Top Prospect #33: RHP Zach Segovia

In the 2002 Draft, the Phillies looked to add to their impressive list of young pitchers and took Zach Segovia in the second round. Coming out of high school, the Phillies figured Segovia was the perfect candidate, since he didn't have many miles on his arm, but he had plenty of talent. For a year, things seemed to be going very well. Then, trouble struck and Segovia's future isn't quite as clear as it once seemed.

In the fall of 2002, Zach Segovia seemed to be tired. He was losing a couple miles per hour on his fastball and just didn't quite seem right. The thinking that he was tired made a lot of sense, since he had pitched an entire high school season and then entered his first season of professional baseball when he wound up in the Gulf Coast League where he pitched another 34 innings in 8 starts. It seemed logical that Segovia would be a little tired.

 

To start the 2003 season, the Phillies assigned Segovia to Low-A Lakewood. The 20 year old right-hander was pitching well, but still didn't seem to be the same old Zach Segovia that the Phillies drafted. Before long, Segovia was hurting. He may have been drafted out of high school, but he was also likely overused in high school. Reports say that he once threw 146 pitches in a playoff game. The wear and tear on Segovia's arm was likely worse than the Phillies expected and Segovia was soon on the DL.

 

When the 2003 season ended, Segovia still wasn't one-hundred percent. He pitched a total of just 58.2 innings in the Gulf Coast League and at Lakewood during the season and had a lot of pain in his elbow. The plan was to shut him down and let the elbow heal, but that approach quickly failed. By December, Segovia had undergone elbow surgery and will likely miss the entire 2004 season. The Phillies hope that he'll be recovered in time to pitch early in the 2005 season, but there is no doubt that the injury is a huge blow to Segovia's development.

 

When Segovia does return, he'll have to make up for a lot of lost time. Before the injury, scouts were impressed with his fastball, which they thought would develop into a very good pitch that Segovia could use to get hitters out with. He featured good movement and good control. His breaking pitch was pretty good and the theory was that it too, would get better and become at least an average major league pitch. The question mark was where Segovia would come up with a third pitch. He was working on a change-up, but there was still a lot of work to do. Had Segovia not suffered the injury, he would have ranked much higher.

 

Zach Segovia's Career Stats

 

Year / Team

W

L

ERA

SV

G

GS

IP

H/9 IP

BB/9 IP

KO/9 IP

2002 GCL

(Rookie)

3

2

2.10

0

8

8

34.1

5.5

0.8

7.9

2003 Lakewood

(Low A)

0

1

4.00

0

5

4

9.0

8.0

0.0

6.0

2003 GCL

(Rookie)

1

5

3.99

0

11

10

49.2

11.4

2.5

4.9

Minor League Totals

4

8

3.33

0

24

22

92.0

1.0

1.7

6.2

 


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