Name: Jonathan Musser
DOB: 12/19/91 (19 as of April 1, 2011)
Weight: 205 lbs
Drafted: 21st round, 2010 ($300,000 bonus)
Pre Draft Report: Jonathan Musser was selected in the 21st round of the 2010 draft out of Dowling Catholic HS (Des Moines, IA). Heading into the draft, Baseball America rated Musser the #3 prospect in Iowa. In its report, BA noted that Musser was polished for an Iowa high schooler, with a fastball in the high 80s to go with a curve and change that he could throw for strikes.
PG Crosscheckers filed this report in April 2010, grading Musser out at a 10.0:
Jonathan Musser is a 2010 RHP with a 6’5”, 205 lb. frame from Waukee, IA who attends Dowling Catholic. Well proportioned ideal pitcher’s build. Simple delivery with good pace, good balance and rhythm, accelerates arm well, repeats high 3/4′s release point. Steady 90 mph fastball, flashed plus hard run/bore action at times, used FB effectively to spots, big breaking downer CB, change has occasional cutting action. Dominated, continues to keep getting better every outing, feel for pitching was impressive. Good student, signed with Nebraska.
Musser ultimately fell to the 21st round, primarily due to his Nebraska commitment. In addition, the Iowa HS season starts just weeks prior to the draft, and Musser was dealing with a sore shoulder at the start of that season. The Phillies signed Musser right before the signing deadline for $350K.
Career Synopsis: Due to his very late signing, Musser did not play in the regular season and made his organized debut in the Florida Instructional League after the season.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Musser’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Arm Strength: 55
Summary: Musser fell down draft boards because of a non-pitching injury to his shoulder, but the Phillies seem convinced he’ll be fine. He’s mostly projection right now, as his fastball was only 88-91, but scouts think he could be in the 91-94 range when he is fully developed, and his low arm slot should help add life to the pitch, especially to the arm side. His command and control are both average, with a chance for a bit better, and both his breaking ball and changeup figure to improve with repetition.
Upside: Musser was another of the trio of high schoolers that the Phillies signed for $300K+ right before the signing deadline when they couldn’t reach a deal with 5th round pick Scott Frazier. His fastball sits at 87-89 and should gain velocity as his body fills out. He has an acceptable curveball and change that he throws for strikes. Musser apparently has a clean bill of health on his shoulder and will likely stay in extended spring training before heading to Williamsport. He needs to get on the field before projecting a ceiling, but the Phillies have had a lot of luck developing these types of pitchers over the last few years, so Musser could be a sleeper to jump up the prospect lists next year.
This isn’t the best video, but you can see a few things. He has a very loose, whippy arm, which should generate some life on his fastball. PG Crosschecker noted his high 3/4 release point, but here it seems he comes from a low arm slot, which means a slider is the likely breaking ball going forward. Then again, this video angle isn’t the best. He does stride well toward the plate, and I don’t see anything mechanically that I worry about.
Profile Updated: 5 February 2011