Named after Joe Torre, the diminutive 22-year-old backstop and former high school star was a third-round pick of the Marlins in the 2006 draft. The move was first reported by Baseball America.
The 5-9, 175-pound catcher had been a disappointment in his short career, never making it higher than Class-A Greenboro and compiling a .222/.250/.337 in 854 career plate appearances, with traces of pop, but no speed. He was released by Florida earlier this month. A member of the USA Baseball Junior National Team in 2005, he’s always been a highly regarded defender. Baseball America rated his arm and overall defense as the best in the country among high school players in 2006. For the Phillies, he’ll most likely serve a back-up role somewhere in the low minors.
The Phillies have added and subtracted an absolute ton of minor league catching this off-season as they try to piece together what has arguably become the weakest position in the entire chain. With the trade of top-rated catcher Travis d’Arnaud to Toronto, don’t be surprised if the Phillies burn their first June pick on a catcher, perhaps even a proven college commodity.