The Philadelphia Phillies had an interesting draft this year, and reactions from evaluators were so-so. However, one of their draftees began his professional career in a big way on Tuesday, as he hammered his way to a four-hit debut.
Caleb Ricketts, who the Phillies selected in the seventh round, sprayed four singles on Tuesday. Often praised for his ability to create quality contact, it’s no shock that Ricketts came out swinging in his premiere.
While the 22-year-old out of California is currently slated as a catcher, there is speculation he could move to an outfield spot further down the road. However, the Phillies do have a knack for developing catchers, so he certainly could stick at the position.
Other Top Stories:
Triple-A: Marchan Reaches Base Four Times, Dodges Trade Deadline
Rafael Marchan has battled injury this season, but is finally righting the ship with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He posted three hits on Tuesday and walked once, reaching four times, scoring twice, and driving in a run.
It is key that the 23-year-old was able to avoid the trade deadline, Marchan is far more valuable to the Phillies than he was by other teams, and rightfully so. Switch-hitting catchers are a rarity, especially when they can actually hit, as Marchan has proven he can at the MLB level. Marchan also excels defensively and can handle a pitching staff, making him a truly formidable backstop.
His top catching prospect counterpart in Logan O’Hoppe was not so lucky, and headed to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for center fielder Brandon Marsh.
Marchan is a very similar player to O’Hoppe: he boasts far less power, but makes up for it with a superior hit tool, and similar plate discipline. It will be fascinating to see how the Phillies utilize Marchan from here on out, but fans should be glad they didn’t end up giving away the young and promising backstop.
Double-A: De La Cruz Notches First Double-A Hit
Many suspected that Carlos De La Cruz’s promotion to Reading spelled doom for one of the level’s current outfielders, but that turned out not to be the case. Instead, De La Cruz got the start at DH on Tuesday, and notched his first hit at the level.
It will be fascinating to see how the 22-year-old makes use of Reading’s hitter’s park, as well as how he manages his plate discipline after such a big leap. He ended his stint with Jersey Shore on a high note, but will be facing much more difficult pitching competition in the upper-minors.
High-A: Garcia Hopes to Figure it Out
Luis Garcia has been an oft-talked-about Phillies prospect for years now. His plus-glove at shortstop and solid contact tool made him a high-profile name from the get-go, but he has since faded across Phillies’ system rankings. He recorded two hits for the Jersey Shore BlueClaws on Tuesday, including a triple.
It’s been a tough road for Garcia: between the journey of adding extra muscle to his frame, the lost minor league year in 2020, and injuries he’s faced in 2022, finding consistency has been difficult for the 21-year-old.
Still, he is loaded with promise, and will hope the second half of the season is kind to him.
Scroll to Continue
Single-A: Cade Fergus Launches First Career Homer
Caleb Ricketts wasn’t the only Phillies draftee to have themselves a strong professional debut—Cade Fergus joined in on the party, launching his first career home run.
The Phillies selected Fergus out of George Washington in the 13th round. He has a dynamic skillset: plus-plus speed, a solid glove, and plus raw power. He fits the same mold as the Phillies tenth round pick of 2021, Logan Cerny, who was since moved to the Houston Astros in the Garrett Stubbs trade.
Fergus will be one to watch as time passes. Scouts like his ceiling, though his floor is cavernous, so it will all come down to development.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs vs. Syracuse Mets: W 13-6
UTIL Dalton Guthrie – 1-for-3, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB
C Donny Sands – 2-for-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB
Reading Fightin Phils vs. Hartford Yard Goats: L 2-4
OF Simon Muzziotti – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 K
RHP Noah Skirrow – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Jersey Shore BlueClaws vs. Hudson Valley Renegades: L 2-8
OF Marcus Lee Sang – 0-for-3, K
OF Jared Carr – 2-for-4, R, 2 K
Clearwater Threshers vs. Tampa Tarpons: W 9-1
OF Chad Castillo – 2-for-6, RBI
LHP Scott Moss – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 3 K
More From SI’s Inside The Phillies:
- How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
- Have the Philadelphia Phillies Found Their Centerfielder of the Future?
- Andrew Painter is Off to a Historic Start
- Could The Phillies Soon Be Playing in Wawa Park?
- 18-Year-Old Phillies Prospect is Making History
- How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
- How the Phillie Phanatic Came to be America’s Favorite Sports Mascot
- This Unlikely Draft Pick Could be the Final Piece in the Phillies Next Blockbuster Trade
- Picking the Phillies’ All-Time Single Season Lineup
- Drawing Comparisons to Harper, Phillies Prospect Wilson is Heating Up
Make sure to follow Inside the Phillies on Substack and Twitter!