Phillies Prospect #13: Joe Bisenius

Joe Bisenius started the 2007 season in Philadelphia, but wound up back at Triple-A Ottawa and struggling badly for the rest of the Summer. Now, he'll be back at Triple-A to start the season, but in a completely different atmosphere and with something to prove.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 12th round of the 2004 Draft.

B:T:  R / Height: 6' 5"  Weight: 210 lbs.

Birth Date: September 18, 1982

2007 Team: Ottawa (35 g), Philadelphia (2 g)

Games/Games Started in 2007: 37 g / 0 gs

School: Iowa Western Community College

Last Year's Ranking: 14

Why he moved from #14 to #13: By most accounts, Joe Bisenius had a bad season in 2007. You have to look a little deeper though and you'll see a couple of interesting facts. First, many of the Phillies pitchers who were stationed in Ottawa had bad seasons, which is a testament to the bad playing conditions that the team operated under. And second, Bisenius still has all of the skills that moved him through the system in the first place and has actually improved upon some of them. This will be an important season for the tall right-hander, but there is reason to believe that he'll bounce back.

Repertoire: Bisenius has a low-90s fastball that he can pump up to 95 miles per hour on a pretty regular basis. His curve can be dominating and have impressive late movement that hitters simply can't follow. Throughout his minor league career, Bisenius has generally had pretty good control, but his control completely abandoned him, which led to his weak numbers at Ottawa.

Pitching Style: When you watch Bisenius pitch, you quickly notice how effortless he is on the mound and how smooth his delivery is when he's throwing well. His mechanics are solid and he brings a consistent release point, except for when he changes things around a little to keep a hitter off balance. The 2007 season was so bad for him primarily because his pinpoint control is the basis for all he does on the mound, but whether it was pitching in Ottawa or the fact that he was trying too hard to make it back to the majors, his control was well off mark and he got himself in a lot of trouble. If anything good came out of his struggles, it's that he showed he knows how to handle tough spots and he was able to remain poised and in control of himself, if not his pitches.

Projection: This time last year, Bisenius looked like he was going to snag a spot in the Phillies bullpen, but ultimately wound up there for only a week or so and that was because of injuries to other relievers. Now, with the down year at Ottawa, Bisenius has to rebuild himself on the depth chart, but won't have trouble doing just that. He'll be pitching in a park that by all accounts should be pretty neutral and have a much more exciting atmosphere to pitch in with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies new Triple-A affiliate. The 'Pigs will be playing in a brand new, impressive ballpark and the fan base is pumped, giving the Triple-A squad a complete turn around from what they faced last season in Ottawa. With a bounce back season, Bisenius could be one of the early promotions to the majors if they need relief help, even though he was a pretty early cut from Major League camp this Spring. He also figures to be fighting for a full-time job in the 'pen for next season.

ETA: He threw two decent innings (1.1 innings against Atlanta and 0.2 against Florida) in the majors last season and he could pitch there again, if needed. Certainly, for next season, it will be time to consider Bisenius for a spot on the Phillies staff and he could find some substantial time in the big city this season if things work out in his favor.

What else you should know about Joe Bisenius:

  • He was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 21st round of the 2003 Draft.

Joe Bisenius' career stats

2004 Batavia 0 1 1.43 0 11 11 50.1 39 12 8 5 14 38 1.05 .219
2005 Lakewood 6 4 5.88 4 40 4 64.1 66 45 42 5 37 56 1.60 .264
2006 Clearwater 4 1 1.93 2 35 0 60.2 48 17 13 4 22 62 1.15 .216
2006 Reading 4 2 3.09 5 16 0 23.1 14 9 8 2 8 33 0.94 .182
2007 Ottawa 3 4 5.48 0 35 0 46.0 52 29 28 5 31 41 1.80 .301
2007 Philadelphia 0 0 0.00 0 2 0 2.0 2 0 0 0 2 3 1.00 .286
Career 14 8 3.22 11 102 15 198.2 167 83 71 16 81 189 1.25 .243

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