Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 30th round of the 2007
B: L T: L / Height: 6' 4" / Weight: 190 lbs.
Birth Date: January 21, 1987
2007 Teams: GCL Phillies (10 g), Williamsport (3 g)
Games/Games Started in 2007: 13 g / 13 gs
School: Cloud County Community College
Consider the odds on Jacob Diekman being ranked as high as he is on our list of the Top 75 Phillies Prospects. This time last year, he was getting ready for his sophomore season at Cloud County Community College (for those of you who don't know, CCCC is in Concordia, Kansas) and was thinking about where life would lead after the season. As it turned out, it could have led to the University of Nebraska where he had signed a letter of intent to attend, but then the Phillies came calling. The odds of a Community College player getting much recognition in the pro ranks isn't great and neither are the odds of a 30th round pick garnering much attention, but yet, here we are with Jacob Diekman.
Repertoire: Diekman features a fastball that is in the 90-92 mile per hour range and figures to climb higher as the Phillies work with his mechanics and as he simply fills out and develops. His secondary pitches are where most of the work needs to be done, but the Phillies truly believe that teams overlooked a guy with huge potential and they've already made progress on developing his breaking pitches.
Pitching Style: This is a big, tall left-hander who hasn't quite grown into his frame yet. When it all comes together, he will be the type of pitcher who has the size, velocity and talent to go right after hitters. He's not afraid to throw inside, which will serve him well once his fastball reaches its potential, which is likely in the mid-90s. The Phillies will also need to work with him on getting more ground ball outs and working more down in the zone, because hitters at higher levels will eat him up if he stays elevated. Again, that's mostly mechanics and fine tuning, so there's not too much to worry about.
Projection: What do you do with a kid like Diekman? He's still rough around the edges, but is smart enough and has the character to handle a move up to Lakewood, even if his skills aren't quite there. It's likely that he'll either start the year at Lakewood or be one of the first to head for the Jersey Shore out of extended camp. When all is said and done, the Phillies likely have a guy who could serve as a fourth or fifth starter, which is good, because they threw a decent chunk of change - reported to be about $70,000 - at him to convince him to head for the pros and shun Nebraska where a scholarship was waiting for him.
ETA: "I want to make my Major League debut in three or four years," said Diekman when he was drafted. Actually, some scouts believe it's possible that he will move very quickly, but it's likely on the longer end of Diekman's wish until he'll reach the Promised Land.
Jacob Diekman's career stats