Top Prospect #9: RHP Alfredo Simon

If you've never heard of Alfredo Simon, perhaps, you heard of his alter ego, Carlos Cabrera. While visa problems were snagging young players on their real ages, Simon got caught with a different age - he's 21 months older than the Phillies thought - and with a different name. Simon's identity crisis kept him from pitching until June, but when he returned, he was as strong as ever.

With his identity and age straightened out, the Phillies are still happy with Simon's potential even though he is almost two years older than they first thought. With a fastball in the mid 90s, the only problem is getting the rest of Simon's repertoire on track. Even if the rest of his pitches improve, it's pretty clear that Simon will be known for his fastball. Some scouts predict that he will continue to develop velocity and might be able to push his fastball to the 98 mile per hour range before too long. While his velocity is good, the real key is that Simon's fastball has more moves than a Brittany Spears video.<br>

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Even though he is older than first thought – he turns 23 in May - Simon hadn't stopped growing when he reported to the Phillies in June. Since he signed, Simon has grown about 3 inches and has added nearly 40 pounds, which has taken him out of the lanky category and placed him in the powerfully built category. Most of the growth has been muscle and Simon is a hard worker and can carry the added weight. He's now at about 6' 4" and 215 pounds, so he is far from overweight.<br>

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The real key to getting Simon to progress is getting him to keep a consistent delivery. His arm motion changes too much when he throws his slider or changeup and it's easy for the hitter to see that he's not getting a fastball. The Phillies have all but given up on Simon's curve ball and are working with him on a slider, which they think he may be able to disguise better and will be a more effective pitch for him. The Phillies are also working with Simon on his temper, which flares from time to time and throws him off balance.<br>

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Even though Simon has pitched a little less than 220 innings over four minor league seasons, it's not unlikely that the Phillies will move Simon to Clearwater in 2004. Simon's rapid progression up the minor league ladder is the primary reason why the Phillies overlooked the age and identity issue. For the record, Simon originally used his cousin's name – Carlos Cabrera – and identity when he signed with the Phillies. Thanks to the increased scrutiny over visa applications, the truth came out and Cabrera is now Simon. It's kind of surprising that another team didn't claim that the Phillies signed Cabrera and try to claim that Simon should be a free agent. Good think Scott Boras is an agent and not a GM.<br>

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The Phillies have used Simon mainly as a starter and that's mainly been because they wanted him to throw innings. Don't count out the possibility that Simon will become the Phillies "closer of the future" at some point down the road. His stuff is definitely suited for the job if the Phillies decide to go that way with him.<br>

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Alfredo Simon's Career Stats

 

 

Year/Team

W

L

ERA

SV

G

GS

IP

H/9 IP

BB/9 IP

KO/9 IP

2000 Dominican Phillies

0

0

1.46

0

4

4

12.1

4.4

6.6

7.3

2001 Gulf Coast (Rookie)

2

2

2.91

0

10

8

43.1

7.3

4.8

8.3

2002 Batavia (Rookie)

9

2

3.59

0

15

14

90.1

7.9

4.6

7.7

2003 Lakewood (Low A)

5

0

3.79

2

14

7

71.1

7.4

3.2

8.3

Career Minor League Stats

16

4

3.40

2

43

33

217.1

7.4

4.3

8.0

 


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