Savage came to know quickly that hitters in the pros are much more dangerous, especially after he moved up to Lakewood. "The hitters were a lot better and you can't make mistakes as you move up. That's probably the biggest thing that I learned," confessed Savage. He's going to have to remember that lesson, since he'll be moving along again in 2007.
Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 26th round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of Oklahoma.
Repertoire: Savage has a strong two-seam fastball that he generally throws between 90 and 92 miles per hour. He mixes it well with a change-up, giving him a great velocity change to keep hitters off balance with. After getting a psychological lift from pitching in a pennant race, Savage was pumping his fasstball closer to the mid-90s. "I sort of hit a wall mentally and physically in August, but that sort of excitement [pitching in a pennant race] gave me my fourth or fifth wind," said Savage.
Pitching: Savage knows how to keep the ball down and in 40.1 pro innings, he didn't allow a homerun, which is a little unusual for young pitchers who move as quickly as Savage. He also showed excellent control, walking just six hitters.
Projection: The Phillies have told Savage that a spot on the Clearwater roster is his to lose and he doesn't plan on doing that. He's been working hard this off-season and is ready mentally for a step up in the minors. Savage isn't just looking toward Clearwater though, he's looking beyond. "The ultimate would be to reach Double-A. I get better every day and learn more every day, so who knows?"
Comparison: Savage has the same kind of control and poise that scouts love in Scott Mathieson. Many scouts have thought that Mathieson's future is in being a reliever and Savage is already earning his pay in the minor league bullpen.