Top Prospect #26: RHP Taft Cable

Taft Cable came to the Phillies with a good idea of what he needed to do to be successful. The Phillies believe that he could eventually settle into a role as a closer of the future, but they started him in the starting rotation to get more innings under his belt.

Taft Cable pitched as a closer in his college career at North Carolina – Greensboro and had a lot of success in the role. That experience made him a perfect draft choice for the Phillies. First, it never hurts to draft a guy with closer potential. Plus, with Cable, they had a quality pitcher with relatively few innings on his arm.

 

Sometimes, being labeled as a guy who "works hard" is a nice way of saying that there's not a lot of raw talent, but the guy compensates. With Cable, there is a lot of talent and he still works hard. The Phillies have worked to make Cable a better pitcher by improving his slider and split-finer fastball. The results have been good and Cable has moved along at a good pace.

 

When Cable arrived in Batavia for his professional debut in 2001, the Phillies used him primarily as a starter and the plan worked well. In 2002, Cable was promoted to Lakewood and used exclusively as a starter and really started to make his mark. His control was impeccable and he was able to put hitters away effectively. Through minor work on his delivery, Cable put a couple extra miles on his fastball, while his secondary pitches continued to develop.

 

In 2003, Cable pitched at both Clearwater and Reading, primarily returning to his roots as a reliever. He started just 8 out of 35 games and finished with a 4-4, 3.26 record. His promotion to Reading was partly out of need and partly out of rewarding Cable for his progress. He'll return to Reading to start the 2004 season, likely staying in the bullpen.

 

With all of the strong starting pitchers that the Phillies have coming through the system, they're best served keeping Cable in the bullpen. Look for them to give Cable the closer's job at AA Reading in 2004 and let him work toward that "closer of the future" label. However, most scouts believe that Cable comes up a little short to be a closer in the majors and is best suited to a set up role. If he becomes a quality set up man, the Phillies won't be disappointed with what they got out of their 2001 8th round pick.

 

Taft Cable's Career Statistics

 

Year / Team

W

L

ERA

SV

G

GS

IP

H/9 IP

BB/9 IP

KO/9 IP

2001 Batavia

(Rookie)

1

3

3.34

0

14

12

67.1

8.7

2.5

8.6

2002 Lakewood

(Low A)

11

10

3.76

0

27

27

177.1

8.8

1.2

5.8

2003 Clearwater

(High A)

4

3

3.41

1

31

5

71.1

7.7

3.2

4.9

2003 Reading

(AA)

0

1

2.51

0

4

3

14.1

5.0

2.5

8.2

Career Totals

16

17

3.56

1

76

47

330.1

8.4

2.0

6.4

 


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