Phillies Prospect #4: Drew Carpenter

Drew Carpenter was not only playing in his first full-season league in 2007, but jumped over Lakewood to do it. Now, he moves to Double-A looking to repeat the success he had at Clearwater.

Acquired: Selected by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the 2006 Draft.

B:  R T: R / Height: 6' 3"  Weight: 230 lbs.

Birth Date: May 18, 1985

2007 Team: Clearwater (27 g)

Games/Games Started in 2007: 27 g / 24 gs

School: Long Beach State

Last Year's Ranking: 16

Why he moved from #16 to #4: The reason is just that Drew Carpenter was able to do in a full-season league what scouts believed he would be able to do when given the opportunity and he did it even though they skipped him over Lakewood. It was a big jump for the young right-hander and he handled it well and played a huge role on a team that won the Florida State League Championship. The problem now is following it up with another season like he turned in at Clearwater. It did take Carpenter a little while to settle in at Clearwater. His ERA was at 4.69 before the Florida State League All-Star Game, but after that point, he fashioned a 2.05 mark for the rest of the season, including throwing all three of his complete games.

Repertoire: When the Phillies drafted Carpenter, he already had a good split-finger fastball and it's developed into a dominating pitch for him very quickly. His curve also improved last season and he's got a basic four-seem fastball that lags behind his other pitches, but is still a decent pitch and could get better. The Phillies have worked with him a little on developing a change-up, but the progress is very slow. At times, Carpenter will tip some of his pitches - especially the change - when he gets tired and that's something for him to work on.

Pitching Style: When he's on, Carpenter is one of those guys who seems to be barely putting in any effort when he's on the mound. He's smooth, poised and in control and doesn't get easily rattled. His fastball tends to sneak up on hitters and he's not afraid to move the ball around in the strike zone and to move hitters off the plate when he needs to.

Projection: Hitting Double-A is always a true point of measurement for a player and Carpenter is no different. If he is as good as he previewed in 2007, Carpenter can easily be a middle of the rotation type starter at the Major League level and should be able to move there pretty quickly. there's always the chance of a player slowing when he hits Double-A and Carpenter may not be immune to that. It should be noted that Carpenter performed better than some expected last season, so he's going to have to prove it again in 2008 and it's not always easy to duplicate the type of performance that Carpenter had last season at Clearwater. Notice that Carpenter picked up a save last season at Clearwater; is he a potential closer candidate? Right now, the Phillies don't have any real plans of converting him, but keep it tucked in the back of your memory, because it could come up down the road. Last season, Carpenter threw three complete games and has the potential to pitch deep into games, which is an important reason for keeping him in the starting rotation.

ETA: So, does Carpenter need just a full season at Reading? Less than a full season? Who knows? Odds are that he's going to need at least a full year in Reading to continue developing, but at just short of 23 years of age, Carpenter isn't on a strict timetable. Figuring a season at Double-A and a full season at Triple-A, it won't be until the spring of 2010 until the Phillies truly consider Carpenter a candidate for their starting rotation. There's also the factor of how other young pitchers develop and where Carpenter will fit in among them and how the Phillies rotation will be built in a couple of short seasons.

What else you should know about Drew Carpenter:

  • College was a roller coaster for Carpenter. He went from Chico State (Division 2) onto Sacramento City College and then was figuring on heading to Oklahoma until head coach Larry Cochell resigned and Carpenter headed for Long Beach State instead.

Drew Carpenter's career stats

2006 Gulf Coast 0 0 0.00 0 2 0 3.0 2 0 0 0 0 4
2006 Batavia 0 0 0.77 0 3 3 11.2 10 1 1 0 5 12
2007 Clearwater 17 6 3.20 1 27 24 163.0 150 65 58 16 53 116
TOTALS 17 6 2.99 1 32 27 177.2 162 66 59 16 58 132

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