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Minor league camp is open and the Phillies announced their initial work groups

Minor leaguers are set to report to spring training and their work groups are set. Don't know what work groups are? No worries. We'll explain it all to you.

What is a work group?

A work group is basically what the name implies. It's a group of players that are set to work out and play in games together. The players are very loosely grouped in minor league classifications. In other words, Work Group 1 is considered Triple-A, Work Group 2 is Double-A and so on. That doesn't mean that a player in group one is automatically headed for Lehigh Valley when the season begins. For instance, Austin Bossart is in group one, but he's not heading to Triple-A to open the season. 

Right now, there are four work groups, but an additional group may be added as players are moved around. That group would be mostly younger players likely headed for either Williamsport or the Gulf Coast League.

Is every minor league player listed?

No. Any player who is currently in major league camp, like J.P. Crawford isn't on a minor league work group. If and when they are reassigned to minor league camp, they'll be placed into a group. Also, some players are left off the work group list, because they're either doing rehab work or are working on something specific with other coaches at the complex.

Why does it matter who is where?

In some respects, it's not a big deal, although it is sort of interesting, especially for some players. It's very rare that a player is in a group lower than where they're likely to start the season. For instance, if a top prospect like Crawford or Nick Williams, who both played at Double-A last season, are sent down, they're not going to be placed lower than group one, maybe two if there is a specific reason like learning a new position or something. So, if you're in group one, you're facing better competition once games begin. In some cases, they may be challenging a player to show what they can do. Jesmuel Valentin being in group one comes to mind. Valentin played 31 games at Clearwater last season before being suspended for domestic abuse charges. Putting him in group two (Double-A) would have made sense, but he's being given a look with the group one players.

Some observations: Infielder Carlos Alonso suffered a serious knee injury last season, missing most of the year. Not only is he healthy enough to be playing, but the Phillies have placed him in group one, which is a good sign. International signees Rafael Marchan and Jhailyn Ortiz are both in camp and assigned to group four. The Phillies want an early look at them in games and there might be at least a thought about not keeping them in extended camp once the season begins.

So, let's get to it. Who is where?

Group One

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS: Jeremy Bleich, Miguel Gonzalez, Matt Hockenberry, Ben Lively, Miguel Nunez, Ryan O'Sullivan, Nick Pivetta, John Richy, Yacksel Rios, Mark Leiter

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS: Joey Denato, Cody Forsythe, Edgar Ibarra, Lino Martinez, Hoby Milner, Ken Roberts, Joely Rodriguez, Anthony Vasquez, Tom Windle

CATCHERS: Austin Bossart, Joel Fisher, Wilson Garcia, Chace Numata

INFIELDERS: Carlos Alonso, Art Charles, Jake Fox, Tommy Joseph, Harold Martinez, Angelo Mora, K.C. Serna, Jesmuel Valentin

OUTFIELDERS: Aaron Brown, Dylan Cozens, Christian Marrero, Cam Perkins, Brian Pointer, Andrew Pullin

Group Two

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS: Victor Arano, Harold Arauz, Ranfi Casimiro, Tom Eshelman, Ulises Joaquin, Will Morris, Jairo Munoz, Ricardo Pinto, Calvin Rayburn, Alexis Rivero, Jesen Therrien, Alberto Tirado, Tyler Viza, Shane Watson

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS: Jesus Chavez, Austin Davis, Elniery Garcia, Harold Guerrero, Matt Imhof, Brandon Leibrandt

CATCHERS: Deivy Grullon, Jose Mayorga, Jesus Posso

INFIELDERS: Derek Campbell, Malquin Canelo, Zach Green, Rhys Hoskins, Scott Kingery, Drew Stankiewicz, Mitch Walding

OUTFIELDERS: Chase Harris, Sam Hiciano, Mark Laird, Herlis Rodriguez, Cord Sandberg, Carlos Tocci, Jiandido Tromp

Group Three

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS: Alejandro Arteaga, Ismael Cabrera, Victor Delgado, Mitch Gueller, Franklyn Kilome, Kenny Koplove, Luke Leftwich, Sutter McLoughlin, Adonis Medina, Luis Morales, Anthony Sequeira, Robert Tasin, Keviin Walsh, Jacob Waguespack, Jason Zgardowski

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS: Tyler Gilbert, Denton Keys, Zach Morris, Scott Harris

CATCHERS: Greg Brodzinski, Edgar Cabral, Rodolfo Duran, Gregori Rivero

INFIELDERS: William Cuicas, Grenny Cumana, Brendon Hayden, Jan Hernandez, Emmanuel Marrero, Kyle Martin, Josh Tobias, Damek Tomscha

OUTFIELDERS: Andrew Amaro, Venn Biter, Zach Coppola, Carlos Duran, Jose Pujols, Cornelius Randolph, Reginald Wilson

Group Four

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS: Steiner Carmona, Seranthony Dominguez, Edgar Garcia, Carlos Indriago, Geury Ortiz, Felix Paulino, Horace Stubblefield, Andrew Anderson

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS: Bailey Falter, Evan Crower, Nick Fanti, Ryan Frankoff, Andrew Godail, Oskerlly Sanchez, Jeff Singer, William Stewart, Ranger Suarez, Jose Taveras

CATCHERS: Rafael Marchan, Nerluis Martinez, Lenin Rodriguez

INFIELDERS: Jose Antequera, Dylan Bosheers, Daniel Brito, Luis Encarnacion, Luis Espiritu, Arquismedez, Gamboa, Edwin Rodriguez, Scott Tomassetti, Lucas Williams, Timothy Zier

OUTFIELDERS: Jesus Alastre, Enmanuel Garcia, Juan Luis, Bryan Martelo, Jhailyn Ortiz, Greg Pickett, Jake Sweaney

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