Phillies Sign Outfielder Matt Szczur to Minor-League Deal
The Phillies have signed a South Jersey native, Villanova University alumnus, and former teammate of trade target 3B Kris Bryant to a minor-league deal.
As one former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher from South Jersey recently joined Gabe Kapler‘s coaching staff in San Francisco, another from the Garden State signed with the team on Friday: outfielder Matt Szczur.
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The signing, reported by NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury, is a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. Szczur, 30, is a five-year veteran that over 363 games has slashed .231/.312/.255 with 31 doubles, 12 home runs, 61 RBI, 65 walks and 133 strikeouts spanning 667 plate appearances.
"On the football field, Szczur was a dynamic receiver and return specialist for Villanova’s 2009 NCAA FCS national championship team. He racked up 270 all-purpose yards in the title game win over Montana and was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.On the baseball field, Szczur was an all-Big East player and a fifth-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2010. He played in 107 games for the Cubs team that won the World Series in 2016.Szczur’s accomplishments extend beyond the playing field.Off the field, he did something extraordinary when he took time off from his junior year baseball season at Villanova in 2010 to donate bone marrow that ultimately helped save the life of a young girl from Ukraine who had battled leukemia. Szczur’s life-saving gift started with his involvement in the Andy Talley Bone Marrow Foundation. Talley was Szczur’s football coach at Villanova. Szczur has subsequently started his own charitable enterprise, the Szcz The Day Foundation."
From 2017 to 2018 with the San Diego Padres, the Cape May, New Jersey, native combined for 20 extra-base hits and 21 RBI over 161 games. Szczur previously played in parts of four seasons with the Chicago Cubs (2014-17), where he slashed .243/.295/.370 in 202 games.
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The Villanova University alumnus signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks nearly one year ago, but never appeared in the majors; in 44 games at Triple-A Reno, he slashed an impressive .322/.390/.577 with eight home runs and 28 RBI, but missed time due to a quad injury.
Szczur was teammates with rumored Phillies trade target 3B Kris Bryant on the Cubs for three seasons, 2015 to 2017.