Projectable, high school left-handers aren’t always easy to find, and Biddle, while a bit raw, might be an interesting one for teams to consider. He’s got the size (6-foot-6) and strength you like to see, and he’s throwing his fastball up to 92 mph, with room for growth in that area. He combines that with an outstanding changeup, though his breaking ball is behind the other two offerings. His command and issues with his delivery might keep him from being one of the elite prep arms in the class, but a team that’s willing to work with him and be patient could be very handsomely rewarded should they select him during the Draft.
Highly touted LSU righty Anthony Ranaudo (whom I wanted) was still available, but the Phillies took the local kid that might be related to Roots bassist Owen Biddle, so it all evens out in the end. Jesse’s body is built for a long career in baseball. Depending on what scout you read, his best pitch is either his fastball (needs to improve control), or his changeup (still too fast).
Round 2, #26 (77 overall): RHP Perci Garner, 6’3″, 225 lbs., Ball State, born 12/13/1988. From the Ball State Daily News:
Garner is a draft-eligible sophomore and could return to Ball State next year, but before the draft coach Greg Beals said he anticipated losing his All-Mid-American Conference ace. Garner has until August 16th to sign a contract or choose to return to school…In what was may have been his final college season, Garner was 5-3 with a 4.62 ERA. He had 83 strikeouts in 73 innings. He is known as somewhat raw in the scouting community, but teams like his mid-90s fastball and well-developed slider.
Garner was backup to now-49ers quarterback and Ball State legend Nate Davis during his final two years at school. He returned to baseball in 2009, which is pretty impressive for a second rounder. The first Google result for ‘Percy Garner’, however, is a San Antonio funeral home. Take it as you will.
Round 3, #25 (108 overall): C Cameron Rupp, 6’2″, 235 lbs., Texas, born 9/28/1988. From MLB.com:
Since high school, Rupp has received praise for his power at the plate and his arm behind it. As the University of Texas backstop for the past three years, he’s played in countless big games and shown an ability to stay behind the plate with perhaps more agility than some expected. He may never hit for a ton of average, but combine the defensive skills with the power potential, and he could be one of the earlier catchers taken in the Draft.
Cameron won the Aflac All-America Home Run Derby his senior year of high school in Plano, Texas. He threw out over 30% of basestealers while in Austin, but also had 11 passed balls this year. (His parents must really like college basketball, amirite?)
Round 4, #25 (141 overall): LHP Bryan Morgado, 6’3″, 205 lbs., Tennessee, born 12/8/1988. From MLB.com:
In some ways, Morgado is a typical college lefty, with average stuff across the board. At times, though, it plays up and he shows flashes, especially with his fastball, his fastball command and his slider. When he’s on, like he was in the Cape last summer, he looks like he could be among the better southpaws in the class. But because of delivery inconsistencies, he battles with command, and his performance suffers. Some see him as a lefty reliever as a result, and if he can consistently show the stuff he did last summer, that could be a quick ticket to the big leagues.
The White Sox used the 102nd pick in the 2009 draft on Morgado, but he returned to school this past year to try to improve his stock. By the end of the year, however, he was coming out of the bullpen and lost his top spot in the rotation. His fastball is his best pitch, but an inconsistent delivery isn’t helping his command. Could be a future reliever.
Round 5, #25 (171 overall): RHP Scott Frazier, 6’7″, 215 lbs., Upland HS, California, born 12/3/1991. From MLB.com:
Frazier had been shooting up Draft boards this spring and moved into one of the higher groups of high school arms. The California right-hander has grown, and his velocity has jumped as high as 95 mph at times. With that, he throws a good changeup, and his curve shows glimpses of being solid as well. At his size, he needs to watch his delivery, which can affect his command. He’s more of a work in progress, but there’s a lot to like here and a team willing to be a little patient should give Frazier a long look in the first couple of rounds in the Draft.
Another big, strong high school pitcher for the Phils, Frazier is still filling out his frame. He loses velocity later in games, and his delivery is also inconsistent. But like Biddle, he’s still a teen, and still at least 4-5 years from the majors.
Taking four pitchers with their first five picks (including two teens), the Phillies seemed to be drafting for the post-Doc era. Unless any of them can play left field.
(Jesse Biddle photo courtesy of John Costello, Philly.com)
- 700 Level
- Crashburn Alley
- High Cheese
- House That Glanville Built
- Philadelphia Will Do
- Philled In
- Philly Gameday
- Philly Gossip
- Phoul Ballz
- The Good Phight
- The Insider
- The Zo Zone
- Where's Weems?
- Who Does He Play For?
- Zoo With Roy