Prospect #49: Steve Susdorf

Steve Susdorf isn't the best known player in the Phillies system, but he's quickly making a name for himself in the lower levels of the system. This could be the season that fans become more aware of just who this 23 year old Fresno State grad is and what he's capable of doing.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 19th round of the 2008 Draft.
Bats: L   Throws: L
Height: 6' 1"   Weight: 195 lbs.
Birth Date: March 28, 1986
2009 Team(s): Lakewood / Clearwater / Reading
Positions (Games): LF (51), RF (6)
School: Fresno State
2009 Ranking: 59

Why Susdorf jumped to #49: Steven Susdorf got off to a rough start in 2009, in that he started the season on the DL and missed nearly the first two months of the season. By late May, he was finally healthy and was assigned to Low-A Lakewood. In just about two weeks, Susdorf boosted his average over the .300 mark and he didn't look back from there. The Phillies allowed him to make up for lost time - and more - by moving him quickly; first to Clearwater in June and then to Double-A Reading in early August. He put up strong numbers at each stop and will likely be starting the 2010 season back at Reading, but there are no guarantees as to how long he'll be there if he repeats his 2009 performance.

Category Susdorf Florida State League
PA/XBH 10.93 15.83
PA/HR 54.67 70.84
PA/RBI 7.45 10.03
PA/R 8.2 9.06
PA/BB 14.91 12.14
PA/KO 7.13 5.26
AVG .371 .252
OBP .421 .322
SLG .351 .363
Categories with numbers in white show areas where the player outperferformed the average player in their particular league during the 2009 season. Categories with numbers in black show areas where he was below the league average.

Batting and Power: Susdorf has a nice, smooth left-handed swing with no real holes that pitchers have been able to find and exploit. He's a line drive type hitter who can hit the ball to all fields, but rarely has the power to take it out anywhere other than down the right field line. He may be slightly limited by his lack of power, but if he can hit for a high enough average - which so far, he has been able to do without any problems - he should be able to carve out a nice spot for himself in the Phillies plans for down the road. 

Baserunning and Speed: Not much to talk about here. If a pitcher ignores him, he can steal a base here and there, but his speed is slightly below average. He won't run himself into many outs and knows his limitations on the basepaths.

Defense: Susdorf isn't a flashy defensive player, but he's the type of player that is going to make the basic plays and turn in a highlight clip here and there. He's best suited to left field, but can shift over to right if needed, although his arm is average.

Projection: If Susdorf had any sort of projectable power, he would be shooting up the prospect charts and would be a much larger blip on the Phillies prospect radar. As it stands now though, he figures to be right on the cusp of showing that he's a potential everyday major league player or a guy who will have to be content with playing a bench role at the major league level. Odds are that he'll convince enough people that he has the talent to play everyday and have a nice, but likely not spectacular, career in the majors.

ETA: It figures that Susdorf won't be ready for much major league time prior to 2012. He may wind up needing a little extra time in the upper levels of the minors, which could push him back even a little further. He might also be one of those guys who has to fight his way into a starting lineup and will have to pay his dues as a utility player for a couple of seasons before getting an everyday shot somewhere.

Comparison: One fair comparison would be to former Phillie Jason Michaels, with two differences. First, the obvious fact that Susdorf is a left-handed hitter, which will always garner some extra favor. And two, Susdorf should hit for a higher average than Michaels' career .269 mark in the majors. If Susdorf were to wind up being a clone of Michaels, that would be a little bit of a disappointment, since Susdorf should be able to carry himself as a full-time major leaguer and not have to be plunked into a platoon role.

Steven Susdorf's career stats

2008 Williamsport 48 167 20 51 13 0 5 35 15 25 .305 .360 .473
2008 Lakewood 2 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 .111 .200 .111
2008 2 Teams 50 176 20 52 13 0 5 35 16 28 .295 .352 .455
2009 Lakewood 21 78 9 26 5 1 2 15 7 15 .333 .402 .500
2009 Clearwater 40 151 20 56 12 0 3 22 11 23 .371 .421 .510
2009 Reading 24 77 12 17 4 0 2 7 7 26 .221 .318 .351
2009 3 Teams 85 306 41 99 21 1 7 44 25 64 .324 .389 .467
2 Seasons 135 482 61 151 34 1 12 79 41 92 .313 .376 .463

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/28/2010.

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