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Jim Furtado
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The Athletic Newsbeat

Friday, December 16, 2022

Phillies rethink minor-league hitting program in hopes of producing more homegrown bats

Getting everyone on the same page sounds great but the execution of the plan is will be difficult.

“You can talk about the old adage: The hardest thing to do in sports is to hit major-league pitching,” Barber said. “As a scout, I believe the second-hardest thing is to try to identify players that will end up hitting. … (But) there are things that lead you to believe in a player’s (hitting) ability.

“Before, it was just, you hand it over to player development. And then they develop him from there, regardless of what you thought on the scouting end. I don’t believe those two things are mutually exclusive or independent of each other. They have to work together.”

Barber, since assuming control of the club’s drafts, has valued bigger tools and players with higher upside (and higher risk) than the previous regime. The Phillies have a philosophy for what they value in hitters, but Barber admitted, “I don’t know that it’s been fully implemented yet.” For now, they will lean on the standard buzzwords.

“We want guys to make consistent contact and hit the ball hard,” Murton said. “That is going to be the main thing. But it’s more, like, how do we get there? I think that’s where with Barber leading the draft, then me overseeing the development side of it, putting guys in positions to do that. Having them buy into what you’re trying to get them to do will hopefully get you to where you want to go.”

Contact will be a point of emphasis — not that it wasn’t before.

“You look at prospects throughout the game that end up not making it, I feel like a lot of times from a hitting perspective, they don’t make it because they don’t make enough contact,” Murton said. “Their physical ability is definitely present. But they just don’t have enough ability to find the bat on the ball.”

jimfurtado Posted: December 16, 2022 at 08:00 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: pay site, phillies, player development, the athletic



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