Phillies Prospect #46: Ben Pfinsgraff

All seemed to be going well for Ben Pfinsgraff in 2007, but an injury cut his season short. The right-hander has shown an ability to get hitters out and figures to have a bright future if he can only stay healthy.

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

B: T: R  /  Height: 6' 0"  /  Weight: 180 lbs

Birth Date: November 13, 1983

2007 Team/League: Lakewood (11 g), Clearwater (4 g)

Games/Games Started in 2007: 15 g / 6 gs

School: University of Maryland

Repertoire: Ben Pfinsgraff came to the Phillies with a well developed slider that is still his best pitch. He's put some velocity behind his fastball and is throwing it in the very low 90s and has maintained pretty good control. The Phillies had been working with Pfinsgraff on pushing his velocity a little higher and started that by putting him on a weight lifting program to develop a little size.

Pitching Style: Pfinsgraff works off his control, pitching away from hitters and doesn't give up many home runs - just four in 115.2 Minor League innings - and is a smart pitcher who knows how to work hitters. Since his days in college, Pfinsgraff has looked for holes in hitters games and looks to exploit them. He is an avid fan of scouting reports and works to learn every hitter that he faces and has a game plan in place when he takes the mound.

Projection: The big question about Ben Pfinsgraff is his health. His season ended in mid-July and he spent the rest of the season on the DL and finished the year with just 15 appearances between Lakewood and Clearwater. His future is likely in the bullpen, since that's where he's had most of his success and probably where he's best suited because of the pitches that he throws. He has a chance to develop well enough to be a late inning reliever and figures to put a little more velocity on his fastball. As long as it's not at the expense of his control, it will certainly help him down the road. His bad numbers at Clearwater last season are likely because he was pitching in pain and trying not to let it show and not from a lack of ability to handle hitters at higher levels. Now that he's had an injury during his pro career, health is a concern, since he had shoulder problems in college as well and is now seen as being a little fragile.

Why did Ben Pfinsgraff fall on our rankings? Last year, Ben Pfinsgraff was ranked 43rd and fell three spots. The only reason is his health concerns. We're assuming that his horrid numbers at Clearwater were due to the injury and not to a lack of ability to get hitters out. The fact though that he's had a couple of key injuries over the past few seasons that have cost him considerable time is a concern. The ability is there, so if Pfinsgraff can return to health in 2008, he could easily erase any drop and make a nice jump by this time next season.

Ben Pfinsgraff's career stats

2006 Batavia 4 4 1.12 1 13 4 40.1 25 9 5 0 10 44 0.87 .176
2006 Lakewood 1 2 2.28 0 4 4 23.2 17 9 6 0 8 25 1.06 .205
2007 Lakewood 2 1 2.43 0 11 2 33.1 28 9 6 2 6 38 1.02 .222
2007 Clearwater 0 2 8.35 0 4 4 18.1 31 19 17 2 1 12 1.75 .378
TOTALS 7 9 2.88 1 32 14 115.2 101 46 34 4 25 119 1.09 .233

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