Phillies Prospect #41: Brian Rosenberg

Brian Rosenberg worked as a starter for most of his college career, but a move to the bullpen gave him new life. He's adjusted well to working out of the bullpen and the Phillies have to be impressed with how he pitched in 2008.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 13th round of the 2008 Draft.
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6' 2"    Weight: 200 lbs.
Birth Date: September 17, 1985
2008 Team(s): Williamsport
Games/Games Started: 21 G / 0 GS
School: Louisville

Repertoire: Brian Rosenberg throws a nice, mid-90s fastball that the Phillies believe he may be able to add an extra mile per hour or two on as he continues to develop. In college, Rosenberg would occasionally pump his fastball up as high as 97 miles per hour and the Phillies would love to get him to a point where he could replicate that a little more often. He backs up his fastball with a steady, although not dominating slider that is generally in the 83 to 85 mile per hour range. The good news on the slider is that he does keep it down in the zone and continues to get better with the pitch. Right now, it's what he uses to get ahead of hitters, but eventually, it should be a stronger pitch that he'll be able to throw deeper in counts as well. Rosenberg has a change-up that he throws on occasion, but it's more of a pitch that he throws to show a pitcher and keep them a little off stride rather than one that he uses as an out pitch at this point in his career.

STAT B.J. Rosenberg NY-Penn League
ERA 1.00 3.78
*DRA 1.25 0.81
H/9 IP 6.50 8.74
HR/9 IP 0.50 0.54
BB/9 IP 3.75 3.37
KO/9IP 13.00 8.56
KO:BB 3.47 2.54
WHIP 1.14 1.34
*WILD 16.75 14.27
*EFF 4.56 1.00
*DRA (Defensive Runs Average) - a measure of how much a pitcher was hurt by his defense. Basically, the number of runs that the defense allowed through errors. The lower this number, the less a pitcher was hurt by his defense.

*WILD (Wildness rating) - a measure of how many  "bad pitches" a pitcher made during an average game, resulting in walks, hit batters and wild pitches. The lower this number, the better for a pitcher.

*EFF (Efficiency rating) - A basic measurement of how a particular pitcher ranks among other pitchers in his particular league. The higher this number, the higher the pitcher ranked among other pitchers in his particular league.

Pitching Style: Rosenberg has a smooth, three-quarters arm slot and his mechanics are strong. He started his college career as a starter, but wasn't getting much attention until the Louisville Cardinals moved him into their closer's spot in March of 2008. From there, he started to be able to just reach back and throw the fastball and became a more dominating pitcher for Louisville. He did basically the same thing at Louisville last season and struck out 52 hitters in just 36 innings of work, meaning that 48% of the outs that he recorded came by strikeout. The Phillies are working on getting his control a little better - he walked 3.7 hitters per nine innings last season - and if that comes around, he'll be set to move quickly. Rosenberg may have just moved into the closer's role at Louisville last March, but he pitched in that spot frequently in high school and has a mental makeup that is probably more suited to pitching in relief. He's calm and collected on the mound and doesn't get easily rattled.

Projection: The Phillies are being a little cautious with Rosenberg, who underwent Labrum surgery during his college career and missed the entire 2007 season. He handled the move to a relief role well and hasn't showed any signs of other injuries. His health issue was the big reason why he didn't go much higher in the draft. After a rather impressive first season at Williamsport, Rosenberg should be on the short list of candidates for the bullpen in Lakewood in 2009, which will afford him the opportunity to face better hitters and see if they can adjust to him over a full season of games. With his strong background and the fact that he's now healthy, Rosenberg could move pretty quickly through the system with just a little work on lowering his walk numbers. 

ETA: Even though he was drafted relatively low, Rosenberg doesn't need a lot of instruction and could move through the ranks pretty quickly. With a start at Lakewood this season, he could very well see Clearwater by the end of the season and Double-A Reading to start the 2010 campaign. Every summer, there are one or two players that the Phillies generally allow to move through the system pretty quickly and Rosenberg could be the candidate to do that in 2009 if all goes as planned. At 23 and coming from a quality college program, Rosenberg - who was actually 22 when he was drafted - came to the Phillies pretty much fully functional and hasn't needed much in the way of tweaking or teaching. He's a solid pitcher who knows how to get hitters out and has the fire attitude that he'll need to succeed as he moves through the system.

Things you should know about Brian "B.J." Rosenberg

  • In addition to pitching in high school, Rosenberg played first, third and outfield.
  • In his junior year in high school, Rosenberg hit a career-high five home runs and was 6-2 with a 0.88 ERA.
  • The first home run that Rosenberg ever gave up was to a girl.
  • Even though he was moved to the bullpen, Rosenberg owns the Louisville record for games started by a pitcher in his career (47).

Career Stats

2008 Williamsport 3 1 1.00 10 21 0 36.0 26 9 4 2 15 52 1.14 .205

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