Former Philadelphia Phillies prospect joins Ben Francisco in Angels front office

General view of a Los Angeles Angels baseball hat and glove (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
General view of a Los Angeles Angels baseball hat and glove (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

A couple of familiar Phillies faces are now in the Angels front office

Former Philadelphia Phillies prospect and 2019 La Salle University alumnus — right-handed reliever Connor Hinchliffe — has joined the Los Angeles Angels as a pitching analyst.

Hinchliffe announced the news earlier this week, sharing his excitement while adding that he is “extremely grateful” for the opportunity. “I can’t wait to compete for a World Series ring next season in Anaheim,” he said.

Among Hinchliffe’s new Angels colleagues includes former Phillies outfielder Ben Francisco, who serves as a special assistant to the general manager. Notably, the last postseason game the Phillies won — more than 10 years ago in the 2011 NLDS — is dubbed as the “Ben Francisco Game.”

Playing away with the series tied 1-1, Francisco launched a three-run home run in the top of the seventh to break a scoreless tie. The Phillies went on to win, 3-2, but fall in the series finale — of which infamously featured Roy Halladay’s last postseason appearance as well as Ryan Howard’s career-changing injury.

Hinchliffe has followed quite the path over the past decade. From 2012-15, he attended Pottsville Area High School — located about 100 miles from Citizens Bank Park — before going on to attend La Salle University to obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree in biology. At the same time, Hinchliffe played catcher and, later, reliever positions for the La Salle Explorers; and, for four months, he served as Athletic Operations Assistant. This experience was Hinchliffe’s first taste of the “front office.”

About one year after joining the Phillies organization as a professional minor-leaguer in June 2019, Hinchliffe was named La Salle’s Director of Player Development due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling his 2020 season. Among his responsibilities included pitch development and strategy, as well as biomechanics using advanced technology. Hinchliffe later interned for Driveline Baseball — which has a strong presence in the Phillies minor-league structure and similarly focuses on innovative data-driven player development.

After officially hanging up his cleats this past June, Hinchliffe became Driveline’s full-time throwing trainer and was based in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, he has returned to the pros — this time for the American League West-based Los Angeles Angels.

Hinchliffe played in just 16 professional games in the Phillies organization for the GCL Phillies West in 2019. Across 16 games and 24 2/3 innings, he posted a 1.82 ERA and 1.257 WHIP ratio, striking out as many batters as he walked (17). Now just 25 years old, it is good to see he wasted no time to find a new career path that he seems to be passionate about, while still in baseball.

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