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Former BlueClaws Earn Invites to Phillies Spring Training

January 19, 2024

JERSEY SHORE, NJ - Several former BlueClaws earned non-roster invitations to Phillies Spring Training, it was announced by the Phillies on January 18th.

JERSEY SHORE, NJ - Several former BlueClaws earned non-roster invitations to Phillies Spring Training, it was announced by the Phillies on January 18th.

(Years with BlueClaws)

Mick Abel, RHP (2022) – The 22-year-old made 23 combined starts last season between double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley and tallied 132 strikeouts in 113.1 innings pitched, while holding the 482 batters he faced to a .192 batting average. He allowed three earned runs or fewer in 18 of his 23 starts last year, two earned runs or fewer in 17 of 23 and one earned run or none in 12 of 23. Born in Portland, Ore., Abel was the starting pitcher for the National League in the 2023 All-Star Futures Game and earned the win with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts. He was also named an MiLB.com Organization All-Star. The 15th overall selection by the Phillies in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Abel is ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the Phillies minor league system, and No. 45 in baseball, by MLB Pipeline.

Carlos De La Cruz, OF (2019, 2021)– The 24-year-old spent the 2023 season with double-A Reading, where he earned Eastern League Postseason All-Star honors after slashing .259/.344/.454 over 129 games. A native of Yonkers, N.Y., De La Cruz led the EL in hits (132) and total bases (231), finished second in extra-base hits (50) and runs scored (80) and tied for third in home runs (24). From May 12 through June 25, he posted a 38-game on-base streak (.897 OPS) which was the longest such streak in the EL in 2023 and the longest for a Reading player since 2009. Originally signed by the Phillies as a non-drafted free agent on Aug. 23, 2017, De La Cruz enters the 2024 season rated the best power hitter in the club’s minor league system by Baseball America and the No. 6 prospect in the system as rated by MLB.com.

Scott Kingery, INF/OF (2015) – Kingery, 29, spent last season with triple-A Lehigh Valley where he slashed .244/.325/.400 in 117 games. His 68 runs scored for the IronPigs were second-most on the club and he was successful in 24 of his 25 (96.0%) stolen base attempts while setting an IronPigs franchise record with 23 consecutive stolen bases. Defensively, he appeared in 64 games at shortstop, 37 at second base and 18 in center field. A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Kingery was originally selected by the Phillies in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Matt Kroon, OF (2018) – A native of Scottsdale, Ariz., Kroon began the 2023 season with double-A Reading where he led the Eastern League with a .319 batting average over 79 games. Named an Organization All-Star by MiLB.com, Kroon, 27, was promoted to triple-A Lehigh Valley in August, where he hit safely in his first 13 games. Overall, his 31 doubles in 2023 were tied for the lead among all Phillies minor leaguers. Originally selected by the Phillies in the 18th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, Kroon appeared in 18 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League following the season.

Griff McGarry, RHP (2021, 2022)– McGarry, 24, pitched exclusively as a starter last season, making 17 starts and averaging 12.15 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched (81 SO, 60.0 IP). He pitched across three levels, making starts for single-A Clearwater (one), double-A Reading (13) and triple-A Lehigh Valley (three). He was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Month in July as he went 1-1 with a 2.01 ERA (5 ER, 22.1 IP) and 32 strikeouts. On July 21 at Altoona, he picked up the win with 7.0 scoreless innings, no walks and 10 strikeouts. McGarry, born in San Francisco, Calif., was a fifth-round selection by the Phillies in the 2021 MLB Draft out of the University of Virginia.

Tyler McKay, RHP (2019, 2021, 2022) – McKay, 26, pitched in relief last year between two levels, double-A Reading and triple-A Lehigh Valley. He combined to post a 2.60 ERA (16 ER, 55.1 IP) in 48 games with eight saves, 56 strikeouts and only three home runs allowed. In nine games during the month of June for Reading, he posted a 1.74 ERA (2 ER, 10.1 IP) with 15 strikeouts to one walk and converted all three of his save opportunities. McKay, a native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was a 16th-round selection by the Phillies in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Howard Junior College (Texas).

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