Phillies Prospect #14: Antonio Bastardo

Antonio Bastardo was clicking on all cylinders in 2007, but could there be some storm clouds on the horizon for him? Moving to Clearwater will be a challenge for the 22 year old left-hander looking to build a strong reputation as a starter.

Acquired: Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 2005.

B: L T:/  Height: 5' 11"  /  Weight: 168 lbs

Birth Date: September 21, 1985

2007 Team: Lakewood (15 g), Clearwater (1 g)

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

Repertoire:  Antonio Bastardo features a decent fastball and curve, but relies a lot on his change-up, which is able to easily fool most hitters. Bastardo hits around 90 mph consistently with his fastball, but sometimes lets the pitch flatten out primarily because of some inconsistent mechanics. His curve is a mix of a slider and curve (the classic slurve) and he has trouble controlling the pitch, leading some to believe that he ought to simply work on developing a more pure slider or curve and ditch what he's throwing now.

Pitching Style: Bastardo made some tremendous strides in 2007, but there are still some question marks about how he'll handle jumping up to higher levels, starting with Clearwater in 2008. The Lakewood BlueClaws play in somewhat of a pitcher friendly park, which saved Bastardo a few home runs and thus, kept his ERA lower on the season. Pitching for Clearwater will be more of a test, since the park is more of a neutral park and the hitters are generally more advanced in the Florida State League. Many of the flyballs that Bastardo was able to get away with in Lakewood will wind up showing up on the scoreboard in Clearwater. Again, dropping the slurve and coming up with a third pitch that Bastard could keep down in the zone would be a tremendous boost for the 22 year old lefty.

Projection: Bastardo has been somewhat plagued by injuries, but nothing that he hasn't been able to bounce back from. He's on the lean side and lacks the size of the kind of pitchers that the Phillies are looking to produce, but that doesn't mean that he can't succeed. If he develops something more than a simple fastball and change-up, Bastardo will settle in and has the projection to be a back of the rotation starter at the Major League level, but if he continues with what he's got, odds are he'll wind up as a Quad-A type pitcher bouncing back and forth; in other words, Clay Condrey.

Comparison: Actually, the mention of Clay Condrey isn't that far off base (or the pitcher's mound). They are both decent pitchers, but both lack that killer pitch to put hitters away with.

Antonio Bastardo's career stats

YEAR/TEAM W L ERA G GS CG IP H R ER HR BB KO WHIP OPP AVG
2005 Dominican 2 2 2.13 11 5 0 38.0 22 14 9 0 22 63 1.16 .162
2006 GCL Phillies 1 2 3.91 9 2 0 23.0 20 16 10 1 14 27 1.48 .220
2007 Lakewood 9 0 1.87 15 15 0 91.2 63 23 19 3 42 98 1.15 .189
2007 Clearwater 1 0 7.20 1 1 0 5.0 5 4 4 0 3 12 1.60 .250
TOTALS 13 4 2.40 36 23 0 157.2 110 57 42 4 81 200 1.21 .190



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