After a tough first pro season, the Phillies pushed Dueitt and he responded. This past season, they pushed him again and he didn't respond. The question now, is how do they handle him for the 2007 season?
2006 Prospect Ranking: 46
Status: The good news is that nobody expected very much out of Dueitt. It's also good news that he's shown that he can pitch effectively and he has a good attitude and approach to his game. The only thing that's lacking is consistency, but that's a big thing for any player to improve upon, since it's so important. Dueitt is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this December, but would likely only be chosen in the minor league phase of the draft. There is no chance that the Phillies will add him to the 40 man roster to protect him.
Scouting Notes: It's somewhat ironic that in 2005 when Dueitt had success pitching at Lakewood, he gave up a higher percentage of homeruns (8 in 73 innings) than he did in 2006 when he struggled at Clearwater. One reason for this is that Dueitt sometimes needs to pitch up in the zone to be effective. As he climbs the ladder though, it may be tougher for him to live in the higher part of the strike zone, so the Phillies are stressing to keep the ball down in the zone. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, so he needs to mix his pitches and really work hitters to get results.
Analysis: If you dig a little deeper into Dueitt's stats, you see that the main problem is consistency. Dueitt gave up earned runs in 10 of his 27 appearances, but in 7 of those 10 games, he gave up multiple runs. In fact, if you can lift just two appearances out of his stats - back to back outings in July - his season ERA would have been a decent 4.23 at Clearwater. In those two games, he gave up 10 earned runs in four innings of work.
The bottom line is that when Dueitt falls apart, he generally falls completely apart. He doesn't give up a run here and there, he gives them up in bunches. Of course, he generally straightens himself out quickly and then turns in a few strong performances again.
One key is that Dueitt's numbers jump greatly when there are runners on base. When he's pitching with the bases empty, his opponents against average is .223 and he seems in total control. Let just one runner get on and his opponents against average leaps to .337. With runners in scoring position, it goes to .328 and in the two innings where he pitched with the bases loaded, it balloons to .556.
Look for our list of the Top 50 Phillies' Prospects to be released in January, 2007.