Scouting Phils prospect #1: Jesse Biddle

Jesse Biddle grew up going to Phillies games and now, he's the top prospect in their organization. The 21-year old left-hander has made a steady climb through the organization and faces a test at Double-A Reading in 2013.

Jesse Biddle

Position: Starting Pitcher
Bats/Throws: Left / Left
Birthday/Age: October 22, 1991 (21)
Ht/Wt: 6' 4", 225 pounds

How he became a Phillie: Drafted by the Phillies in the first round - 27th overall pick - of the 2010 Draft out of Germantown Friends High School. Having been born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Biddle grew up a Phillies fan.

Repertoire: Biddle throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball that has a late bite to it and hitters report that it's a "heavy" ball to hit. Biddle also throws a sweeping curveball that is a definite plus pitch for him. His change-up is in the mid-80s, giving him good speed separation between his change and his fastball. Since signing with the Phillies, Biddle has developed a slider that is good, but lags behind his other pitches.

Jesse Biddle's league comparison

STATS Florida State LEAGUE AVERAGES FOR 2012 BIDDLE'S Florida STATE LEAGUE AVERAGES
ERA 3.85 3.22
WHIP 1.3 1.3
H/9 IP 8.7 8.1
HR/9 IP 0.6 0.6
BB/9 IP 3.3 3.4
K/9 IP 7.4 9.5
K/BB 2.2 2.8
WP/9 IP 0.6 0.6

Scouting Report: Biddle signed quickly after being drafted by the Phillies and was able to get right into his pro career in the Gulf Coast League where he made nine starts before moving along to Williamsport for three more starts during the 2010 season. Since then, it's been a steady climb, pitching one season at Lakewood and the next at Clearwater and he continues to move a level at a time and will open the season on the mound for the Reading Fightins.

The only real work that the Phillies had to do with Biddle was to add a little velocity to his fastball and teach him the slider. Mechanically, he's been impressively consistent with his delivery and has good command and control of all of his pitches. Ideally, he would have added a little more velocity to his fastball, but the way he uses his secondary pitches and the fact that they're so good, means that Biddle doesn't have to worry too much about velocity. Biddle averages a strikeout per inning, but also isn't afraid to let guys make contact, which generally keeps his pitch counts in check.

Ceiling: The jury is still out on just how good Biddle can be in the majors. Scouts put him anywhere between a potential number one starter to a mid-rotation starter, but more and more, the projections are toward the top of the rotation. We'll start to really find out a lot about Biddle now that he's going to be at Double-A and that should help to solidify just how well he projects to being a major league pitcher.

ETA: For the past few years, we've talked about the pitching that was working its way through the Phillies minor league system. Now, the majority of that pitching is at the upper levels and we're starting to see who the real prospects are and who the pretenders are. The rotation at Triple-A is going to be young, so it will be interesting to see how the Phillies will handle things if one of them struggles. Do they look to bring in a veteran-type guy like Tom Cochran, who is starting the season in extended camp, or would they push another young prospect like Biddle up from Reading. With all of the prospects in the organization, there's no real need to push Biddle and they may just be content to let him move at one level per season, which would have him looking for employment in Philadelphia in 2015.

Jesse Biddle's career stats

YearTeamWLERAGGSIPHRERHRBBSO
2010GCL Phillies314.329933.13523162941
2010Williamsport102.613310.15430119
2010combined stats413.92121243.240271922050
2011Lakewood782.982524133.01045144566124
2012Clearwater1063.222626142.212964511054151
3 Seasons21153.216362319.127314211417140325
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/30/2013.



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