Phillies Add Villanova Alum, Cape May Native Matt Szczur
It may be fair to say that Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is the biggest name from South Jersey in professional baseball. But there is another name well-known to people in South Jersey and on the Main Line in Pennsylvania: outfielder Matt Szczur. It appears he will be coming close to home.
According to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, the Phillies have added Szczur on a minor league deal:
The Phillies are about to sign a player with a resume chock-full of impressive — and important — accomplishments.
According to sources, Matt Szczur, the 30-year-old outfielder from South Jersey, has agreed to sign a minor-league contract with the Phils. The deal will include an invite to major-league spring training camp.
The most impressive on his baseball resume: a World Series Championship.
Szczur got his big break with the Chicago Cubs in 2016 when Shane Victorino failed to recover from injury and never got to play with the Cubs. In fact, Szczur was playing so well that the Cubs released Victorino in favor of Szczur in May. 2016 was the season that the Cubs won the World Series.
Szczur was traded to the San Diego Padres in 2017 and stayed there until 2018. In 2019, Szczur signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. At Triple-A Reno, Szczur batted .322.
The Phillies currently have a very full outfield, but there is plenty of off-season left. The starters figure to be Andrew McCutchen, Adam Haseley and Bryce Harper. For potential reserves the Phillies have Roman Quinn, Jay Bruce, Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera. There is at least two too many for now; after paring down the roster, maybe Szczur would find himself with the opportunity to rise to the big leagues should there be an injury.
Off the field, Szczur notably made a bone marrow donation that saved the life of a young girl in the Ukrane. Today, the Matt Szczur foundation seeks to help match donors with those in need.