Phillies Prospect #10: Jason Jaramillo

Jason Jaramillo might be ready for the majors, but having Carlos Ruiz ahead of him means another season at Triple-A for the 25 year old prospect.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2004 Draft.

B: S T: R / Height: 6' 0" / Weight: 200 lbs.

Birth Date:  October 9, 1982

2007 Team: Ottawa (118 g)

Positions Played in 2007:  C (109 g)

School: Oklahoma State

Last Year's Ranking: 15

Why Jaramillo moved from #15 to #10: Jason Jaramillo put up very respectable offensive numbers at Triple-A Ottawa last season and offense has always been the question mark when it comes to judging the 25 year old catching prospect. Too often, he gets a bum rap for his offense, which isn't of an MVP type caliber, but also isn't as bad as some make it out to be. He struggled offensively early in his career and when he was moved to Double-A Reading in 2006, but that's not uncommon for even the best of prospects, because those are the two toughest parts for most young players. It was especially tough for Jaramillo, who skipped from Lakewood in 2005 to Reading the following season, bypassing Clearwater. That move was made so he could be the catcher for some of the top pitching prospects who were all headed to Reading in 2006. Too many people are quick to overlook Jaramillo and the type of catcher that he could be at the Major League level.

Batting and Power:  There is a fine line between having good plate discipline and being aggressive at the plate. Jaramillo showed better plate discipline in 2006 when he was at Reading and cut down on his strikeout numbers, but hit just .248 on the season. The years before and after that, his strikeout numbers were higher (72 in 2005 and 79 in 2007) but his overall numbers were better. In other words, Jaramillo is straddling that line, but needs to be aggressive at the plate in order to be successful. His power isn't great, but he'll occasionally turn on a pitch and go deep. He certainly has enough offensive ability to make him a very viable Major League prospect.

Baserunning and Speed: Two stolen bases in eight attempts in four minor league seasons; 'nuff said?

Jason Jaramillo doesn't always get the respect he deserves for his offensive skills, especially considering that when he struggled in 2006, he was making a double-jump to the Double-A level. (AP Photo)

Defense: There was a reason why Jaramillo jumped over Clearwater and headed to Reading in 2006 and it was to handle the young, but talented pitching staff that the Phillies were sending to Double-A. Pitchers like Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood were headed for Reading and the Phillies needed a top-notch defensive catcher who knew how to work well with pitchers. This is a guy who will put his body in front of pitches in the dirt and doesn't mind getting a few bruises to help out his pitchers and most pitchers who have worked with Jaramillo have come to respect him and rely on him to help get them through rough spots in games. They also appreciate Jaramillo's arm, which is an accurate and highly powered gun that routinely tosses out runners looking to steal. When it all comes down to it, it's Jaramillo's defense that people will remember.

Projection: The Phillies catching situation is unique. They've got a young, up and coming Carlos Ruiz in the majors and two catching prospects in Jaramillo and Lou Marson who are inching closer to Philadelphia. For years, people have talked about what's going to have to happen to clear the logjam among the three catchers and that time is now here. In all honesty, the Phillies would likely be best off either trading Ruiz after this season or keeping him in the majors for a couple more seasons and trading Jaramillo, which would give Lou Marson the time to develop and reach Philly. It appears that they can't go wrong with any of the three catchers and all are young, making for a nice position to be in, considering that catching is at a premium these days. For his part, Jaramillo is likely to be catching on an everyday basis for some Major League team before too long.

ETA: Jaramillo could likely play in the majors now, but because of skipping Clearwater, he doesn't have quite as much minor league experience as he might have had. Having him at Double-A for insurance is not at all a bad situation. The question will come next season when he will clearly be ready to move to the majors and he'll still be blocked by Carlos Ruiz.

Comparison: Some scouts compare him to the current Phillies catcher. Both are good, solid catchers who know how to work with a pitching staff. Ruiz is likely going to be the better offensive catcher of the two, especially since he seems to be settling in well at the big league level, but there is no denying that while Ruiz has good defensive skills, Jaramillo's defense is the better of the two.

What else you should know about Jason Jaramillo: 

  • The Phillies were following Jaramillo for some time, and originally took him in the 39th round of the 2001 Draft, but he decided to head to Oklahoma State.

Jason Jaramillo's career stats

2004 GCL 0 1 .667 1 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 .667 .667
2004 Batavia 1 14 .223 31 112 11 25 5 0 0 12 27 .299 .295
2005 Lakewood 8 63 .304 119 448 46 136 28 4 2 44 72 .368 .438
2006 Reading 6 39 .248 246 322 35 80 25 1 0 32 55 .320 .388
2006 Scranton 0 1 .167 2 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 .143 .167
2007 Ottawa 6 56 .271 118 435 52 118 13 4 0 50 79 .350 .361
TOTALS 21 174 .273 364 1326 145 362 71 9 2 138 234 .344 .388

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