Phillies Prospect #20: Kyle Simon

When the Phillies acquired Kyle Simon, he was a starter. Simon found himself shifted to the bullpen and made the move rather easily, putting up strong numbers at both Clearwater and Reading.

Kyle Simon

Position: Relief Pitcher
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Birthday/Age: August 18, 1990 (22)
Ht/Wt: 6' 5", 225 pounds

How he became a Phillie: Acquired along with Gabriel Lino from the Baltimore Orioles on June 30, 2012 for Jim Thome.

Repertoire: Simon actually has a decent array of pitches, which makes the fact that the Phillies like him better out of the bullpen than in the rotation a little strange. His fastball is his best pitch and it's generally in the 90 mile-per-hour range, give or take two or three ticks. His fastball is one of those heavy pitches, with a lot of downward movement that generates a lot of groundballs, which helps to explain why the Phillies like him as a reliever.

The weapons for Simon also include a slider, cut-fastball and a change-up. Those pitches are all pretty good, but he's likely not going to need them all pitching out of the bullpen. Likely, he and the Phillies will basically just use one of those pitches to keep hitters honest and only show it on occasion, while relying on the other pitches for the bulk of the time.

Scouting Report: One thing that scouts love about Simon is his consistency. He repeats his motion well and his arm slot hardly ever changes, giving him a good, fluid motion and disguising his pitches well. He was effective as a starter and his pitches all seem good enough that he likely could have stayed in the rotation in the Phillies organization, but they immediately moved him to the bullpen and it didn't set Simon back at all.

Mentally, Simon is tough enough to pitch in relief and is well suited for it thanks to that fastball that tails down and is hard to get any lift on. His control is also good and he won't walk many hitters, which is also important for a reliever.

Ceiling: The Orioles drafted Simon in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft and at the time, there was a lot of talk that they had reached a little too far for him and might regret the move. Simon has gone on to prove all of those pundits wrong and is pitching like every bit of a fourth round pick, reaching and succeeding at the Double-A level in just his second professional season. If the Phillies are serious about keeping Simon in the bullpen, he could go one of two ways; he could work as a middle-innings guy who can give them a couple innings per outing or they could slowly shift him to the back end of the bullpen, which seems more likely. He's got the tools to succeed either as a set-up man or possibly, as a closer. Simon converted three of his four save opportunities last season and the one that he blew, was one of those strange situations where he came in to pitch in the sixth inning and didn't get a save, because he didn't finish the game. (That rule needs to be changed.) ETA: If you get to see the Lehigh Valley IronPigs play in 2013, it's very possible that Simon will be a member of their ballclub. There wouldn't be any shame in sending him to Double-A Reading, because he wasn't there for a full season, but there doesn't appear to be much reason to have him back there. It's likely they challenge him with a quick promotion to Triple-A and he could be in Philly for a September audition and fighting for a spot in 2014.

Kyle Simon's career stats

20112 Teams122.16140116.2944159
20123 Teams683.0434143112.1108553892784
2 Seasons7102.9348144129.01175942103293
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/30/2013.