Phillies Prospect #3: Joe Savery

Last year, the Phillies skipped Drew Carpenter over Lakewood and started him at Clearwater. This season, the jump belongs to Joe Savery, the Phillies first round pick last June.

Acquired: Selected by the Phillies in the first round of the 2007 Draft.

B: L T: L  / Height: 6' 3"  Weight: 210 lbs.

Birth Date: November 4, 1985

2007 Team: Williamsport (7 g)

Games/Games Started in 2007: 7 g / 7 gs

School: Rice

Repertoire: Joe Savery features a four-seam fastball that sits in the low-90s and is set up well with a change-up that some have compared to that of Cole Hamels. He relies heavily on the change-up and will throw it in any situation because he feels so comfortable with the pitch. The key to his change is that his arm speed and delivery are no different from when he throws his fastball. Savery features a good, sharp curve, but he didn't throw it as much last season because of surgery that he had prior to the season to shave down a bone growth in his shoulder. Now that he's a year past the surgery, he should look to throw his curve more often. His slider is an average pitch that he mixes in here and there to keep hitters honest.

Pitching Style: Savery loves to pitch inside, but he'll move the ball in and out to keep hitters honest. One of the keys to his success is throwing first pitch strikes and he goes right after hitters. He's got smooth and consistent mechanics and is very poised and in control on the mound. When he does get runners on base, he doesn't panic, but he's not very good at keeping runners close and needs some definite work on his pick-off move because he can be easy to run against. Last season, Savery's control was not where he needs it to be, but that is likely contributed to some early nerves.

Projection: The Phillies are excited about Savery's chances of being a guy that can pitch at or near the top of the order in Philadelphia. By default, he may wind up pitching in the middle of the rotation if Cole Hamels is still around, because they'll want to split up the two left-handers, but having someone with Savery's talent as a number three starters is a nice luxury. Since he split his time between pitching and playing at first base in college, his arm doesn't have too many miles on it, but he does have that one surgery in his history, although that shouldn't be anything to worry about going forward.

ETA: The Phillies tend to be a little cautious with young pitchers and move them a little slowly, but they are throwing caution to the wind with Savery and jumping him over Lakewood to start the season at Clearwater. Savery should be able to handle skipping Low-A ball and it's likely that his path will be like that of Drew Carpenter, who made the same jump to go to Clearwater in 2007 and is now at Double-A Reading. It figures that Savery would move at a level per season and possibly faster, putting him in a competition for the Phillies starting rotation for 2011.

Joe Savery's career stats

2007 Williamsport 2 3 2.73 7 7 26.1 22 9 8 0 13 22 1.33 .214

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