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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Leroy Ventress showed speed early on; Played nine seasons, made AA

Doug Gassaway proved a prolific scout for the Phillies in the 1980s and among the players he helped into the Philadelphia system was Louisianan Leroy Ventress, The Philadelphia Daily News wrote.

At just 17, Ventress showed potential and speed, The Daily News wrote.

"Gassaway went back into that bayou and lifted up a slimy old rock and he found Leroy Ventress under it," Phillies player personnel advisor Hugh Alexander told The Daily News. "And that's what great scouting is all about, lifting up rocks and finding players nobody else knows about under them."

Ventress went on to play in nine pro seasons, but he never made what scouting is really all about, the majors. He topped out at AA.

Ventress' career began in 1986, taken by the Phillies in the 25th round of the draft out of Shady Grove High School in Louisiana.

Ventress started with the Phillies at short-season Bend. He got into 38 games and hit .261. He stole six bases. He remained in short-season for 1987 and 1988, at Utica and Batavia. He hit .251 over 70 games at Batavia and stole 36 bases.

For 1989, he moved to single-A Spartanburg. He stole 42 bases in 136 games, while he hit .279. He also overcame an early season slump, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal wrote.

"I'm being too analytical," Ventress told The Herald-Journal. "I want to hit the perfect pitch. So I let one or two pitches go by, and all of a sudden I'm in the hole."

Ventress played an abbreviated 1990 at high-A Clearwater, then returned there for all of 1991. He hit .240 in 122 games and stole 35 bases. That season marked his last with the Phillies.

He returned to the field in 1993, getting 17 games with the Cubs at high-A Daytona. He then played 62 games at independent Brainerd and 11 with the Expos at AA Harrisburg in 1995 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,746
Made the Majors:1,269-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,477-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

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