Jersey Shore BlueClaws 2024 roster: Top Phillies outfield prospect to keep an eye on

The Phillies' High-A affiliate has five Top 30 prospects on the roster to open the 2024 season, including the No. 4 prospect.
Philadelphia Phillies No. 4 prospect Justin Crawford will begin the season with the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws.
Philadelphia Phillies No. 4 prospect Justin Crawford will begin the season with the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws. / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Jersey Shore BlueClaws, the Philadelphia Phillies' High-A affiliate, announced its roster on April 1 for the 2024 regular season. The BlueClaws begin the season with five of Philadelphia's MLB Pipeline Top 30 prospects. The club's first contest is on Friday, April 5, at 6:35 p.m. ET versus the Aberdeen IronBirds at ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakewood, NJ.

Jersey Shore finished first in the South Atlantic League North Division during the 2023 season with a record of 73-58. The BlueClaws lost to the Hudson Valley Renegades in a best-of-three series, 2-1, to determine which team would advance to the South Atlantic League Championship series.

Pitchers: Samuel Aldegheri, Jean Cabrera, Eiberson Castellano, Starlyn Castillo, Jack Dallas, Braedan Fausnaught, Daniel Harper, Nathan Karaffa, Charles King, Estibenzon Jimenez, Gunner Mayer, Wesley Moore, Jonathan Petit, Alex Rao, Mason Ronan, Andrew Walling, Danny Wilkinson

Catchers: Jordan Dissin, Ryan Leitch, Andrick Nava

Infielders: Zach Arnold, William Bergolla, Erick Brito, Chad Castillo, Felix Reyes, Bryan Rincon

Outfielders: Emaarion Boyd, Justin Crawford, Cade Fergus, Hendry Mendez, Leandro Pineda, Troy Schreffler

Top prospects Phillies fans should keep an eye on this season

The player that Phillies fans are most familiar with is outfielder Justin Crawford. The speedy 20-year-old enters the season as the No. 4 prospect in the organization. His estimated time of arrival to the majors is 2026, and Philly has expectations for him.

The Phillies could have two exciting outfielders for several seasons in Crawford and center fielder Johan Rojas. In a piece by The Athletic's Matt Gelb, Preston Mattingly, Philadelphia's assistant general manager who looks after their farm system, commented that the Phoenix, Arizona native can hit for power but needs to improve on his quality of contact in 2024.

“The thing that’s been very encouraging is the impact is there," Mattingly said, per Gelb. "We’ve seen the exit velocity. The power is going to be there. Right now, it’s been a quality of contact (issue). He hits a lot of balls in the ground. We’re well aware of it. Justin’s well aware of it.”

Crawford played in 87 games last year — 69 with the Clearwater Threshers and 18 as a member of the BlueClaws. He had a stat line of .344/.399/.478 with a .877 OPS in Clearwater. Forty of his 47 stolen bases occurred with the Threshers. The 17th overall pick by the Phillies in the 2022 MLB Draft finished with a .288/.366/.425 and an OPS of .791 in 18 contests with Jersey Shore. He could be promoted to the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils during the season, considering his talent.

Phillies No. 8 prospect Bryan Rincon made his debut with the BlueClaws along with Crawford on Aug. 16 of last year. The 20-year-old infielder had a .234/.368/.361 line in 99 contests — 81 with the Threshers and 18 with Jersey Shore.

Per Gelb, Mattingly said people will know who he is soon because he is a smart player: "He’s very smart on the field. High IQ. Really good at-bat taker. Makes a lot of contact. There’s some stuff they’re working on, just making the path a little bit more efficient. Just to help him clean up a few things offensively. When you watch him play, he almost becomes your favorite player to watch because he does everything right.”

Infielder William Bergolla is the club's No. 12 prospect. In 55 contests with the Threshers last year, the shortstop/second baseman had a .255/.351/.286 line along with a .637 OPS. The 19-year-old moved to second base in 2023 after playing at shortstop previously. He had 20 RBI and 30 walks as well.

Outfielder Emaarion Boyd, the Phillies' No. 17 prospect, is another player known for his ability to steal bases, like Crawford. The native of Batesville, Mississippi, had 56 stolen bases in 74 attempts, which led the Florida State League. His stat line was .262/.366/.324 along with a .690 OPS in 91 contests last year in Clearwater.

Samuel Aldegheri will be the BlueClaws' starting pitcher on Opening Day. The left-hander is the No. 24 prospect in 2024 and spent time with Clearwater and Jersey Shore last year.

Aldegheri appeared in 20 contests and made 19 starts. He finished with a 4-1 record, 99 strikeouts, a 4.20 ERA, and a 1.35 WHIP. Gelb wrote that the 22-year-old is capable of being a starting pitcher and was throwing harder in preparation for the start of the season.