Phillies Prospect #26: Heitor Correa

A product of Brazil, Heitor Correa has more professional experience under his belt at age 18 than most players. He's also truly started to develop his skills and it's getting easier to see just how good he has the potential to be.

Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent.

B: R T:/  Height: 6' 3"  /  Weight: 200 lbs.

Birth Date: August 25, 1989

2007 Team/League: GCL Phillies

Games/Games Started in 2007: 13 G / 11 GS

Repertoire:  With his big frame that he's still growing into, Heitor Correa could well be a definite power pitcher, but with a bit of a twist. His fastball rides in the low-90s and minor league pitching coach Carlos Arroyo believes that he will increase that by at least a couple more miles per hour and maybe more. The twist is that to go along with the good, hard fastball, Correa throws a big, looping curve that tends to twist hitters into a wreck on the batter's box dirt.

Pitching Style: Correa's strikeout ratio took a jump up in 2007, going from 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 2006 to 6.8 strikeouts per nine in 2007. The good news was that he kept his walk ratio at about the same level that he posted in 2006. It's possible that as he develops more command of his pitches, he'll be more of a strikeout pitcher, but for now, he doesn't mind letting hitters put the ball in play, because he generally keeps them on the ground and in the park. His fastball will level out here and there, but it doesn't happen often and occurs mostly when Correa is looking to put a little extra on the pitch.

Projection: Having signed Correa out of Brazil, the Phillies didn't waste any time sending him to the Dominican or Venezuelan leagues and instead, brought him right to the states and to the Gulf Coast League. He was 16 when he arrived and didn't turn 17 until the season was almost over. Now, starting 2008 at the ripe old age of 18, the Phillies are starting to see a little more of exactly what they have in this kid. He'll probably start the year at Williamsport and they'll continue to work with him on some mechanics and developing his secondary pitches, but by the time he hits the full-season leagues, Correa should be well encamped as a true prospect in the Phillies organization. He has the potential to push toward the middle of the rotation in the majors, but that's likely another five years away.

Heitor Correa's career stats

2006 GCL 0 3 7.83 8 4 23.0 35 21 20 1 7 14 1.83 .365
2007 GCL 3 3 3.74 13 11 65.0 58 33 27 4 20 49 1.20 .230
TOTALS 3 6 4.81 21 15 88.0 93 54 47 5 27 63 1.36 .267

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