Top Prospect #34: Zack Segovia

It has been a long, tough road filled with rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow, but Zack Segovia is ready to hit much smoother travels in 2005. After being ranked as the tenth best prospect in the organization by <i>Baseball America</i> two years ago, Segovia is ready to regain his prospect status.

It's hard to tell exactly where Zack Segovia would have placed on our list of the Top 50 Phillies Prospects, had he not missed an entire season after having Tommy John surgery in November of 2003. The good news is that Segovia is throwing again and his progress has been almost remarkable. While nobody is looking for miracles in 2005, Segovia will at least be healthy enough to pitch and could very possibly be a very pleasant surprise.

Prior to the injury, Segovia was a definite player to watch in the Phillies' organization. Things started to change as his elbow was wearing down during the 2003 season and the extent of the injury makes it almost a miracle that he was able to do the things that he did that year. He had started the season in Lakewood before going on the DL late in May. When he returned, the Phillies had him pitching in the GCL, but he was able to return to Lakewood for one final appearance before the season ended.

Now, with most of a long rehab process behind him, Segovia can look forward to returning to the mound to face live hitters. All of the reports are good and it's just a matter of time before Segovia starts to again draw more attention from scouts and fans alike.

2002 Gulf Coast 3 2 2.10 0 8 8 0 34.0 21 11 8 3 30 0
2003 Gulf Coast 0 1 4.00 0 5 4 0 9.0 8 5 4 0 6 0
2003 Lakewood 1 5 3.99 0 11 10 0 50.0 63 25 22 14 27 2
Career 4 8 3.29 0 24 22 0 93.0 92 41 34 17 63 2

Acquired: Drafted out of Forney High School (Texas) in the second round of the 2002 Draft.

Repertoire: A good, strong fastball and slider are Segovia's main weapons. Before his injury, he was throwing in the low to mid-90s and there is cautious optimism that before too long, Segovia will again be able to hit those type of numbers.

Pitching: Segovia simply loves to pitch. He threw 143 pitches in a Texas State playoff game and was willing to pitch again the next day. He keeps the ball down in the zone and has excellent control. He didn't give up a homerun through all of the Gulf Coast League season in 2002 and has given up just two in 93 minor league innings.

Projection: The Phillies will likely watch the weather reports with Segovia this spring. Starting at Lakewood wouldn't be given a second thought, but the weather in New Jersey isn't conducive to pitchers coming off an injury. Two other scenarios exist. The first is to keep him in extended spring training until the weather warms or they could give him a shot at pitching for Clearwater. It will be interesting to see which way the Phillies decide to go. If it's up to Segovia, he'll likely be starting for the Threshers when the season begins.

ETA: If not for the injury, Segovia would be at Reading this season and possibly be moving to Scranton before too long. He may need a season to sort of put everything back together, but should move quickly. Don't count out the possibility that Segovia could be seeing a September call-up by late in the 2007 season.

Comparison: When he's healthy, Segovia could easily put up the type of numbers that the Phillies look for out of Vicente Padilla. One big difference would be that Segovia already has a better attitude and keeps his composure better on the mound than Padilla does.

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