Thursday was an interesting day on the back fields of Phillies baseball. Certainly more interesting than watching the Phillies getting shutout by the Yankees across the way in Spectrum Field.
A Bryce Harper simulated game took place on Robin Roberts Field just before the start of the big league Grapefruit League game over on Spectrum Field. The Harper game did not disappoint. Harper drove the first pitch, off of minor league pitcher Gustavo Armas, over the left field fence. With the wind blowing in from right field, Harper knew it would be difficult to hit the ball out to his pull side, so he just went the other way.
In addition to Armas, Harper faced minor leaguer pitchers Alejandro Requena, Jose Taveras, Addison Russ and Trevor Bettencourt. No lefties. Still, it was a fun exercise to get Harper ready for his debut as the Phillies DH in Saturday’s game against the Blue Jays.
What interested me also were the catchers the Phillies assigned to Harper’s simulate game. Two of the catchers were Rodolfo Duran who caught Requena and Logan O’Hoppe who caught Taveras. These two are quickly emerging as two of the Phillies top catching prospects. Colby Finch also caught.
Watch HERE, Harper’s at bats when the battery was Requena and Duran and then when the battery was Taveras and O’Hoppe, HERE. Look at how they both framed pitches. We will hear a lot about these two young catchers in future seasons at the highest level.
With Harper signing a 13-year Phillies contract and the outstanding skill sets of young Duran and O’Hoppe, the right-field and catcher positions would appear be in good hands for many years over the next decade.