Let’s get to it..
(photo courtesy of PhilliesDraft.com)
Roth, Rob, RHP (age 18) Grade = C
The Phillies probably considered themselves lucky to sign Roth, their 19th round pick in 2006, because he seemed like the perfect candidate to head to college and improve his draft stock. His velocity jumped into the low 90’s in the spring, but possibly because he was in Idaho, he wasn’t heavily scouted. His debut was somewhat of a mixed bag. He only allowed 33 hits in 33.1 IP, but he allowed an eye popping 31 walks to only 24 strikeouts. Clearly, he’s very rough around the edges, but the Phillies like his arm. Because he’s only 6’1, 200lbs, it’s tough to say whether he’s going to grow a bunch more, but I suppose it is possible, especially since he just turned 18 in August.
2007 Outlook: Roth is, as you can see by his numbers, a project. He’ll likely repeat the GCL, and with a strong showing, could head to Williamsport in 2008. He gets a C now, but he could greatly improve or fall off a cliff, just like most really young, really raw prospects.
Drabek, Kyle, RHP (age 19) Grade = B-
Ah, the name everyone has been waiting for. I might be Drabek’s biggest fan, but his debut doesn’t warrant more than a B- grade, in fact, on straight numbers, he warrants much lower, but I had to make adjustments there. You all know about the 7.71 ERA, the 33 hits and 11 walks in 23 innings. However, you also know that he threw a TON of pitches in his senior season, that he signed a little later in the summer, and that he had a ton of baggage tossed on his back before he even played an inning of pro baseball. For all of the negatives we heard about him, in the last four months, it’s been mostly positives. He reportedly responded to instruction during the FIL, and there have been numerous cliche-filled articles written about his promising spring training and his experiences with Jamie Moyer and others. I, personally, wasn’t worried about the off the field stuff, but others were. If he truly has put that stuff behind him, or at least way onto the back burner, then his grade should greatly improve in 2007.
2007 Outlook: It was originally thought he’d start 2007 in extended spring training and then go to Williamsport, but it now looks like he’ll likely start at Lakewood in the rotation, barring some unforeseen disaster in the next month or so. If he is focused and ready to show everyone what he can do, he’s capable of a big season.
Correa, Heitor, RHP (age 17) Grade = B-
If you don’t recognize the name Heitor Correa, make a mental note. Looking at his 2006 GCL numbers, they don’t look inspiring; 23 IP, 7.83 ERA, 35 H, 7 BB, 14 K. But, when you add the qualifier “turned 17 on August 25th”, it makes a bit more sense. Correa put up most of those numbers at age 16, a pretty remarkable thing really. Correa was signed as an amateur free agent out of Brazil and was brought to the GCL to work with pitching coach Carlos Arroyo. At 16, he’s already 6’3, 200lbs, and has room to grow a bit more. And here’s the best part, he can already hit 91-92 mph, though not consistently. The Phillies love his intelligence (trilingual) and arm, and think he could be something special. He’ll repeat the GCL at age 17, and I have a feeling all of his peripheral numbers will look better at this time next season.
2007 Outlook: Caution is the optimum word here. Correa is the equivalent of a high school junior, so there is no reason to rush him or pile a ton of innings on him. He’ll likely get about 40 innings in this season on a tight pitch count every time out. His secondary stuff is non-existent at this point, but the raw tools are there.