So, it's that time again...We are within two weeks of the start of Spring Training, and Phillies Collectors everywhere are preparing their first round of TTM requests for the the 2013 team. I started sending my requests earlier this week - with a few more to follow over the next week or two. This post will help answer questions Phillies fans may have regarding Spring Training TTM...
When to send:
Across Major League Baseball, when it comes to Spring Training TTM, earlier is better...and the Phillies are no exception. If you have not yet started sending out your letters, don't panic! Based on previous experiences, my general rule is to have everything out by Valentine's Day, and nothing after March 1st.
Where to send:
The Phillies have two unique addresses for both the Major and Minor League camps. It may work to only send to the MLB camp, but I have (successfully) used the Minor League address for those who on on not on the Major League camp roster.
Major League Camp -
Bright House Field
601 N. Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
Minor League Camp -
Paul Owens Training Facility at Carpenter Complex
651 N. Old Coachman Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
It's hard to predict. Historically the Phillies have not been the best TTM targets. However, with the recent influx of younger players, the past two years have not been too bad. Of course, there are always surprise signers (a la Brad Lidge last year), who go on a signing-binge after many dry years. My general recommendations are:
- Young players such as Justin DeFratus, Cody Asche, Tommy Joseph and Phillippe Aumont
- Current Phils with good TTM success rates, like Mike Stutes, Erik Kratz or Kevin Frandsen
- Former Phils with good TTM success rates, like Ty Wigginton and Juan Pierre
- Minor Leaguers. I am sending to Justin Friend and Jiwan James
- Charlie Manuel - but only in the first few weeks of camp. Around March 1st he switches to pre-print postcards
- Retired players who are now Major/Minor League coaches
- Anyone you might consider a "star". Rollins, Howard, Halladay, etc will not sign TTM. The team sends pre-print postcards with a note stating they are too busy to sign.