Phillies Prospect #43: Ben Pfinsgraff

Ben Pfinsgraff is used to adapting. He made the jump from a small college in western Pennsylvania to an ACC program at Maryland and last summer jumped to Lakewood in his first professional season.

Ben Pfinsgraff didn't have many choices as the draft approached last summer. He was out of college eligibility and was admittedly frustrated on day two of the draft when he wasn't among the early names chosen. Finally though, his name showed up on the on-line account of the draft and that's how he found out he was a member of the Phillies organization.

The Phillies see Pfinsgraff as a true project, but one that won't take much work. They have concentrated on getting Pfinsgraff to hit the weights and get stronger and figure that when all is said and done, he'll be a steal for a 22nd round pick. He pitched well in a big-time program at Maryland and handled the initial pressures of his first pro season with seeming ease, pitching well at both Batavia and Lakewood. Now, it's just a matter of building himself up and becoming the true image of what the Phillies have pictured for him since scouting him at Maryland.

Ben Pfinsgraff's career stats

'06 Batavia 4 4 1.12 1 13 4 40.1 25 9 5 0 10 44
'06 Lakewood 1 2 2.28 0 4 4 23.2 17 9 6 0 8 25
Career Stats 5 6 1.55 1 17 8 64.0 42 18 11 0 18 69

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 22nd round of the 2006 Draft out of the University of Maryland.

Repertoire: Pfinsgraff has a good fastball that he moves around the strike zone and changes speeds on to keep hitters off balance. His best pitch though is his slider, which he generally keeps away from hitters and right on the borders of the strike zone. As he builds muscle on the weight program, the Phillies believe his velocity will increase, which will be an important factor in Pfinsgraff's success.

Pitching: Control and command; those are the two things that define Pfinsgraff. He had an excellent walk to strikeout ratio in his first pro season. He also had an excellent strikeouts to innings pitched ratio, which is interesting since Pfinsgraff is more the type of pitcher who is willing to let hitters put the bat on the ball and doesn't blow his fastball by too many hitters. He keeps the ball down in the zone and didn't allow a homerun in 64 innings last season between Batavia and Lakewood. Pfinsgraff is known for scouring over every syllable of scouting reports and formulating a way to exploit a hitter's weakness.

Projection: In his junior season at Maryland, Pfinsgraff suffered a shoulder injury and cost him some time, plus lingered into his senior year, causing his numbers to look pretty rough (5.87 ERA). The Phillies are convinced that he's well past the shoulder problems and part of the training routines that they've given him - and all their young pitchers - are to strengthen his shoulder. Pfinsgraff was a starter in college and the Phillies have split him between the rotation and the bullpen, but are likely to settle on having him pitch in a more defined role in 2007, likely as a reliever.


Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories