2011 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

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2011 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects
Jonathan Singleton is ranked as the #40 prospect overall by Baseball America

Every season I rank the Philadelphia Phillies top 10 prospects for the upcoming season. While the Phillies farm system has been ravaged the past couple of years thanks to trades for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay and most recently Roy Oswalt, it does not mean there isn’t great talent still left.

The Phillies have done a great job getting their draft picks signed and as a result, still have a solid system with its best talent at the lower levels.

I now present the 2011 Top 10 Phillies prospects.

 

1)      Domonic Brown-OF-Last Year’s Rank: 1 ETA: he’s arrived (Will be 24 in September) 

The future is now in Philadelphia when it comes to 23-year-old outfielder Domonic Brown. By now most of you know the story of how Brown came to be a Phillie, but if you’re unaware I will refresh your memory.

Brown was drafted out of high school in the 20th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. While most scouts knew Brown was a first-round talent, they were scared off by a football scholarship from the University of Miami.

The Phillies however took a gamble and hoped to change his mind. They did. Brown turned in his Hurricane uniform for a Gulf Coast League Phillies uniform and signed with the Phillies for $200,000.

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After signing with the Phillies in 2006 he was placed on the Gulf Coast League Phillies for rookies and had a respectable .287 batting average and was tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 13.

After a successful first pro season, he looked to duplicate his success in 2007 as he was given a hefty promotion to High Class A Clearwater

While Brown started the 2007 season in Clearwater, he finished the season in short season Williamsport, which is one step above the GCL Phillies. He led the Williamsport Crosscutters in batting average (.295), hits (84), runs (43), triples (five) and stolen bases (14).

His 84 hits were the third-best in the entire New York Penn league that year. Brown looked towards 2008 to once again carry his success over to another year.

In 2008, Brown received a call up to Class A Lakewood where he led the team in hits (129), runs (77) and stolen bases (22) He had a .291 batting average and was able to smack nine HRs. His 54 RBI weren’t too bad either, and it was becoming apparent that Brown was one to watch going into 2009.

2009 brought Brown a first in his baseball career. He was voted by Baseball America as the Phillies top prospect going into the season. I was hesitant to put him on the list because he was so young and placed him on the honorable mention list but he proved me wrong and Baseball America right with the season he had 09.

In 2009 Brown started out the season for High Single A Clearwater. Unlike in 2007, Brown would play most of the season in Clearwater but did receive a call up to AA Redding and finished the season there playing alongside another great outfield prospect, Michael Taylor.

Brown played the 2009 season for Clearwater, Reading and had a brief rehab stint in his old stomping grounds, the GCL Phillies.

Last season, 2010, was a year that ended with Brown in Philadelphia. Starting out in AA Reading, Brown torched Eastern League pitching hitting .318 with 15 HR, 47 RBI in only 236 AB. It wasn’t a matter of if Brown would receive a promotion to AAA Leigh High Valley but when.

Brown’s promotion came on June 25th as the Phillies put their No. 1 prospect one step away from the major leagues. While some prospects struggle with the call up to AAA (Carlos Carrasco), Brown’s torrid pace through the Eastern League was carried over to International League.

In his short stint in AAA (Only 107 AB) Brown hit .346 with 5 HR and 21 RBI. The dominance Brown was showing in the minors had fans talking. Talking about when Brown would get called up and if the Phillies would trade Jayson Werth to open up a spot for Brown.

While the Phillies never did trade Werth, now a Washington National, they did call up their prized rookie outfielder on July 28th. On that same day, Brown made his major league debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks where in his first at-bat, he nearly hit his first home run.

Brown finished his first major league game with a two-hit day, scoring two runs and driving in two RBI. Not a bad first impression.

Unfortunately for Brown his hot start didn’t continue. Brown struggled getting acclimated to major league pitching and finished the season in the majors hitting .210 with two HR, 13 RBI and two SB.

His rough start was enough to have some fans worried that Brown might not be the guy in 2011, and his winter league numbers didn’t help his case. Brown went to play for the Liga De Beisbol Dominicano baseball club where he left after just nine games where he hit .069.

COMBINED 2010 STATS (AA, AAA, MLB) .269 BA, 25 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, & 81 RBI. In 405 AB he scored 73 runs while swiping 19 bags and being caught 8 times. He had a .796 OPS

Brown will now split time with Ben Francisco in right field. With the absence of Jayson Werth, it leaves a big hole to fill, and while many fans would like that guy to be Brown, expect Francisco to face lefties and Brown to face righties.

While many managers would feel pressure to play a top prospect like Brown, Charlie Manuel isn’t your typical manager. If you remember back to 2005, he decided to start Placido Polanco instead of the fan favorite and top prospect Chase Utley.

Many fans are also extremely worried about Brown’s winter ball numbers and concerned with him leaving the team just after nine games. I wouldn’t worry too much Phillies fans. Brown knows success and has tasted it.

Being worried about Brown’s winter ball numbers and not looking at the big picture (his minor league and major league numbers) is similar to focusing on a pitchers walk ratio after the pitcher wins 20 games.

Expect big things from this kid for a very long time. Brown was voted the No. 4 overall prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America. Brown however will start the season off on the DL thanks to wrist surgery, but should regain a platoon role once he returns.  Brown was the player the Phillies refused to give up in any Roy Halladay deal. The future is now for Phillies fans and he is wearing No. 9.

 

2)      Jonathan Singleton-1B/LF-Last Year’s Rank: Honorable Mention ETA: 2013 (Will be 20 in September) 

I remember when I first saw film of Singleton. It was shortly after he was selected in the eighth round of the 2009 draft. When I saw the slugging first basemen, my first thought was, “I’m looking at a younger Ryan Howard.”

He was a pure hitter but also a high school senior who had the option of putting off his major league aspirations and attending Long Beach State. Luckily for Phillies fans, the team signed him and his first sighting was during a Pedro Martinez simulated game.

Singleton then started his career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies where he put up pretty decent numbers for a kid who was in high school a few months ago. Singleton showed that natural hitting ability in 2009 hitting .290 with two HR and 12 RBI in just 100 at-bats.

It was just a quick taste of professional baseball for the then 18-year-old Singleton who would look to carry over his successful 2009 into 2010.

I had the privilege of attending a banquet in early 2010 where Phillies GM Rueben Amaro Jr. spoke. Most of the talk had to do with the Phillies trading Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay, but I went up to Amaro and asked about Singleton.

“So Singleton will be in Williamsport right?” Amaro was a little taken aback by the question and just answered, “Yea that’s the plan.” He then was about to walk away before he turned back and just said “good hitter.”

The reason I bring this story up isn’t to start dropping names, because Amaro wouldn’t remember any of this story, but to tell you the original plan for Singleton at the beginning of 2010.

If you follow the Phillies farm system, you may know that Singleton never set foot in short season Williamsport but instead spent the entire season in single A Lakewood.

The Phillies had planned on putting Singleton in Lakewood (they’re season starts before Williamsport’s) to get experience and get the young slugger some at-bats and then move him down to Williamsport when the Crosscutters season began.

But Singleton’s great season in Lakewood made sure he would only don the Lakewood colors.

2010 STATS: (Single A Lakewood) .290 BA, 25 2B, 2 3B, 14 HR, & 77 RBI. In 376 AB, he scored 64 runs while swiping nine stolen bases while being caught seven times. He had a .872 OPS

You may look at those numbers and not be impressed, but to put it in perspective, when Ryan Howard played at Lakewood during the 2002 season he hit .280 with 19 HR and 87 RBI in 493 at-bats. If Singleton would have had the amount of at-bats Howard had back in 2002, odds are good that he would have surpassed Howards HR and RBI numbers.

Singleton’s name was talked about during the trade deadline a lot this past season. When the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt, Singleton’s name was one of the players rumored to be on the move, but luckily the Phillies were able to keep this young slugger.

During that time though, ESPN baseball expert Jayson Stark said of Singleton, “I had one scout tell me he’s the best young hitter since Manny Ramirez.” That’s pretty high claim for anyone, let alone an 18-year-old kid.

Singleton will be switching positions for the 2011 season, moving to left field since first base is blocked by the $125 million man. Jared Cosart, a teammate of Singleton last season, said via Twitter that he expects Singleton to make the switch with ease, adding he’s a great athlete.

Singleton will most likely start the season out in high A Clearwater. It will be a big test for the kid who was ranked the 30th best prospect in all of Major League Baseball. Singleton has given me no reason to think he won’t continue his success into 2011.


3)      Justin De Fratus-RP/CL-Last Year’s Rank: Not Ranked ETA: 2011 (Will be 23 for the 2011 season) 

Many people are probably going to think that ranking De Fratus this high is an idiotic move considering he is a relief pitcher. But when you look at what De Fratus brings to the table and then you look at the Phillies big need, it makes perfect sense.

De Fratus was drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 draft out of Ventura College. When he signed with the Phillies, they used him primarily as a starter until they switched him to full-time relief in 2010. That’s when De Fratus really started making a name for himself as both the closer of the High A Clearwater Threshers and AA Reading Phillies.

COMBINED 2010 STATS (A, AA) 3-0 Record with a 1.94 ERA. He had 21 saves and only let up three HR in 65 innings. He struck out 71 batters while only walking 16. Batters hit just .208 off him

De Fratus did most of his work in Clearwater where he pitched 40.1 innings before getting the call to AA Reading. The promotion didn’t seem to faze the 22-year-old De Fratus who continued his dominance out of the pen. All season he showed great control averaging 4.44 strikeouts for every walk he surrendered.

De Fratus was recently sent down to minor league camp, and he will begin the season in either AA Reading, or AAA Leigh High Valley. I would expect the Phillies to start De Fratus out in Reading, as he only pitched in 24.2 innings for the R-Phils in 2010.

It shouldn’t be long however before De Fratus is called up to Leigh High Valley. When De Fratus is called up to the Iron Pigs he will likely have competition for the closers spot as it looks likely that Scott Mathieson will not make the Phillies 25-man roster.

With Brad Lidge in the last year of his contract, De Fratus will have a lot of eyes on him this summer. Scott Mathieson is a possible option for the Phillies in 2012, but as of now the main option has to be De Fratus. De Fratus is another exciting young arm who should be turning heads in the Phillies pen in the very near future.

 

4)      Brody Colvin-SP-Last Year’s Rank: NR ETA: 2014 (Will turn 21 in August)

Brody Colvin heads the list as one of many exciting young arms in the Phillies system. Colvin was selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft out of high school. While he had first-round talent, most teams thought he would attend LSU, and thus he dropped in the dropped in the draft due to sign ability issues.

The Phillies were able to convince Colvin to forgo college, for reportedly around a $1 million signing bonus, and he signed with the 2008 champs. By the time Colvin signed however, the Gulf Coast League’s season was winding down, and Colvin was only able to pitch in two innings in 2009.

Unable to truly judge a player after two innings, Colvin was one of many young players who were sent to Lakewood to start the season. I think Colvin was in a situation like Singleton’s where the Phillies sent him to Lakewood with the idea of sending him to Williamsport when the Crosscutters started their season.

Colvin however made it tough for the Phillies brass to send him down as he dominated South Atlantic League hitters.

2010 Stats: (Single A Lakewood) 6-8 Record with a 3.39 ERA. He let up 7 HR in 138 innings. He struck out 120 batters while walking 42. Batters hit .258 off him

Colvin’s 3.39 ERA ranked eight in the South Atlantic League, while his 138 innings pitched ranked seventh. Colvin led the Blue Claws in innings pitched, ERA for a starter who had more than 12 starts, games started and strike outs.

He was arguably Lakewood’s ace last season, although they had a plethora of great young talent (best ERA in the SAL).

Colvin has a low 90’s fastball that can hit around 93. His breaking pitches have a strong bite to them. He should be staying in Florida and report to the Florida State League to pitch for the High Class A Threshers. He will be joining a lot of his Lakewood teammates in Florida for the 2011 campaign.

I don’t expect the Phillies to rush Colvin along because he’s young and because they won’t need starters for quite some time. I wouldn’t expect to see him in Philly until 2014, but he could make a spot start in 2013 or even win a rotation spot if he continues this success.

 

5)      Tyson Gillies-OF-Last Year’s Rank: 3 ETA: 2012 (Will be 22 for the 2011 season)

Tyson Gillies went from being on every Phillies fans radar to being forgotten. Gillies was a part of the big trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle back in December 2009. He came to Philly along with Phillippe Aumont and JC Ramirez.

At the time of the trade, Gillies was ranked as a top 10 prospect for the Mariners, and he made my top 10 Phillies list last season at No. 3. This is why I’m so shocked that people have written the speedy Gillies off, at the ripe old age of 22.

After ranking second in all of minor league baseball in batting average in 2009 (.341) Gillies started out his Phillies career in a forgetful 2010 stint in AA Reading. It was a season I’m sure Gillies would like to forget as he failed to live up to the lofty expectations put upon him by Phillies fans who watched Cliff Lee flourish with both the Mariners and Rangers.

COMBINED 2010 STATS (AA, GCL) .243 BA, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, & 7 RBI. In 107 AB he scored 18 runs while swiping 2 stolen bases while being caught 2 times. He had a .638 OPS

Simply put, Tyson Gillies blew a tire in 2010 and never recovered. The speedy outfielder dealt with a hamstring injury that lingered throughout most of the season and ultimately resulted in a bad stat line for his Phillies debut. But even after his bad 2010 (which was still just 107 AB’s), I’m not concerned at all.

This is a kid who hit .341 and also swiped 44 bases just a season ago. You don’t just lose that type of talent. Gillies isn’t a .238 hitter (his Reading totals), so expect his batting average to go up in 2011. Gillies is also just 22 and is still quite young for AA. So don’t let his 2010 numbers fool you.

It’s a shame that Davey Lopes is no longer the first base coach for the Phillies because if there is one knock on Gillies it could be his decision making when it comes to stealing bases.

No question about it; this kid is fast, but in 2009 he was caught stealing 19 times. Lopes’ tutelage would have lowered that number, as he was able to turn Shane Victorino into a good base stealer. Hopefully Gillies will learn to pick his spots better. If he can, he projects as a good leadoff hitter.

Last year I heard Phillies fans saying, “We gave up Cliff Lee for this?” But I guarantee those same fans will be saying soon enough, “I can’t believe we got this kid for Cliff Lee and then got Cliff Lee back!” Don’t sleep on the kid.

 

6)      Jarred Cosart-SP-Last Year’s Rank: NR ETA: 2014 (Will be 21 in May)

Jared Cosart was a star at Clear Creek high school in Texas. Playing both the outfield and pitcher, he broke former Mariners All-Star Jay Buhner’s school record for batting average in a season. He also was an ace on the hill and demanded to be paid like one by any team that drafted him. His financial demands scared teams off, which led the Phillies to take a flier on Cosart in the 38th round of the draft.

Cosart had stated that he wanted to be paid like a third-round pick, and if he wasn’t, than he had no problem fulfilling his letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Missouri. Just an hour before the deadline for teams to sign draft picks, the Phillies came to terms with Cosart’s father on a deal, while Cosart was busy pitching in an American Legion game.

He wasn’t informed of the agreement until after the game. Cosart was reportedly given a $550,000 bonus to sign, which is slightly less than Jason Knapp, the team's second-round pick that year. Knapp you may remember was a key piece in the Cliff Lee trade.

So Cosart joined the fold of one impressive draft class for the Phillies. While the Phillies paid over slot for a lot of the players they took in the 2008 draft, they are reaping the benefits of it just a few years later. Cosart didn’t make his Phillies debut until the 2009 season when he pitched for the Gulf Coast League Phillies. In 24.1 innings the righty went 2-2 with 2.22 ERA. He had 25 strike outs and batters hit just .143 off him.

After his impressive 2009 season, Cosart was promoted to Single A Lakewood for the 2010 season. The righty was able to carry over his solid performance from the 2009 season and become a staple in the best rotation in the Atlantic League. While he was hampered by an elbow injury midway through the season which limited the amount of starts he made, when he came back he was as advertised when he was drafted in 2008.

2010 Stats: (Single A Lakewood) 7-3 Record with a 3.79 ERA. He let up 3 HR in 71.1 innings. He struck out 77 batters while walking just 16. Batters hit .224 off him

So far Cosart is earning his money, becoming one of the bigger successes from the 2008 Phillies draft class. He was recently ranked as a top 100 prospect by Baseball America (70), joining his Lakewood teammates Brody Colvin (56) and Jonathan Singleton (40).

Cosart possesses a power fastball that routinely hits in the mid 90’s and a devastating 12-6 curve. His ability to keep the ball in the park will help for when he pitches in the hitter friendly Citizens Bank Park.

Like many of these prospects though, Cosart is young and thus won’t be making an impact in Philly anytime soon. He should however start out the season in Single A Clearwater joining many of his 2009 Lakewood teammates.

He could possibly make an impact as early as 2013, but I would expect the Phillies to take their time with him thanks to their current historic rotation and no need for starting pitching for a few years.

 

7)      Sebastian Valle-C-Last Year’s Rank: 5 ETA: 2014 (Will be 21 in July)

Sebastian Valle is making his second-straight appearance on my top 10 prospect list, as he came in at No. 5 in 2010. Valle, thought of as the catcher of the future for the Phillies, played the entire 2010 campaign at Single A Lakewood and helped them win its second-straight South Atlantic League title.

Valle was signed as an amateur free agent back in 2006, and he’s flourished in the system since that time. In 2008 he had a .281/2/18 stat line for the GCL Phillies in 167 AB and was arguably the team’s best player. He played the entire season for the rookie ball team and received a promotion in 2009 to Short Season Williamsport.

In 2009, while playing with the Williamsport Crosscutters, Lakewood BlueClaws, and winter ball, Valle had a breakout year. The catcher hit .275 with 36 2B, 7 3B and 18 HR.

He drove in 84 RBI and had an OPS of .824. His strong play in 2009 helped the Phillies feel comfortable trading catchers Lou Marson and Travis D’Arnaud. Valle solidified himself as the Phillies top catching prospect in 2009 and looked to build off his strong season and carry it over in 2010.

Valle received a call up during the 2009 season to Single A Lakewood and didn’t fair too well. The 2010 season he had his chance to prove that his brief 2009 call up was a fluke, as he was given the starting catchers job for the BlueClaws.

Valle put up solid numbers in 2010 and was the Claws second-best hitter behind Singleton, while also handling one of the best pitching staffs in the South Atlantic League.

2010 STATS: (Single A Lakewood, Winter Ball) .268 BA, 36 2B, 2 3B, 24 HR, & 101 RBI. In 607 AB he scored 75 runs while swiping 4 stolen bases while being caught 4 times. He had a .763 OPS

You have to figure that the Phillies will try to hang on to current catcher Carlos Ruiz as long as possible. While Ruiz is 32, he hit the majors late in his career and still has good years left. Because of this, the Phillies will take their time with Valle and watch his progression from a far.

The good thing about the Phillies approach with Valle is that as he progresses, so does the pitching staff he handles. When Valle does end up making an impact in South Philadelphia he should do so with fellow teammates Brody Colvin and Jared Cosart. He will already be comfortable with two out of the five pitchers on the team.

Valle should start the season out in High A Clearwater, where he will be the team’s everyday catcher. He will be with an exciting group of prospects that are all progressing through the minors together.

The group includes most of Lakewood’s 2010 staff, outfielder Jiwan James and first basemen Jonathan Singleton. Don’t expect to see Valle in Philly anytime soon, but when he does arrive expect the ball to be flying off his bat.

 

8)      Trevor May-SP-Last Year’s Rank: 10 ETA: 2013 (Will turn 22 in September)

May was taken in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. Another pick that was criticized, May was drafted out of high school where he played ball in the state of Washington. While he was regarded as one of the better high school pitchers in the state, the question was how good was the competition he was facing.

The Phillies obviously didn’t seem too concerned about the competition May was facing and selected him in the fourth. After he signed, he was sent to the Gulf Coast League Phillies with most of the other Phillies 2008 draft picks.

In a limited role with the GCL Phil’s, May pitched well compiling a 1-1 record with a 3.75 ERA in 12 IP. He only pitched in five games, starting just two of them but had enough success that the Phillies sent the then 19-year-old to Class A Lakewood for the 2009 campaign.

In 2009 the Lakewood BlueClaws were the best team in the South Atlantic League winning the championship, and Trevor May was a huge part of it. The Trevor May, Mathew Way connection was a 1-2 punch that Greenville couldn’t stop. May was exceptional in 2009 going 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA in 77.1 innings.

For the 2010 season the Phillies sent May to High A Clearwater, but the righty didn’t fare as well as he did in Lakewood. In 16 games (14 starts) for the Threshers, May went 5-5 with a 5.01 ERA. He pitched in 70 innings for Threshers before being sent back down to Lakewood. While his ERA sky rocketed while pitching for the Threshers, it’s easy to see what Mays Achilles heel was; walks.

In 2009 May walked just 43 guys, but during his time in Clearwater, May had given up 61 walks. That’s almost a walk per inning. Batters were still having trouble hitting May’s stuff as they batted just .212 off of him, but he simply let too many runners reach on the free pass.

May fared a lot better on his demotion to Lakewood as he was back to his dominant ways. He went 7-3 for the BlueClaws posting a 2.91 ERA in 65 innings of work. He also earned his second straight championship ring with the BlueClaws helping them win the championship again.

2010 Stats: (High A Clearwater, Single A Lakewood) 12-8 Record with a 4.00 ERA. He let up 10  HR in 135 innings. He struck out 182 batters while walking 81. Batters hit .213 off him

May’s big issue is just walking guys. He’s got lights out stuff, which is evident by his opponents’ batting average and strike out numbers. He simply needs to lower his walk number, which he did upon his demotion. In Clearwater in 2010, May had a strike out to walk ratio of 1.48 but in Lakewood it was 4.6.

May should once again start the season out in Clearwater with a goal of staying there the entire season. If he can do that than you should expect to see him on this list again next year.

But if May struggles again at High A and gets demoted again to Lakewood than you could be looking at a ship that’s sailing away. But then again he’s starting the season out in High Class A for the second time at the ripe old age of 21. I would expect May to prosper in 2010 and possibly see a call up to AA Reading at some point.

 

9)       Matt Rizzotti-1B/DH-Last Year’s Rank: NR ETA: 2011 (Will be 25 for the 2011 season) 

You’re not going to find Matt Rizzotti on many, if any Phillies top 10 prospect lists. Maybe because some consider him too old (25) or because his defensive range limits him to first base or the designated hitter position. Whatever the case may be for those folks, I couldn’t keep the pride of Manhattan College off the list.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2007 draft, Rizzotti was an under achiever for most of his Phillies career. That however, was until the 2010 season where Rizzotti broke out in a big way.

He started out the season at High Class A Clearwater where he proceeded to hit .358 with one HR and 10 RBI in 109 at-bats. He was then promoted to AA Reading where he pummeled Eastern League Pitching. Rizzotti hit .361 at Reading, with 16 HR and 62 RBI.

He finished the season in AAA Leigh High Valley. In one season, Rizzotti went through three different levels and was invited to play in the Arizona Fall League.

COMBINED 2010 STATS (High A, AA, AAA AFL) .338 BA, 38 2B, 1 3B, 17 HR & 88 RBI. In 483 AB he scored 73 runs while swiping one stolen base and being caught one time. He had an amazing .925 OPS

The big thing for Rizzotti is that he has to prove that his 2011 season was no fluke. By his play in the Arizona Fall League it looks as if it wasn’t. Still he hit only .200 in Leigh High Valley when he was called up, and that is where he will begin the 2011 season.

The other thing is age. The clock is ticking on Rizzotti, who will turn 26 in December. Rizzotti needs to show that he can carry his successful 2010 campaign, over to the 2011 season. Rizzotti won’t get a regular job in Philly, barring injury, so he will need to show scouts around the league that he can hit at a high level.

I would expect Rizzotti to get traded at some point this season. If he starts out the 2011 season like he did in 2010, than the Phillies could be forced to call him up which would enable Rizzotti to show the league what he can do.

I would expect some team to take a look at the kid but most likely an American League team. Expect his name to be circulated throughout the year when the Phillies need to fill a void.

 

10)  Jesse Biddle-Last Year’s Rank: NR ETA: 2015 (Will be 19 for the 2011 season) 

Any Phillies fan has to feel good for the Phillies 2011 first-round draft pick, Jesse Biddle. Biddle was drafted 27th overall in the 2010 MLB Draft out of Germantown Friends high school, located in Philadelphia.

He grew up cheering for the Phillies as a kid, and last June he was selected by his favorite team directly out of high school. It didn’t take long for Biddle to decide if he would go to Oregon or start his professional career.

A lot of times, drafting high school players is tough because of signability issues. A few members of this list dropped in the draft because of that very reason. High school players have the leverage of college to hang over pro team’s heads, which usually results in them getting above slot money, signing late and not starting their career until the next year. That’s why the drafting of Biddle was so smart.

The Phillies took a local kid, who grew up as a Phillies fan. When he was taken by his hometown team, he wasn’t thinking about driving the price up, he just wanted to put on the uniform. Biddle signed as soon as he was able too, for his slot projected figure.

The Phillies were able to get their first-round pick in the Gulf Coast League immediately, and by the end of the year he had gone from pitching on a little field for the Germantown Friends Tigers, to pitching is Short Season Williamsport.

2010 Stats: (Gulf Coast League, Short Season Williamsport) 4-1 Record with a 3.92 ERA. He let up two HR in 43.2 innings. He struck out 50 batters while walking 20. Batters hit .241 off him

The good news for Phillies fans is that Biddle’s numbers improved upon his late season promotion to Williamsport. As a Crosscutter his ERA was 2.61 and batters hit just .152 off the lefty. The bad news is that Biddle walked more batters than he struck out (11 walks to nine K’s) and had more walks than innings pitched (11 walks to 10.1 IP).

As a lefty, Biddle can hit around 94 with his fastball. He has a good slider and a great changeup. His location could use some work, but the Phillies have plenty of time to work with the kid. When he was drafted, the Phillies compared Biddle to current Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Not a bad comparison to hear for Phillies fans.

Biddle should start the season in Class A Lakewood. If he has success, he will stay there for the whole season. But if he struggles than expect him to be sent to Short Season Williamsport when the Crosscutters season starts.

 

 HONARABLE MENTION:

-2B Cesar Hernandez (Best second base prospect in the system. Had 33 steals in Willaimsport)

-SP Jonathan Pettibone (Another Lakewod pitcher. Had 3.41 ERA for the Claws)

-OF Aaron Altherr (Athletic outfielder. Phillies brass said hes ready to breakout)

-OF Domingo Santana (Raw young power hitter who needs to raise his average)

-OF Jiwan James (Five-tool speedy outfielder. Needs to pick his spots better on the basepaths)

-SP Julio Rodriguez (Went 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA. Willl make the top 10 next year)

-SP JC Ramirez (Has lights out stuff, now that stuff needs to lead to results on the field)

-CL Phillippe Aumont (Big piece of the Cliff Lee deal needs to get back on track in 2011)

-RP Michael Stutes (Should make noise this season as a reliever. could take Danys Beaz spot if hes cut)

-SP Vance Worley (If anyone on the staff goes down he should recieve the call to filll in)

 

FIND THIS, AND MORE PHILLY SPORTS RELATED ARTICLES AT CRACKED BELL SPORTS

 

 

 

 

 

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