Biola Teammates Wind up Together at Batavia

So, who here had ever heard of Biola University prior to the 2004 Draft? As ESPN would say; "did you know...that Biola University had three players taken in the 2004 Draft and two of them were taken by the Phillies." Sam Orr was one of the two players - Carl Galloway was the other - taken by the Phillies in this year's draft and both are together again in Batavia.

In case you were wondering, Biola University is in La Mirada, California.

Two members of their 2004 club are now calling Batavia, New York home as members of the Batavia Muck Dogs.

Sam Orr was almost pre-destined to go to Biola. His Mom, Dad and all four of his siblings attended Biola and his Dad is also a professor there. Guess you could say it's a family tradition. Orr comes from a simple, God-fearing background. As a matter of fact, when he was asked who the person he would most like to meet was, Orr's reply? Jesus. Kind of makes sense that Orr is a huge Angels fan, doesn't it?

Don't let the quiet, unpretentious background fool you. Sam Orr can be a devil on the field. Actually, Orr is gifted on almost any athletic field and played football and soccer in addition to baseball in high school. That athleticism will come in handy, because the Phillies figure to move Orr around some before they settle on a position for him. His natural position is shortstop. When he first arrived in Batavia, Orr was splitting some time at short with Josh Mader. Now, with the signing of seventh round pick John Hardy and Hardy's arrival in Batavia, there is more infield competition. Actually, Hardy was a second baseman at the University of Arizona, but the Phillies like him more as a shortstop. That move has bumped Orr to third base, where he has looked more and more comfortable with each passing inning. In fact, the Phillies believe Orr may be better suited to play at third.

Offensively, Orr seems to be catching on as well. After seeing his average drop as low as .160, Orr went on a three-game streak that raised his average to .270, going 6-12 (.500) over the three games. Orr is second on the Muck Dogs with two homeruns. Orr led the 2004 version of Biola with 12 homeruns and has decent power that the Phillies believe will continue to develop. In fact, Orr's 2004 power numbers were half of what he hit in 2003 when he set the Biola single-season record for homeruns. One of the reasons for the decline a groin injury that nagged Orr throughout the season. Once everything falls into place, Orr will potentially show both power and the ability to hit for average, but for now, it's just a matter of getting him adjusted to the rigors of professional baseball.

Many scouts who have seen Orr play in college believe that he has all the basics to be at the very least, a solid major league player. He's not flashy, preferring to simply make all the plays and do the things that he needs to do to help a team win. His arm is definitely strong enough for third base and his glove is also solid enough for the hot corner.

After the Phillies grabbed Orr, they scoured the Biola roster for another find and came up with Carl Galloway. Orr and Galloway were friends throughout their time at Biola and are now teammates with Batavia.

Galloway - drafted in the eleventh round, three rounds behind Orr - could have returned to Biola for his senior season, but decided instead to sign with the Phillies. After hitting just .222 in the Gulf Coast League, the Phillies decided to move Galloway along to Batavia. The thinking was that he had the basic skills and the toughest adjustment for Galloway might not be on the field, but off. Pairing Orr and Galloway at Batavia will be an interesting mix.

In his first game with Batavia, Galloway went 1-3 with a walk.

Galloway, a sports physiology major at Biola, is more of a character than the quieter Orr. Galloway's fun personality, like Orr's quiet demeanor, hides his determination on the field. Galloway finished his college career as Biola's all-time homerun leader with 45. He also holds the single-season record for homeruns by a freshman with 15.

When it comes to hitting, Galloway is doing all he can to learn the craft. He confesses that his favorite book is The Art of Hitting by Tony Gwynn. Galloway must have liked what he read, as he hit .444 playing in all 48 of Biola's games in 2004. Like the great Gwynn, one of Galloway's strengths is not getting fooled too often at the plate. That's a great instinct to have as Galloway starts to face better quality pitchers and won't have the benefit of an aluminum bat to cover any mistakes or flaws.

As a first baseman, Galloway is fairly strong defensively. The Phillies don't believe that they will be changing his position, meaning that they could wind up with another power hitting first baseman in the organization, but this one bats right-handed. Had the Phillies not been able to find the number and the quality of catchers in the draft that they did, there might have been an interesting question concerning Galloway. Besides being Biola's starting first baseman, Galloway also served as their backup catcher coming into the season. Odds are that won't continue in the minors.

While the Phillies raided the Biola roster on the first day of the draft, the Padres took Biola's ace, Gary Gallegos on the second day of the draft, completing the Biola trifecta.

Orr and Galloway give the Phillies strong corners on a potential infield of the future. The plan is that both will progress at about the same speed and likely travel through the Phillies minor league system together. It's much too early to tell just how well both players will develop, but both have loads of potential and also have the coachable personalities that they may need to make it to the majors.

Phillies on Scout Top Stories