According to their transaction trackers on MLB.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have released four players from the high minor leagues. With the recently-signed draft picks beginning to enter the farm system, there were a handful of players that got squeezed out of jobs thanks to all of the moving parts around the organization. Here is a recap of who got let go:
- Catcher John Hicks
- Right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson
- Right-handed pitcher Jacob Barnes
- Outfielder Ryan Holgate
Of the quartet, only Hicks and Barnes have big league experience under their belts and they're serviceable veterans who shouldn't have any issues latching on with a new club. As a matter of fact, Barnes has already signed a minor league deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, per their player development's Twitter account. The 33-year-old has seven years of major league time under his belt and made just 11 appearances for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate before he was let go.
For Hicks, the six-year big league veteran has once again hit the open market, becoming a free agent for the third straight season. The 33-year-old functioned in something of a leadership role in Lehigh Valley but simply did not produce enough to be kept around. In 54 games, Hicks hit three home runs with 23 RBI and a .616 OPS. He has long been lauded for his work behind the plate and calling games, so he should not be a free agent for very long.
Thompson, 28, is not the Jake Thompson that played for the Phillies from 2016-2018, but a different right-hander of the same exact name. The former had been a part of the Red Sox minor league system for many years before being released earlier this year and latching on with the Phillies a month later. However, he made it into just five games in Double-A Reading before once again being let go, and the numbers he posted tell you why. In seven innings of work, Thompson surrendered 13 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits, including a home run. He also walked nine batters while striking out only eight, suggesting a complete lack of command on his pitches. He will return to the open market for the second time in 2023.
Holgate, 23, is the youngest of the group and had the smallest sample size in the organization before his release. A former farmhand of the Cardinals, Holgate made it into just seven games for the Phillies down in Rookie Ball, going 2-for-22 (.091 average) with a .291 OPS before being cut loose.