he has gotten stronger in his legs and upper body. He is struggling with his swing right now, trying to figure out when to just make contact and when to drive the ball. Don’t be surprised if he’s in the minors this year longer than expected. But it’s probably not a bad thing – he’s still figuring out some high-level stuff. And don’t expect to be blown away when he is finally promoted. He’s not that kind of player – he does the little stuff extremely well and it’s going to take him time to learn when to turn on a pitch. I expect Crawford to be good his first year or so and then really start to emerge. But when he comes up, he will field so well and get on base so much that he will almost instantly be about a 3 WAR player, so it’s not a big deal.

    4. Dylan Cozens will probably need a full year in AAA – he still has a lot of work to do, although he’s got a lot of talent.

    5. Roman Quinn has surprising power – the ball he hit to left yesterday left the bat like a rocket. Like Scott Kingery (who I now LOVE as a prospect), it’s hard to watch him and not envision the damage he can do in all aspects of a baseball game.

    6. Aaron Altherr is damned good at baseball. He does so many things well – including run the bases, field, throw. I hope they give him enough at bats this year to show what he can do and I hope he can just make his hit tool average, because that’s all he needs to be a well above-average major league player.

  7. I’m really excited to read how the Lakewood roster is shaping up. Notesfromthesally.com has a great breakdown of what should be a fun team to follow this season, along with Lehigh. Lakewood may have Moniak, Stephen and possibly Ortiz in the OF; Brito, Stobbe, Gamboa, and Darick Hall in the IF; a rotation of Sixto, Gowdy, Medina, Falter & Romero.

    Question – any thoughts on Stephen compared to Randolph? They seem to share an identical profile. “C” is ranked much higher on most lists but I’m curious as to what separates them.

    1. It’s a pretty big jump from rookie ball to Lakewood – only the most elite players take this leap. Of last year’s stellar group in the GCL, I suspect that only Moniak and Sixto have a good chance of making it. I expect Gowdy, Brito, Stobbe and Stephen to take the normal route through Williamsport. If any of them do go to Lakewood, it would tell you that they are progressing extremely well. If you told me one guy would make, I would guess it would be Stobbe or Brito. I don’t see Gowdy skipping Williamsport.

    2. @8mark – i agree with catch here that Gowdy, Stobbe and Stephen will be in XST then start in WIL. But agree with you that Brito will start in LWD (to team up with his J2 colleague — Arquimedez Gamboa as the DP combo).

      I expect LWD to run a 6-man rotation of Medino-JoJo-Falter (and possibly Sixto) and any of Taveras, Paulino and Suarez.

      LWD’s IF will be Hall-Brito-Gamboa-Williams and OF of MickeyMo-Martinelli-Alastre (mix with Laird, Luis and Maglich).

  8. If WoJo and Cozens don’t make it as ballplayers, they can be bookend bouncers.

    I haven’t seen Darick Hall play, but I’ll be following him to see if he can develop into a productive power hitter.

  9. C’s bat really explodes through the zone..

    Wojo signing just adds to the huge depth at that position

    1. Both Hoskins and Cozens will have adjustment issues, but this afternoon Hoskins crushed a pitch over the Tiki bar. He has big power – like 65/70 power.

  10. Kyle Young…gaining another inch in height….Has there EVER been a MLB pitcher who scaled seven feet? When he releases the ball he must be half way to the plate…Hope he gets to Lakewood in ’17..Hoskins offers plenty of power and good strike zone awareness; he should be coming up during this season…sometime. Will Tommy Joseph hold off the challenge?
    I see small hope that Cozens will adjust to more of a combined contact AND power hitter without a strikeout in every third at bat.
    Kingery looks like his stay at Reading will be short….maybe 2 months…before he joins Crawford at LV. Valentin could hold that position until then.
    My biggest disappointment is Crawford at bat. To me, he looks lost with poor contact…so far. He surely needs sufficient time at LV to get into a groove and concentrate on contact with power to be added later.
    Also, Altherr needs more ST at bats. His power is obvious even if his contact rate needs improvement. A great defensive outfielder, he could be a late inning defensive move in RF…or give Herrera a day of rest in CF…or move in to replace an injured (or exhausted) outfielder…while at the same time play enough games to polish his offense.
    Drew Anderson looks like the real deal. Hope he can put together at least 150 innings at Reading/LV.

    1. I don’t think so. The tallest ever was Jon Rauch who was a pitcher. Randy Johnson is the tallest top level player at 6’10”. What amazes me is how accurate Young appears to be – this is very unusual for a young pitcher of that size.

        1. The tallest position player ever is/was Nate Freiman – who is 6’8″. Frank Howard was 6’7″ and I think Dylan Cozens may be that height (he’s enormous).

    2. My sense is that they are re-tooling Crawford’s swing to generate more power. Right now, it is too much of a defensive, inside-out swing. I would prefer that he strikeout slightly more and drive the ball better – his hand-eye coordination and strike zone judgment will carry him through. If he is trying to change his swing do not expect him to be promoted anytime soon – it’s almost impossible to work on your game during a major league season. That’s what the minors are for and, frankly, they shouldn’t be in any hurry this year. His development is the most important thing by far.

      1. With JP I wonder if it becomes a case of he is so close and he sees and hears all the expectations that he should be in Philly real soon. What does that do to your psyche…

        1. I think this is probably the first time in his life that all aspects of baseball did not come easily and naturally to him. It’s good that he learn to work through issues in the minor leagues. I’m still extremely bullish on him.

  11. Not worried about JP just yet. Wouldn’t bother me if his first 2 or 3 yrs in majors was as a bottom of lineup guy. He is young enough and sharp enough to grow into his offensive game by his mid-20s. Besides, he can still give you that one important AB in a game now.

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