Pettibone Glad To Start Pro Career

Technically, Jonathan Pettibone still had a few days left to get a deal done with the Phillies. But for Pettibone, things got a little closer than he would have liked.

Jonathan Pettibone may have the 110th overall pick in this past June Draft, but up until a few days ago, he was just like any other kid getting ready for his first day of college. "I was actually ready to start school next week," said Pettibone, who wasn't really sure that he and the Phillies would get a deal done before the August 15th deadline. "There were times when I thought the money just wasn't going to be there and I would start school, but it all worked out."

In the end, Pettibone's dream of reaching the majors just as quickly as possible became a reality and he's now in Florida getting ready to start his pro career. Many other picks from the draft have been playing for almost two months now, but Pettibone will be lucky to get just a couple of games under his belt. "Ideally, I would have liked to sign earlier. It just didn't work out that way, so all I can do now is get ready for next year," said the Esperanza High School graduate. Pettibone's addition to the Phillies organization is a big loss for the University of Southern California baseball program, since Pettibone had a full scholarship just ready and waiting for him. And while he wanted to sign, Pettibone also knows that USC would have been a great opportunity. "That's a great school, so I figured that no matter how this worked out, it would be okay," said Pettibone of his two options.

It's somewhat ironic that Pettibone was drafted and signed by the Phillies, since his Dad actually played for Phillies manager Charlie Manuel in the minors. "I think it was his [Manuel's] first or second season as a minor league manager. Basically all my Dad has told me about him is how he remembers his strong southern accent," laughed Pettibone. As for Manuel, he is happy to have the younger Pettibone in the organization. "I guess he [the elder Pettibone] sent his son here for me to mess up," joked Manuel.

It's also ironic that Cole Hamels, who has had issues with the Phillies over his finances, was one of the people who talked to Pettibone about the business of baseball. "Cole just told me to think about the opportunity that was there for me and related his experience. He told me that if I really wanted to get to the majors as quickly as possible, there wasn't any reason to wait since I had this opportunity with Philadelphia." said Pettibone, who believes he can be major league ready in four or five years.

Between the time that he was drafted and the time that he signed, Pettibone stayed in shape by playing with a traveling team. "I think I'm ready to pitch, but we'll have to see what they want me to do when I get to Florida," said Pettibone.

Pettibone is a good sized right-hander, who throws both a two-seem and four-seem fastball in the high-80s to low-90s range. He also features a change-up and believes his best pitch to be his curve.

So, after signing a $500,000 bonus, what did Pettibone do? He went fishing. "I just wanted to relax a little before I headed for Florida. It was kind of nice to have all of this behind me and be able to have a definite plan," laughed Pettibone.

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