As the Phillies minor league camp finished up its first week, it is alway interesting to watch the 150 or so players who began camp. Particularly, the first year camp guys and the long time players though still young will become soon six-year free agents.
Two newcomers I have watched are the 16-year-old, $4.1 million international free agent, right fielder Jhailyn Ortiz and 23-year-old, 10th round 2015 draft pick, second baseman, Josh Tobias out of college ball.
Finally, I saw Ortiz hit the ball and hit it hard yesterday as he lined a double on Carlton Field against the Pirates. Watch HERE. He has struggled defensively in right field but at only 16 he has a bright future ahead of him. Read HERE. I would expect Ortiz to play in extended spring training.
Until the last several weeks I only saw Tobias play in the few Williamsport games that were on MiLB-TV. Then, he opened my eyes in the Sunday game against the Canadian National Junior team when the lined a triple to the gap in right, the hardest hit ball I have seen all spring. Again yesterday Tobias lined another triple this time to the corner in right at Roberts Field again the Pirates. Watch HERE. He can flat out hit a baseball. He could move up the system to the Clearwater Threshers quickly.
On the other side of the coin are two pitchers who are in their sixth seasons with the Phillies and will become free agents likely next season, 23 year-old Ranfi Casimiro and 22 year-old Alejandro Arteaga.
They have been our friends since they pitched in the Gulf Coast League four seasons ago. This season will be very important to both of them. Casimiro would seem likely to be part of the Clearwater Threshers starting staff and Arteaga could catch on as a reliever.
Ortiz, Tobias, Casimiro and Arteaga represent just four of the many players in the minor league camp with a lot on the line before the minor league camp breaks on April 2nd.