Prospect Scouting Report: Clemente Doble

The Phillies have spent a lot more time scouting players in the Dominican Republic over the past few years. Clemente Doble is one of the young players that they believe will help them at the major league level someday. For now though, Doble still has some demons to exercise in the minors.

The Phillies found Clemente Doble as part of their scouting effort in the Dominican Republic. After signing him in October of 2000, they kept his in the Dominican for two seasons to give him an opportunity to continue to develop before bringing him to the states. In 2002, he finished third in the Dominican League in saves and was rewarded with a promotion to the Gulf Coast League in 2003.

Since his strong season in the bullpen in 2002, the Phillies have toyed with the idea of converting Doble to a starter. Ten of his eleven appearances in 2003 were as a starter, but in 2004, Doble was again working primarily as a reliever and started just two games in 22 appearances.

Doble should get a better opportunity to showcase himself in 2005 and will need to start settling in considering that he turns 23 in January. It's likely that he will start the season at Lakewood and could move along to Clearwater if all goes well.

2001 Dominican 1 2 4.63 0 11 6 0 35.0 31 18 18 16 25 2
2002 Dominican 2 0 1.62 13 29 0 0 33.1 20 8 6 7 27 1
2003 GCL 5 4 3.00 0 10 9 1 57.0 57 27 19 9 44 2
2003 Clearwater 0 1 6.75 0 1 1 0 4.0 5 3 3 3 1 0
2004 GCL 1 0 2.45 5 14 0 0 22.0 18 7 6 6 15 3
2004 Lakewood 2 2 4.56 0 8 2 0 23.2 21 14 12 18 15 2
Career 11 9 3.14 18 73 18 1 175.0 152 77 64 59 127 10

Pitching: Doble can lose control at times and gets himself into trouble. When his command is on, he is near dominating, or at least, he can be. Even when he's wild, he generally keeps the ball down in the zone and doesn't give up many homeruns. He has the ability to become a closer-type pitcher who can work his club out of tough spots, if he gets his control issues settled.

Projection: It seems that the Phillies can't quite make up their mind about how to use Doble. They've been very cautious with him and he has pitched well in both a starting and relieving role. With his strong sinker, it figures that he would be best suited to working out of the bullpen. There isn't too much mileage on his arm and perhaps, the Phillies have done that intentionally, with the thought of waiting until he developed more to make him a steady starter. If that's the case, the time is now.

ETA: The Phillies have been slow to push Doble. His timetable should accelerate a little starting this season. It's likely that he wouldn't be ready to compete for a job until around 2009. He'll be 27 at the start of the 2009 season, so that's not a horrible schedule for him to be on.

Comparison: Some have drawn comparisons to Vicente Padilla in that there are debates on whether Doble should start or relieve. Those debates and the control issues are very similar to Padilla. Doble doesn't have the pure stuff or an arm as strong as Padilla, although he does have enough talent to challenge for a big league job down the road.

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