Andrew Carpenter started his college career at Division II Chico State, but made it a brief stay. From there, he went to Sacrament City (a junior college) and on to Long Beach State, which is where the Phillies found him. Add to that the fact that he was slated to pitch for Oklahoma on a full scholarship and things really look pretty bumpy through the college ranks for Carpenter. The resignation of head coach Larry Cochell at Oklahoma changed Carpenter's mind about pitching there and started his roller coaster college ride.
The Phillies believe very highly in Carpenter and their scouts believe that other clubs underestimated his potential. In fact, the Phillies were a little surprised that he was still there when they chose in the second round and moved quickly to get him on the draft board under their name. Somewhat surprisingly, the Phillies started him in the Gulf Coast League, but he didn't last long there and was moved along to Batavia. This season, another jump is likely for the 6' 3" right-hander.
Andrew Carpenter's career stats
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Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the second round (65th overall pick) of the 2006 Draft out of Long Beach State University.
Repertoire: Carpenter's split-finger fastball is his best pitch and it's likely to become a pretty solid out pitch for him. He's also got a fastball and curve that are likely to improve as the Phillies continue to work with him on developing those pitches. When all is said and done, Carpenter should have three strong pitches to rely on and it's not out of the question that the Phillies will try to add a fourth.
Pitching: Carpenter looks to be very calm and poised on the mound. He throws strikes, moves the ball around in the zone and has what scouts refer to as a sneaky fast fastball. His mechanics are pretty sound, although the Phillies had him in the Gulf Coast League to work out a couple kinks, which were quickly removed. They were impressed with how well he picked up on the tweaking and liked the fact that he was very open to making changes and learning from the staff. Many scouts had Carpenter pegged as a back of the rotation type starter, but the Phillies see him as being a little more than that.
Projection: It's likely that Carpenter will start the season with Lakewood, but could move along to Clearwater before the end of the season. It's likely that he'll hit Double-A Reading either to start in 2008 or shortly after the season begins. If things progress as the Phillies believe, he could move quickly through the system and is one of the most likely pitchers out of the 2006 Draft to be fast-tracked through the system. It's not out of the question that he could be at Triple-A by late in 2008 and pushing for a starting job in the rotation at the major league level not long after that.
Comparison: Scouts place Carpenter just a step below the likes of Brett Myers. He should move quickly like Myers, but doesn't have quite the ability that the ace-in-waiting Myers does. Carpenter has the ability to post a number of strikeouts, but isn't allowed to let hitters put the bat on the ball and let his fielders do the work. One area where scouts say that Carpenter is better than Myers is in attitude and composure. Myers would throw some hissy-fits as a young pitcher, but Carpenter has much better poise on the mound.