Andrew Baldwin was having a nice, if not dominating season at Clearwater. The 23 year old right-hander had shown solid improvement in each season in the Phillies' organization, lowering his ERA from a high of 5.17 in his debut season of 2004 to 4.77 last season and 4.04 this season at Clearwater. He had also moved up a level each season, making the progression all the more impressive.
If there is a downfall to Baldwin's numbers, it's that he generally gets hit pretty hard. Opponents were hitting .285 against him this season and have hit Baldwin at a .290 pace over his three seasons in the minors. The fact that Baldwin doesn't walk too many hitters - 79 walks in 386 1/3 innings - kept his WHIP at a 1.35 mark over his career.
Baldwin was improving in getting hitters to keep the ball on the ground and in fact, right-handed hitters had more ground ball outs against Baldwin than they did fly ball outs this season (89 to 88). Overall though, Baldwin is pretty much of a fly ball pitcher who will mix in some strikeouts - 254 in 386 1/3 IP - along the way.
Andrew Barb was having somewhat of a breakout season at Lakewood this year and had been pitching extremely well of late. Just last Sunday, Barb threw the final two innings in relief of Carlos Carrasco to no-hit Kannapolis for the Lakewood BlueClaws. When dealt to Seattle, Barb had a streak of 13 shutout innings for Lakewood and hadn't allowed a hit in his last seven innings of work.
While Baldwin struggled to get ground balls, Barb had developed a better ability to induce ground balls, getting 56 ground ball outs this season compared to 54 fly ball outs. Barb is also much more of a strikeout pitcher, whiffing 200 hitters in 170 2/3 career innings in the minors.
Barb had moved through the system at just about one level per season, with the exception of repeating the Gulf Coast League for two extra games to start the 2005 season. The difference in their levels came from Barb starting his career in the Gulf Coast League, while Baldwin started his career at Batavia.
In high school, Barb was a catcher, but was always thought to have a future as a pitcher. He served as his team's closer and was finally given a chance to close at the professional level this season at Lakewood, saving 18 games for the 'Claws.
Just as Moyer gets to pitch in his old backyard, having grown up in Souderton, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, Barb is headed home as well; the 21 year old grew up in Kirkland, Washington.
The Phillies drafted Barb with their 40th round pick in 2003, but he didn't sign with the club until just before the 2004 Draft. Baldwin, however, was a much more highly sought prospect and was drafted by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2004 Draft. Since then, Barb had seemingly caught - and possibly passed - Baldwin as a prospect in the Phillies' organization.