Name: Brody Colvin
DOB: 8/14/90 (21 as of April 1, 2012)
Weight: 190 lbs
Acquired: 7th round, 2009 ($900,000 bonus)
Pre Draft Report: Baseball America ranked Brody Colvin the 43rd best prospect in the country (26th best pitcher) leading up to the fairly pitching-rich 2009 draft that has seen four pitchers make the majors already. This is what BA had to say about Colvin:
Colvin lacks polish and consistency, but he sure looks like a first-rounder when he’s on top of his game. He has an extremely quick arm that delivers fastballs up to 94 mph, and there’s more velocity remaining in his sculpted 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame. Scouts project that he’ll sit at 92-94 mph and touch 96 once he fills out. Colvin’s fastball dances and sinks so much that he has trouble controlling it. His No. 2 pitch is a hard curveball with 11-to-5 break that can be unhittable at times. He’s still developing feel for his changeup. Colvin stabs in the back of his delivery and throws across his body, so he’ll need to clean up his mechanics, which should help with his command. His athleticism—he has average speed and power potential as an outfielder—bodes well for his ability to make the necessary adjustments. Focusing all his efforts on pitching will help too. Colvin came down with blisters at the end of the season, and he topped out at 92 mph in a 11-3 rout at the hands of Byrd High in a Louisiana 5-A first-round playoff game. He has committed to Louisiana State.
That LSU commitment is what pushed Colvin to the 7th round and it took supplemental first round money to get him to sign. Perfect Game was equally glowing in its report filed in June 2008:
Brody Colvin is a 2009 RHP/OF with a 6’4”, 190 lb. frame from Lafayette, LA who attends St Thomas More. Brody has an easy arm action and his fastball sat in the low 90′s at the Metrodome. He has a fast arm and his fastball had very good life with late zip. His breaking ball had a sharp break and was a good second pitch. His arm and body project large. He showed athleticism by running a 6.92 sixty and also showed good hitting ability. He has strength in his swing with good power. He is a good student and has verbally committed to the LSU Tigers, but will also create serious strong draft interest. Sky is the limit!
PG rated him a 10.0, which is the highest score given to a prospect.
Colvin was a very late signing, inking his deal just prior to the mid-August signing deadline in 2009. His $900,000 signing bonus was the largest bonus given by the Phils in the ’09 draft, nearly doubling the bonus given to their highest pick that year, Kelly Dugan. At the time, it was suggested that the Phils’ final signing decision came down to Colvin or Jake Stewart, an OF drafted in the 14th round out of a Colorado high school (who is currently playing at Stanford). Ultimately, it took the Phils one of the largest bonuses doled out after the 5th round of that draft to nab Colvin right before the deadline.
Career Synopsis: Due to his late signing, Colvin only appeared in one game, logging two innings, for the GCL Phillies in 2009. Reports on him going into 2010 were mixed, primarily due to the lack of experience. BA ranked him 12th in the system and suggested extended spring training and Williamsport. Baseball Propectus ranked him 8th and also suggested extended spring training. John Sickels graded him out to a C+. His 2010 got off to a rough start as he was arrested in his hometown in January as a result of a large fight on the patio area of a bar (although, from what I can tell, the charges are no longer outstanding). The start to the season was just as tough as he was moved to Class-A Lakwewood and put up an 11.15 ERA through four April starts. After that, though, Colvin was simply magnificent. In 23 starts after April, Colvin pitched 122.2 innings, allowing only 115 hits and pitching to a 2.42 ERA. He had a 3.4 K/BB ratio and better than 8 K/9 IP. He allowed just 4 homers in those 123 innings after allowing 3 in just 15 April innings. Colvin’s performance garnered the #4 spot in BA’s Sally League Top 20 Prospects List with the following commentary:
Lakewood had a loaded rotation, with Colvin, Cosart and May all ranking among the SAL’s top starting pitching prospects. Observers liked Colvin the best because of his workhorse frame and the way all of his pitches tend to jump just prior to reaching the plate.
“He threw three pitches for strikes against us,” Haines said. “He has a real durable body with a fastball that sits at 93 to 95. His changeup is good and his breaking ball is a little slurvy, but we’re talking about a guy who just turned 20 and has a real good idea of what he’s doing on the mound.”
One scout thought Colvin may profile better as a reliever because he throws across his body, but didn’t rule him out as a starter and like the way he rose to the situation late in one outing. Colvin opened the seventh inning by allowing a walk and a double, then responded by hitting 97 mph for the first time all evening and retiring two batters with changeups in 2-1 counts.
Following the performance, Colvin’s stock had clearly risen, as both BA and Sickels now ranked him as the best pitching prospect in the system. With stock soaring, Colvin began 2011 atop a loaded rotation in Clearwater. The season did not go well. Injuries limited Colvin to 116.2 IP, and all key indicators went backwards. He gave up hits and homers and walked batters at a greater rate. More worrisome, his K/9 dropped to a very mediocre 6.0.
Heading into 2012, Colvin is ranked 8th among Phillies prospects by Baseball America and 4th by John Sickels.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Colvin’s raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are an estimation based on available information taken from numerous sources. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Arm Strength: 70
Secondary Pitches: 55/65
Upside: Colvin may still have #2 upside. It’s important to note that he has fewer than 260 professional innings and will pitch most of this season at age 21. His fastball can hit 96 while sitting at 92-94, and his curve and change show the makings of being plus pitches as well. Colvin reportedly came to camp in 2011 out of shape. This, combined with the aforementioned arrest, have given legs to reports about his makeup. Given the way the Phillies have handled pitchers in this spot previously, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Colvin back in Clearwater to start the season, with a move likely to Reading if he shows that 2011 was an aberration.
A few things to note here. Colvin does not have a ton of extraneous motion or moving parts in his delivery. He strides well toward the plate (visible in the side video) and does not have any herky jerky motions. The one “negative” is that he does throw across his body, meaning he steps toward the third base bag instead stepping directly toward home plate. This helps generate movement on his fastball, but could also put additional strain on his arm/shoulder going forward. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, he could be just fine. The ball comes out of his hand easily, and he does not appear to be gearing up to generate the raw velocity he creates, which also bodes well for future command and control. His breaking ball appears to be a bit of a slurve, without really tight break, but not really an over the top curveball either. This should improve and tighten up with more experience and repetition.