Lakewood, NJ - The Jersey Shore BlueClaws, Philadelphia Phillies High-A affiliate, have announced their roster for 2021 ahead of Minor League Baseball’s Opening Day on May 4.
The roster includes five of the Phillies top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline, including SS Bryson Stott (#3), OF Jhailyn Ortiz (#12), RHP Dominic Pipkin (#25), RHP Kevin Gowdy (#26), and RHP Victor Santos (#29).
The team's pitching staff includes righthanders Mike Adams, Ben Brown, Blake Brown, Kevin Gowdy, Jonathan Hughes, Adam Leverett, Brian Marconi, Tyler McKay, Jack Perkins, Dominic Pipkin, Mark Potter, Victor Santos, Noah Skirrow, Billy Sullivan, Aneurys Zabala, and Braden Zarbnisky, as well as southpaws Jhordany Mezquita and Josh Hendrickson.
Pipkin, the highest ranked prospect amongst the pitchers, was the Phillies ninth round pick in 2018 out of high school in California. In his rookie season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies, he posted an impressive 3.64 ERA, though he struggled during his sophomore campaign with the BlueClaws in 2019. Pipkin impressed during spring training this year with an improved 12-6 curveball and a fastball reaching the upper 90’s.
Santos, a 2016 International Free Agent signing from the Dominican Republic, has posted a 3.41 ERA over his three seasons with the organization. He allowed 11 home runs as a member of the BlueClaws in 2019, but has typically been lights out coming in from the bullpen.
Mike Adams story is one well worth following throughout the 2021 season. Just last year, Adams was pitching in a recreational men's baseball league in New Jersey. When the radar gun read a 98 MPH fastball, the Phillies called and signed him to a contract. The Egg Harbour, NJ native last pitched professionally with the independent Rockland Boulders back in 2016, and since opened up the Baseball Performance Center in Pleasantville, where he has coached some of the state's top young arms. Practicing what he preached, Adam's used the advanced metrics and technology at his fingertips to develop right alongside the players he coaches.
The BlueClaws pitching staff also includes five undrafted free agents from the 2020 class in Blake Brown (UNC-Asheville), Braden Zarbnisky (West Virginia University), Noah Skirrow (Liberty University), Billy Sullivan (University of Delaware) , and Jonathan Hughes (Georgia Tech).
Infielders set to begin the season with the Claws include Chris Cornelius, Nate Fassnacht, Jonathan Guzman, Rudy Rott, Cole Stobbe, and Bryson Stott.
Phillies 2019 first round draft pick Bryson Stott enters his first full professional season after hitting .295 across in 2019 between rookie ball and Low-A. The left handed hitting shortstop was tabbed by Baseball America as being the best hitter for average and best disciplined hitter in the Phils’ system, as well as the shortstop of the future for the big league club.
Covering the outfield at FirstEnergy Park will be Keaton Greenwalt, Hunter Hearn, and Jhailyn Ortiz.
Ortiz, a 2015 international signing from the Dominican Republic, hit 19 home runs with the High-A Clearwater Threshers in 2019, the second most in the league. At 6’3” 215 LBS, the power hitting right fielder has the best outfield arm in all of the Phillies organization according to Baseball America.
Rounding out the roster are catchers Vito Friscia, Herbert Iser, and Logan O'Hoppe.
O’Hoppe made a name for himself at the alternate site in 2020, and during big league spring training in 2021 where he hit a three-run homer against the Yankees. He was a 23rd round pick out of high school in 2018, and hit .367 in his first pro season with the Gulf Coast League Phillies. In 2019, he was a league All-Star as a member of the Williamsport Crosscutters.
Friscia was selected in the 40th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of Hofstra University in Long Island. With a chip on his shoulder as the 1200th draft pick of the draft, he made a statement with the bat in his first season, hitting .275 with three home runs in rookie ball.
BlueClaws Opening Night - Tuesday, May 4
BlueClaws Opening Day is Tuesday night, when they take on the Yankees affiliate Hudson Valley Renegades. Follow along on Jersey Sporting News all season long to stay on top of Minor League Baseball in New Jersey.