Phillies select Jesse Biddle, LHP at #27

Biddle was a fast riser up draft boards in the last month, and with the local connection, it wasn’t a huge surprise that the Phillies took him. You’ll hear the Phillies braintrust talk about how they “have to take the best player available”, but that wasn’t the case here. They took a guy they knew they could sign, with a bunch of premium talent still on the board. Biddle isn’t a reach of Anthony Hewitt proportions, but he wasn’t the best player available, and there were 4 or 5 premium prep prospects still on the board at this pick. Still, this isn’t a big reach, and he wouldn’t have gotten to the Phillies at #77

You can read his scouting report here and here is an older report from Summer 2009
You can see his scouting bureau video here and an older video of him here.

He’s a big, tall LHP with plus velocity and the chance for two average secondary pitches. He is projectable, and LHP is something the Phillies lack in their system, at least the high ceiling variety. This is certainly a good pick, but there were much better players on the board. As is the case every year, what the Phillies do later in the draft will determine the ultimate grade. I view this pick as a little above average, maybe a B? The real action starts tomorrow.

Update —> Something else to consider. Biddle, on raw talent, was probably in the 30-50 range. The Phillies next pick wasn’t until 77. If they’d waited, he’d have been gone by then. This might have been a reach, but it wasn’t a huge reach. He was getting consideration at #14 overall, he’d have definitely gone in the sandwich round. This isn’t an Anthony Hewitt or Kelly Dugan-esque reach. This is a solid pick, even if its not the guy I really wanted.

46 thoughts on “Phillies select Jesse Biddle, LHP at #27

  1. Good for the GFS/Havertown kid. Like you said, the next few rounds will be where things could really get interesting.

  2. I am not excited at all about this pick. No offense to Biddle, but like you said he probably could have been obtained later. Are the Phillies now reluctant to spend money on their farm system? I wonder how much the Phils have been hurt with the loss of Mike Arbuckle.

  3. Yeah guys. Instead of celebrating with friends and family, he’s posting on here.

    The Jesse Biddle post is a real post by a guy who put Jesse Biddle in as his screen name

  4. I think a B is fair. They pretty clearly don’t want to go overslot in the first round, which would explain passing over Castellanos, Allie, and of course Ranaudo. Not saying that’s definitely the right way to go about things, but if it nets them a couple of overslot guys later with whatever preset budget they have, it’s certainly a defensible strategy.

  5. Actually Mark, I think that they said that he would not be around at 77. I like the pick. It’s about taking a highly ranked talent that you know you can sign. He is a bit lefty. I would have liked to have seen O’Connor, but I wanted this kid as well. I’m very happy with the pick.

  6. As usual, the Phillies go slot early with a tall, athletic, projectable player. As usual, they’ll probably sign a few 6 figure guys later in the draft. It’s hard to argue with the overall results they’re getting these days.

  7. Those who would have them choose THEIR favorite still standing should remember that all the other teams passed on your guy, too.

  8. That’s all I’m saying, haha. There was better talent on the board, but Biddle is still a high quality player with loads of projection who will sign for slot allowing them to steal a few picks in the 6-10 rounds like they always do.

  9. Maybe not the best pick, but a good pick. I’ll confess I don’t follow amateur baseball close enough to really know who the best or most projectable players are. You get scout mavens like Baseball America, Keith Law and others who pass along info and see players themselves. But the sheer number of players involved makes it impossible for them to track everyone to the fullest extent possible. Every team, the Phillies included, has their own team of scouts. Any team taking a first round player has usually done a great deal of scouting/research, so likely they see something in Biddle they really like. Possibly something other scouts/clubs did not pick up. So I tend to give the club the benefit of the doubt to start.

    Besides, I’ll confess seeing a local kid come up the system is just plain fun.

  10. No. 27: Jesse Biddle to the Philadelphia Phillies:
    Churchill:
    Perhaps the best left-handed prep pitcher in the draft, Biddle brings projection and the chance for a low-to-mid 90s fastball and curveball combo. The change is nearly non-existent, but the command shows promise.

    I’ll take that.

  11. Excellent summary. Guy who very likely will sign with some projectable talent and lefty pitching is never a bad choice.
    Would have preferred one of the ‘better’ talents, especially at INF if it made sense but not a huge projection pick.

  12. I love the pick of Jesse Biddle. A hometown southpaw who’s already developing new pitches out of high school and throws some serious gas. I’m excited about this one.

  13. Biddle looks like a bigger version of Hamels with a better fastball and poorer changeup.

  14. waas the kid born in havertown? i seen that in the paper…i know he lives in philly…i work in his neighborhood and ive heard good things about this kid

  15. If I was around for the buildup with all the other guys available while we picked, I’d probably be bummed, but coming into the draft I was okay with going Biddle here and that’s what we got. He’s a solid, signable pick, and you know we’ll get the higher upside guys later on. Jesse’s still very projectable as a mid-rotation lefty, which is so valuable especially in our farm system.

  16. BA on Biddle as they have recently unlocked this for non subscribers (as well as scouting reports on every first and sandwich round pick)

    Biddle’s stock climbed along with his fastball velocity as the spring progressed. In his first outing of the season against Germantown Academy ace Keenan Kish, Biddle worked at 88-91 mph, but by the end of April he was sitting at 90-92 and touching 93-94 at times, with sinking and cutting action. Biddle’s best assets are his arm strength and size; his 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame is both physical and projectable, and his upside is significant. But Biddle lacks polish and must do a better job staying on top of his secondary stuff. Scouts widely agree that his slider is more promising than his soft curveball, but he seldom deploys the slider in games, relying instead on the curve. His slider has a chance to be above-average in time. Some scouts say Biddle has shown feel for a tumbling changeup in bullpens and between innings, but he does not throw it in games. Biddle is an Oregon recruit who is regarded as a difficult sign, but he is a top-three-rounds talent with a chance to land a high six-figure bonus.

  17. if he signs do you see him playing in the rookie gulf coast league or at class A williamsport.

  18. Assuming he signs for slot, He’ll be in the GCL almost immediately and if he does well enough you’re looking at Lakewood rotation next year.

  19. He was reportedly hitting 94 on the Phillies gun in his workout for them. Hope he can hold his velocity unlike Savery who usually sits around 87 these days.

  20. Difference between him and Savery is, one is a young high school kid and the other was an abused college arm from a school which is notorious for abusing and killing kids arms.

    I like the pick a lot, the draft was thin on left handers besides the first couple off the board. And our system lacks left handed starters, plus the Phils knew they weren’t going to have a chance at grabbing him in the 2nd round.

    There should be some good talent on the board at 77

  21. Wolever compared him to Kershaw of the Dodgers maybe with less polish but the with the same upside. They stated they were focused on middle infield and LHP if they truly believe Biddle was the best LHP on the board and comparable to upside as some other then good pick.

  22. PP if the phillies will spend money why are they 25 th in spending in the draft last year????????

  23. Yeah, they didn’t have a first round pick where most teams spend the most money. Instead of looking at raw money spend, you’d have to look at how much they would have spent sticking with slot every time, and how much they spent +/- compared to that.

  24. This is isn’t a bad pick and could end up turning out very well. All things considered, it’s much better than the direction they’ve taken with first round picks in some recent drafts.

  25. If I was GM I’d have taken O’Conner. No biggie. I’m stoked that we didn’t take a high tools low skills outfielder! Maybe Biddle was an overdraft. So what? That means we can pay him slot or less and reinvest the money elsewhere. Plus he’s a local kid, and he has stuff to work with.

  26. Wolever is smoking something if he compares Biddle with Kershaw. No offense to Jesse, but Kershaw was a top 10 propsect for years and is a top-of-the-rotation starter now. I’d be satisfied if Biddle turns into Jeff Suppan.

    Let’s hope his velocity can stabilize in the low-to-mid-90s and that he develops a wicked slider and tumbling change as a third pitch.

  27. I’m satisfied with the pick. Not ecstatic but not really upset. He is the kind of player we used to be pretty good at developing. I’d much rather this kind of pick than another raw toolsy toolshed. This year’s draft was really, really wide open after the first 6 picks or so. The Cubs, Yankees and Braves went way off the board on their only pick and the teams with multiple picks (Astros, Angels, Blue Jays) all reached pretty good with some of theirs as well if you believe the rankings. Plus, the Phillies new MO seems to be to take a kid who takes 1st round slot and then bump up a bit thereafter.

  28. I’m with Squire.

    Personally I wanted a guy who projected as a big, athletic, power hitting 3B, OF, or I wanted one of the top Catchers. I was locked into 7 guys. Castellanos, Deglan, O’Conner, Allie (as a 3B), Cowart, Austin Wilson, and Brett Eibner.

    But as far as pitchers go I was okay with Biddle. He has the big frame and big arm that the Phillies like…and I agree with their strategy at Pitcher. The Phillies are short on LHP in their system and Biddle was one of the better LHP prospects in this draft. And it seems almost certain that he wouldn’t have fallen past 50.

    So for me the Biddle selection made alot of sense for the Phillies. I can’t really fault them for wanting him or drafting him. The pick at least has merit and has sound logic behind it. That’s all you can ask for really in such a crapshoot as the MLB draft.

  29. Boston Phan — agreed that it’s a stretch to compare Biddle to Keshaw, who was player of the year coming out of high school, but it’s also a stretch to call Kershaw a top-of-the-rotation starter. He’s never won more than eight games in a season, and he’s only two games over .500 for his career. He’s 22 years old & there’s every reason to think he’ll become a top-of-the-rotation starter if he ever learns to harness his electric stuff, but he ain’t there yet.

  30. I have actually seen Biddle pitch and I think this kid is going to be a good one. Not only does he throw in the 92-94 range with his fastball it has very good movement. I only saw him throw a few sliders but the ones I saw had good bite to them. I think he is very projectable. I think this kids top end is 2/3 type starting pitcher. At pick 27 I will take that.

  31. He is definitely talented and the Phils got exactly what they were looking for. One of the intangibles that most are missing is the fact that he WANTS to pitch for the Phils and hopes to be pitching in his back yard in the near future and for years to come. Huge incentive.

  32. DenverPhilsPhan,

    I hope him wanting to pitch in his own backyard is a good thing. Sometimes that can be a bad thing and guys can press instead of just doing what comes naturally.

  33. Its a bit of a reach. There were a few highschool right handers with better stuff available IMO. However you cant go wrong with a lefty with an easy motion ala Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels.

  34. Did I just read correctly that he had 140 K’s in 59 IPs? I read that on the BA report they have posted. He also only had 29 walks.

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