Phillies Prospect #24: Vance Worley

The Phillies found a young right-hander that they liked out of Long Beach State University last June and he didn't disappoint. Vance Worley could move quickly toward the majors after a strong first season.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the third round of the 2008 Draft.
Bats: R   Throws: R
Height: 6' 2"   Weight: 205 pounds
Birth Date: September 25, 1987
2008 Team(s): Williamsport (2 G), Lakewood (11 G)
Games/Games Started: 13 G / 13 GS
School: Long Beach State University

Repertoire: Vance Worley throws a nice fastball that rides in the low-90s right now and will likely pump up a little as he develops. He'll occasionally overthrow his fastball and leave it up in the zone with little movement, but he generally avoided falling into that trap in his first pro season. His secondary pitches - curve and change-up - are lagging behind, but show promise. He made some definite strides with his change-up last summer and it looks like that pitch could become a real plus for him. He gets good movement on his curve, but like with his fastball, tends to overthrow and leave it hanging for a mistake. When all is said and done, Worley is likely to have three good pitches, with his fastball being the best of the bunch. It was thought that his control could be an issue, but he came out consistently throwing strikes in his first pro season and walked just eight hitters in 69 innings. 

STAT Vance Worley South Atlantic League
ERA 2.66 4.02
*DRA 1.03 0.73
H/9 IP 8.56 8.90
HR/9 IP 0.59 0.70
BB/9 IP 1.03 3.12
KO/9IP 7.82 7.84
KO:BB 7.57 : 1 2.51 : 1
WHIP 1.60 1.34
*WILD 5.02 13.46
*EFF 1.37 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: Generally goes right after hitters and doesn't try to get too fancy. He prefers to work ahead of hitters, so he tends to use his fastball to get ahead of a batter. Since his location is good enough, he rarely falls behind in the count and will throw any of his pitches when he's ahead, depending on what's working best for him on that particular day. He had elbow problems and missed the 2007 season, but showed no lingering problems last season, although his numbers at Long Beach State still didn't take off. When he came out of high school, Worley was expected to be a better college pitcher than he was, but he's still a quality pitcher and the Phillies were glad to get him in the third round. After all, they had drafted him out of high school in the 20th round, although he chose college over starting his pro career.

Projection: There is still some thought that Worley might be better suited as a reliever, but as his secondary pitches develop, there doesn't seem to be a reason to take him out of the rotation. It was a little surprising that he moved to Lakewood so quickly, but he pitched well enough there that he could just skip right along to Clearwater and possibly could even jump to Double-A Reading, which would be a major jump for Worley. Can he handle the jump? It's very possible that he's advanced enough that he could make the jump without too much of a struggle. He's also pretty tough mentally, so he can definitely handle the move from that point of view. Either way, odds are that he'll see Reading before the end of the season.

Vance Worley's career stats

2008 Williamsport 0 0 1.12 2 2 8.0 3 1 1 0 1 8 0.50 .120
2008 Lakewood 3 2 2.66 11 11 61.0 58 25 18 4 7 53 1.07 .247
TOTALS 3 2 2.48 13 13 69.0 61 26 19 4 8 61 1.00 .235

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