Phillies Notes: Phillies release former top pick Hewitt

Posted: June 14, 2014

Anthony Hewitt, selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2008 draft, was always viewed by the Phillies as a long-term project. He was a 19-year-old shortstop from a prep school in Connecticut, but the team's amateur scouts envisioned an athletic player who could one day harness his tools.

But Hewitt never hit, and he was released Thursday from high-A Clearwater. The 25-year-old outfielder struck out in 33 percent of his career minor-league plate appearances. He never batted above .244 in a season.

He showed flashes of promise at double-A Reading in 2013. He used a hitter's park to his advantage and hit 16 homers in 116 games. Hewitt returned to Reading to start 2014. The results were dismal. He was demoted to Clearwater last week and struck out 15 times in 31 at-bats there.

That, the Phillies decided, was enough.

Hewitt signed for $1.38 million in 2008. The Phillies thought he could play third base, but that experiment was shelved after 76 games at the position. He was a high-risk, high-reward pick who failed.

Ruf's wrist

Darin Ruf suffered a small fracture in his left wrist when he ran into a wall at triple-A Lehigh Valley more than a week ago, the Phillies said. His timetable for a return to the Phillies remains unknown. The team believes the wrist injury is not as serious as the one he suffered to his right knee on the same play.

Ruf was hurt June 3 in the first inning of his first game with the IronPigs after a demotion.

Picks sign

The Phillies have signed 19 of their 40 picks from last week's draft. Eight of the top 10 selections have agreed to deals. The two who are unsigned are the second- and third-round selections.

Eighteen of the 19 signees played in college. The lone high school pick to sign was righthander Sam McWilliams, an eighth-rounder from Tennessee.

Extra bases

Cliff Lee (strained left elbow) played catch again Thursday. "He came out fine," manager Ryne Sandberg said. Lee is still at least three weeks from returning. . . . The Phillies have played 34 home games and have drawn an average of 8,357 fewer fans per game compared with the first 34 games in 2013.

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