Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 22nd round of the 2005
B: R T: R / Height: 6' 5" / Weight: 190 lbs.
2007 Team(s): Clearwater (13 g), Reading (15 g)
Games/Games Started in 2007: 28 g / 27 gs
School: Santa Clara University
Last Year's Ranking: #27
Why he dropped from #27 to #32: Patrick Overholt is moving through the system at a pretty good pace, but things really fell apart for him when he hit the Double-A level last season and that's exactly what many scouts thought may happen based on Overholt's stuff. There are some questions about how he'll work out at the higher levels and when those questions came back into focus when he was at Reading last season, it hit home. That's not to say that Overholt won't make it, but he's not going to move as quickly and shouldn't be expected to put up the type of numbers that he did in the lower levels of the system. Another question mark is just how he's going to be used. The Phillies moved him into the rotation last season, but he may be better suited for a reliever's role.
Repertoire: A basic fastball/slider pitcher, Overholt hasn't had a lot of success in developing his secondary pitches. His change-up isn't deceptive enough and he tends to tip off his pitches at times based on his mechanics. That was exposed at Reading where better hitters were able to see those things and hit his weaker offerings. His fastball is a good pitch for him, but he must keep it down in the zone, because it's not overpowering enough to go upstairs with the pitch.
Pitching Style: Coming into last season, Overholt allowed 0.84 home runs per nine innings as a reliever, but as a starter, that number went up to 1.18 per nine innings, which is still very acceptable. Hitters tend to figure out Overholt the second and third times through the order and since he doesn't have enough on his secondary pitches to mix things up too much, he could find himself in trouble against good hitters. He also tended to get the ball up in the zone a little more at Reading last season, which is opposite of what he had tended to do at the lower levels.
Projection: Overholt is going to be a little tough to figure out. When he pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2007, he pitched better when he was put into the starting rotation, but he seemed better suited to relieving. The key may lie in just how well he can get his change-up to develop and since he did make some strides with the pitch last season, there is definitely some reason for hope. He should be back at Reading to start the year, so let's wait and see how he adapts and what strides he can make against the better hitters that he's going to be facing at the higher levels.
ETA: He could need an entire season at Double-A to truly adjust. The bottom line is though that he likely won't really be ready for any sort of a look at the Major League level until late in the 2009 season, if not later. The Phillies will have to put him on the 40 man roster after the 2008 season or expose him in the Rule 5 Draft, so some decisions will have to be made.
What else you should know about Patrick Overholt:
- Underwent Tommy John surgery in college, but shows no ill-effects from the surgery.
- Had two years of college eligibility remaining when he signed with the Phillies.
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