Jaramillo Wrapping Up A Solid Season

In the 2004 First Year Player Draft, the Philadelphia Phillies were heavily focused on drafting catchers due to the lack of depth at the position. Of the first ten round draft picks, three catchers were selected. Jason Jaramillo was the most touted and could be the Phillies catcher of the future.

The highest drafted catcher that the Phillies selected in the 2004 Draft came during the second round when they selected Jason Jaramillo with the 62nd overall pick. The Phillies quickly got the Oklahoma State product signed with a healthy $585,000 signing bonus.

The Phillies had originally drafted Jaramillo in the 2001 Draft in the 39th round, but he decided to go on to play baseball in college.

Jaramillo is one of three candidates in the running to eventually take over for starting catcher, Mike Lieberthal. Carlos Ruiz who is hitting .304-4-39 through 92 games in Triple A and Lou Marson, who is hitting .246-4-23 at Batavia are the other potential backstops for the Phillies.

"I think Jaramillo is certainly a candidate for the starting job," assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle said. "To say who the successor is going to be, I don't know yet. Obviously, with the way Jason has been playing, he certainly puts himself into the picture and gives himself a very good chance to be a big leaguer sooner rather than later."

This season, Jaramillo is playing well both behind the plate and at the plate for the Phillies low Class A affiliate, the Lakewood BlueClaws.

In addition to his eight home runs and 60 runs batted in, his .306 batting average ranks first among catchers in the South Atlantic League and he most recently was named the Best Defensive Catcher in the league by Baseball America.

"Jason has been doing everything we have asked of him so far," manager P.J. Forbes said. "At the beginning of the season, his game calling needed some work and it has gotten better every day. He does a great job handling his pitching staff. He also keeps on improving from the left side of the plate. He works very hard every day taking batting practice and has gotten himself into a steady routine. Even when he's not playing, he's always asking questions on the bench and is willing to learn and take whatever advice is given to him. He is a great kid."

"I think he has a real positive track in all phases. I think it has been a real good year, from a development stand point, for him," Arbuckle added. "He has continued to improve at the plate and calling games. He continues to play well defensively. It has been a real good year all around for him."

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