Phillies Prospect #40: Colby Shreve

It's not often that a pitcher who has recently undergone Tommy John Surgery gets drafted, but Colby Shreve is good enough that the Phillies are willing to wait for him to recover.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2008 Draft.
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6' 5"  Weight: 190 lbs.
Birth Date: January 5, 1988
2008 Team(s): DNP in pros
School: CC of Southern Nevada

The Phillies decided to take a chance on Colby Shreve, even though they knew there were injury issues. Shreve missed time with a sore elbow and was advised initially that he could just use rehab to correct the problem, but that turned into a diagnosis that it was necessary for him to undergo Tommy John Surgery. The surgery makes his 2009 season a lost cause, but the Phillies remain high on him and think he was still worth a sixth round pick. Even with the injury issues, Shreve was considered the top junior college pitcher available in the draft.

Repertoire: Colby Shreve was hoping to be drafted out of high school, but the call never came. It's most likely because his fastball was only in the mid-80s range and wasn't anything to get excited about. He also didn't have secondary pitches to attract scouts, so he headed off to the Community College of Southern Nevada. After just a season at Southern Nevada, Shreve had pumped his fastball up to the low-90s, but still lacked secondary pitches that were good enough to really make him attractive. Still, his fastball had gotten good enough that the Atlanta Braves drafted him in the eighth round of the 2007 Draft, but Shreve opted not to sign. Shreve set out to improve his secondary pitches and both his slider and change-up showed a lot of improvement, prompting the Phillies to take him in the sixth round of the 2008 Draft. Shreve's curve has a sharp break and his change-up is deceptive because he's learned to disguise it well.

Pitching Style: Shreve has a solid approach to the game and doesn't get rattled easily. Now that he's got secondary pitches to back up his fastball, he's better able to mix his pitches and doesn't rely just on his fastball. He's generally been a strikeout pitcher, but it remains to be seen how he'll return from surgery.

Projection: Once he's healthy, the Phillies hope that Shreve will be able to return to form and pitch well enough to move through the system at a decent rate. There is no doubt that since he just turned 21 and will miss most, if not all, of the 2009 season, time won't be on his side. Also a big question will be his health, because Shreve has had elbow problems throughout his junior college career, but if the surgery fixed all of those issues, he should be past those injuries and ready to perform. One thing to keep in mind is that if Shreve can't pitch, he was considered a decent prospect as either a third or first baseman, but most scouts believed his future was as a pitcher rather than as a position player. Still, it would be an option if Shreve doesn't respond well to the TJS.

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