Phillies’ Gabriel Rincones Jr. Is Just Scratching The Surface

After he was drafted by the Phillies in 2022, outfielder Gabriel Rincones Jr. missed his first minor league season with a shoulder injury. He didn’t mind waiting a bit.

Rincones has practiced patience throughout his life. A Venezuelan-American who was raised in Glenrothes, Scotland, he moved to the United States to pursue a baseball career. He was cut from his high school team. 

That didn’t deter him. Despite receiving no major college scholarship offers, Rincones spent long days at the batting cage, eventually working his way onto Florida Atlantic’s roster, where led his team with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2021.

The Phillies picked him in the third round of the draft, and he has quickly made the most of the opportunity. 

At Low-A Clearwater this season, the 22-year-old lefthanded batter hit .268/.412/496 with five home runs and 24 walks through 34 games.

Phillies farm director Preston Mattingly says that Rincones controls the zone well and has a chance to have plus, if not plus-plus, power. Because of his prior injury, the Phillies were easing him into the outfield by splitting his time between the corner outfield and DH. 

On the basepaths, Rincones has shown good instincts. He has average speed but gets good jumps. He was 17-for-20 on stolen bases. 

“I think with Gabe, he is just scratching the surface,” Mattingly said. “With him not taking any professional at-bats, and coming into pro ball essentially his first year and doing this . . .

“I think when he gets exposed to higher-level pitching and gets more at-bats, he’ll get better and better. And (he will) understand what pitches to do damage on and what pitches to leave alone. I think he’s at a really good spot right now.

“A lot of guys come into professional baseball and really struggle. They struggle with the quality of pitching, the pace of the game. But Gabe stepped right in. He transitioned pretty seamlessly. It’s been impressive.”

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