Jun 162013
Phillies 2013 MLB draft pick Ben Wetzler

Phillies 2013 draft pick Ben Wetzler

After taking two high school pitchers with their first two picks in the 2012 draft, the Phillies didn’t really add much depth in this draft.  A couple of the college arms could be solid minor leaguers and provide some decent ML innings at some point, but it wouldn’t surprise me if none of the high school arms sign.

Some of the college arms drafted late have a bit of potential but slipped due to injuries.  They’re certainly far from guaranteed signs though.

Four Year College Right-Handed Pitchers

9. Shane Martin, Southwestern Oklahoma State, 6’4 215, 22.10 Y.O.

For the second pitcher the Phillies drafted, there is remarkably little information available about Martin on the internet.  In his senior season, he struck out 72 and walked 31 in 104.1 innings.  He previously walked batters with greater frequency than that, so he did show some improvement as an amateur.  His sinker sits in the low 90’s apparently.

10. Jon Prosinski, Seton Hall, 6’3 195, 22.29 Y.O.

Prosinski has been Seton Hall’s ace for a while now.  His stuff isn’t overwhelming with a fastball around 90, but he also mixes in a changeup and breaking ball.  He throws a ton of strikes and only walked 13 in 108 innings his senior season.  The Big East is only an okay baseball conference, but he’s had success against tough opponents in big games.

16. Lee Ridenhour, Austin Peay, 6’3 187, 23.82 Y.O.

Ridenhour was drafted pretty late five years ago, and his path back to the draft took him through three schools with multiple ankle injuries.  He landed at Austin Peay, an under the radar quality program, and immediately became an ace for a postseason mainstay.  He started his college career at Kansas before transferring to a junior college.  He can pitch in the low to mid 90’s with an out pitch slider and a changeup.  He apparently still has some eligibility left, but a player that’s going to turn 24 soon wouldn’t be doing himself any favors going back to college.

18. Dan Child, Oregon State, 6’5 225, 20.85 Y.O.

Child has potential for two plus pitches, but keeping him from going back to the Beavers for his senior season isn’t a guarantee.  He has spent most of his career starting for Oregon State so far, but with a lot of effort in his delivery, he’s probably a reliever in the end.  He might be able to reach the mid-90’s with his fastball in short bursts, and his slider is a strikeout pitch.  With experience in a tough conference and with Team USA, he could move through a system quickly.

19. Matt Soren, Delaware, 6’5 225, 22.02 Y.O.

Soren has always left scouts wanting more, but his senior season at Delaware did show some improvement.  He was working his walk rate down to more manageable levels while maintaining the solid stuff that got him on the map in the first place.  His 90-92 MPH fastball could get a little harder in the bullpen, and he’s shown a pretty good breaking ball in the past.

22. Mark Leiter Jr, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 6’0 195, 22.22 Y.O.

While the Phillies regress back to late-90’s form, they draft the son of a pitcher from that era.  Leiter was pretty consistent at NJIT; despite not really having much stuff, he would regularly strike out about one batter an inning, allow a hit an inning and walk a bunch.  He’s a competitor with a high-80’s fastball and pair of breaking balls.

26. Chris Burgess, Oklahoma Christian University, 6’2 210, 22.77 Y.O.

Burgess went to three colleges, including two different 1-A programs before finally pitching a year in relief at OCU.  He was very good, striking out 52 in 41 innings.  Prior reports from much earlier in his career say that he works in the high-80’s to low-90’s with his fastball and also throws an average breaking ball.

27. Tyler Buckley, Arkansas-Little Rock, 6’5 230, 22.56 Y.O.

Buckley was not very good in two seasons at UALR, but he says he can sit in the low to mid-90’s.  He struck out 21 and walked 14 in 18.2 innings as a senior, and he says that an effective outing against Oklahoma, one of the better teams in the country, is what got teams interested.

31. Matthew Grimes, Georgia Tech, 6’6 210, 21.74 Y.O.

Grimes missed the entire 2013 season (plus much of 2012) due to Tommy John surgery.  Despite being taken so late, he’s probably one of the more interesting players the Phillies drafted.  Three years ago, he was a fourth round pick by the White Sox, but he chose to attend Georgia Tech instead.  Then, his fastball was in the 90-92 MPH range with a potential plus curveball.  If he was healthy, he probably would’ve gone much higher, and now he’ll have to decide if he wants to continue his rehab with a professional training staff or try to improve his stock with the Yellow Jackets.

34. David Whitehead, Elon, 6’4 240, 21.11 Y.O.

Like Grimes, Whitehead also underwent Tommy John surgery, but his was much more recent.  His college numbers were never impressive, but he showed in the off-season Cape Cod League that he does have a chance to get batters out at the next level, probably as a middle reliever.  His fastball sits in the low 90’s, but it has a heavy sink that helps him generate groundballs.  Neither his slider nor changeup are impressive pitches.

Left-Handed Pitchers

5. Ben Wetzler, Oregon State, 6’1 210, 21.72 Y.O.

Wetzler’s stuff is just okay, but he completes, can throw all of his pitches for strikes and mixes all of them in well.  His fastball has natural movement in the high-80’s to low 90’s, and his slider has potential to be an above average pitch.  He’s shown flashes of a changeup good enough giving him a chance to start, but that’ll take more work.  Despite a minor back injury to start the year, he’s durable and could reach the big leagues.

11. Denton Keys, Rye HS (Colorado), 6’3 190, 18.67 Y.O.

Keys was the first high school pitchers the Phillies drafted this year, but there’s a really good chance he doesn’t even sign and goes to Kansas.  He struck out over two batters an inning in his senior season, but his competition was poor at best.  He throws in the mid to high-80’s now, but with his size, he’s expected to add velocity to go along with a potential above average curveball.  Throw in the fact that he doesn’t really have a third pitch, and it seems likely that he’s headed for college.

17. Rob Marcello, Appalachian State, 6’3 230, 22.63 Y.O.

Marcello moved to the bullpen as a senior, and it allowed his fastball to play up into the mid-90’s in short bursts.  He struck out over a batter an inning in their closer’s role, but he still needs a ton of work on his command.  He walked 20 batters in 22.1 innings.

23. Christopher O’Hare, Fisher College, 6’2 195, 22.69 Y.O.

Competing at the NAIA level, O’Hare pitched to some comical numbers in his senior season, striking out 110 in 66.2 innings.  Reports about his stuff, albeit from high school, are underwhelming; his fastball is in the mid-80’s, and he mixes in a couple other pitches.  He pitched a couple years at Yale before transferring to Fisher for his last year of eligibility.

25. Cody Forsythe, Southern Illinois, 6’1 175, 22.70 Y.O.

Forsythe was pretty durable in the Missouri Valley Conference, throwing over 100 innings in each of his last three years.  In 346.2 career innings, he walked just 79 batters, or a little over two per nine innings.

33. Harrison Musgrave, West Virginia, 6’1 205, 21.25 Y.O.

Musgrave is another Phillies pick who had Tommy John surgery in his career, but he’s over a year removed from that now and working his way back.  His fastball is now up to the low-90’s, and his changeup is his best secondary pitch.  His breaking ball needs work, and according to a tweet he made last week, he plans on doing that at West Virginia again, not as a professional.

High School/Junior College Right-Handed Pitchers

12. Griffin Jax, Cherry Creek HS (Colorado), 6’1 190, 18.52 Y.O.

Despite being in Colorado, Cherry Creek has been one of the better programs in the country in recent years.  Jax’s two way play has been a large part of that.  During his senior year, he won Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year, and now he’ll have the choice of signing with the Phillies or following through his commitment to Air Force.  His fastball velocity is in the high-80’s, and that should get better as he gets stronger.  His curveball shows some depth, and he has a little feel for a changeup.

21. Mark Meadors, Cowley County CC, 6’4 200, 21.31 Y.O.

This is a program that has produced some major leaguers, and the Phillies hope Meadors can be the next one.  His fastball sits in the low 90’s now, but there may be a little more in him if he gets stronger.  It has some downward movement too, and along with a slider that he can also throw for strikes, he could become an effective reliever.  He struck out 61 in 74 innings in 2013.

24. Will Morris, College of Southern Nevada, 6’4 180, 20.08 Y.O.

Now three years removed from Bryce Harper’s monster season, CSN isn’t getting as much attention as they used to.  He threw four complete games this season, and it’s not a surprise that he chose to sign rather than follow through with his commitment to a Division-II school.

28. Matt Southard, Yavapai College, 6’9 220, 21.12 Y.O.

Southard had 49 strikeouts and 33 walks in 63.2 innings.  I can’t find any scouting information on him, but it’s not surprising that a tall pitcher would have problems throwing strikes.  Yavapai has produced several major leaguers such as Curt Schilling, and it’s where Phillies’ relief prospect Kenny Giles went to school too.

32. Tyler Viza, Desert Vista HS (Arizona), 6’3 180, 18.61 Y.O.

An uptick in velocity didn’t lead to Viza being drafted higher than expected, so he’s probably still headed for the University of Utah.  Instead of pitching in the mid to high-80’s, he was reaching the low 90’s, and that could become the usual for his fastball velocity as he gets stronger.  His slider has some potential, and he’s already showing feel for a changeup.

37. Ryley MacEachern, Salisbury School (Connecticut), 6’2 213, 19.01 Y.O.

MacEachern is committed to Stony Brook to stay in the region.  Earlier reports of his fastball velocity indicate he regularly throws in the high-80’s with a slider and curveball.  He apparently has some pitchability already.

38. Dimitri Casas, Cherry Creek HS (Colorado), 6’4 195, 18.02 Y.O.

Casas is committed to play at West Virginia.  Apparently the Phillies’ area scout that covers Colorado earned some overtime this spring.

Check out Part 1 of our Phillies 2013 Draft Review – Position Players.

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