Phillies Prospect #38: Jarrod Freeman

Just because Jarrod Freeman hasn't pitched at the college level doesn't mean he's not battle tested. This 19 year old has shown that he can handle tough assignments and not blink an eye. Plus, he's only going to get better.

As a high school sophomore, Jarrod Freeman was put into a tough spot that most young pitchers aren't thrust into. Freeman found himself as the starting pitcher for Alta High School in the Utah state championship game. Not only did Freeman get the start, he got the win for Alta. Things only got better from there for the young right-hander. Freeman generally ranked as one of - if not the - best pitcher in Utah throughout much of his high school career. The University of Utah thought they stood a pretty good chance of grabbing the right-hander, but the Phillies swooped in to grab him with their 11th round pick last June.

As it turns out, the Phillies had done their homework on Freeman. While many projected him as a draft-and-follow type selection, the Phillies threw exact numbers and scenarios at the youngster and asked him pointedly what he would do. With a good feeling that Freeman would sign, the Phillies grabbed him and they rewarded him with a strong season in the Gulf Coast League.

Jarrod Freeman's career stats

'06 Gulf Coast 1 2 3.38 0 11 6 45.1 47 23 17 3 5 37

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies with their 11th round pick out of Alta High School in Sandy, Utah. Freeman had signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Utah.

Pitching: Freeman has already shown a lot of poise on the mound. He's got above average pitches and knows how to mix them and locate them throughout the strike zone. In high school, Freeman was called on to pitch a lot of innings and the Phillies took it easy on him in the Gulf Coast League, although he did throw one complete game for the GCL Phillies. While they used him in relief a lot last summer, his future seems to lie in the starting rotation and the Phillies believe he will develop quickly after a couple of seasons of tweaking and maturing. The Phillies were impressed with his easy and consistent mechanics, especially for his age. Freeman has got as good of a pick-off move as you'll see from a right-hander and he has worked hard to be a good fielder off the mound.

Repertoire: Last summer, Freeman was hitting the low 90s with his fastball and odds are that he'll pump that up a couple miles per hour once he fills out a little more, which is likely to happen. He gets good movement on his fastball and moves it through the strike zone. What makes him especially tough is his ability to disguise his change-up, which is above average and which he is very comfortable throwing to any hitter at any point in the count. He's got a late-breaking curve and a nasty slider.

Projection: It's likely that Freeman will need a couple seasons in short-season ball before he's truly ready to move up. It's not out of the question that he could move to Lakewood by the end of the season if all goes well. Once he does hit the full-season leagues, he will probably move pretty quickly. With his array of pitches and the fact that he throws them all pretty well, he's likely to work as a starting pitcher and should be assigned to Williamsport this summer after extended spring training.

Comparison: One scout believes that Freeman is much like Zack Segovia when Segovia was drafted by the Phillies and in fact, believes that in some areas, he may be a little ahead of Segovia, who has developed into one of the best prospects in the system. How Freeman develops will determine if he gets anywhere near the status of Segovia.


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