Jesse Biddle #10 and Adam Morgan #12 on Baseball America top FSL Prospects List

Clearwater southpaws Jesse Biddle and Adam Morgan both made BA’s top 20 prospect list for the FSL.  They were the 2nd and 3rd best LHP and 5th and 6th best pitchers overall.

Biddle was the second youngest pitcher to qualify for the ERA title (behind former #2 pick Jameson Tallion).  He led the league in strikeouts with 151 and he was 10-6 with 3.22 ERA over 143 IP.  Biddle’s fastball sits average to slightly plus (90-93) though he can flash higher than that.  Biddles curveball is a true plus pitch and changeup is showing major improvement.

Adam Morgan led the league in strikeouts before being promoted to AA Reading (his FSL line was 118 IP 4-10, 3.29 ERA, 27 BB, 133 K).  His fastball is plus sitting 91-94, his secondary stuff profiles as average though there is some room for improvement.  Much of Morgan’s success can be attributed to his ability to locate his fastball throughout the zone.

At this point both profile to be at least #3 starters with the possibility of being slightly better than that.  Morgan having finished the year in AA is slightly ahead of Biddle in major league ETA but with Biddle opening the year in AA he is not that far away.

(Scouting reports paraphrased from Baseball America write ups)

About Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has previously appeared on Phuture Phillies and The Good Phight. You can read his work at Phillies Minor Thoughts

41 thoughts on “Jesse Biddle #10 and Adam Morgan #12 on Baseball America top FSL Prospects List

    1. Thank you, gregg has graciously allowed me to help him out with the site. For the most part I will be updating and writing the prospect profiles so expect to see some new ones coming out soon (Roman Quinn is almost finished and I will likely write up Morgan and Franco next since they have nice recent scouting reports)

      1. Profiles published on Quinn, Franco, and Morgan. Will get to the next set (likely Asche and Joseph) at some point over the next few days.

  1. Wow great to see that Biddle’s fastball is sitting 90-93 while being able to show more. If I’m correct there were some concerns about his velocity last year right? Also, good to see the changeup is making great improvements. In some articles this year he was really stressing how important the changeup was.

  2. From BA chat:
    Carlos (Los Angeles): How many of these 20 are you confident will make BA’s top 100?

    J.J. Cooper: I feel pretty confident you’ll see the Top 11 on the Top 100, and think that it wouldn’t be outlandish to see 13 or 14 of these guys on the Top 100.

    This puts Biddle into the Top 100 and makes Morgan a borderline candidate, this is exciting for the upside that they see in the system.

  3. From BP chat (thank you nik for asking)
    nik19 (Philly): Is Jonathan Pettibone ready to join the Phillies rotation next season?

    Bradley Ankrom: No, and I think his straight fastball will get pounded if he has to see guys multiple times per game. See him as more of a bullpen guy long term.

      1. It may be straight but it really sinks. I still think Pettibone will be a serviceable starter and may see action sometime in 2013.

  4. My 1st reaction was WOW Biddle 10th…lot lower then I would have thought.. Then I checked out the list and 8 of the 9 above him are all probably top, top prospects so 10th is real good I believe and 12th for is real nice too. NIce to know that the 2015 rotation will be Hamels, Lee and Three kids

      1. That’s why now they have Martin. But, truly, we need a LOT of top pitching prospects which is why I hope they hold on to their #15 (?) in the coming draft , eschewing free agents that would lose them that pick.

        1. IMO, the 15/16th pick, whatever they get, will be either, if still available, OFs Clint Frazier, high schooler from Georgia or that big guy from Stanford, Austin something. Ruben likes Stanford guys.

  5. More BA chat goodness for those interested in Asche and Wright.

    Scoop (Phoenix): I’m getting ready to watch some of MLB’s top prospects in the AZ Fall League, including Cody Asche. Any reason he was left off the Top 20 FSL prospects?

    J.J. Cooper: I really wish this league could have gone 40 deep, because there are a whole lot of guys I think will be big leagues I wish I could have written up. Asche is another one of those guys. Guys who had concerns think he’s a line-drive hitter who may not have enough power for the position, and while he’s shown significant improvement, he’s still rough at times at 3B. His footwork at times needed work and he rushed things, although he showed improvement as the year progressed. He’s a very good athlete with a good feel for hitting, which makes up for a lot of rough edges.

    Ben (Philadelphia): Did Austin Wright just miss the back end of this list? How about Cody Asche?

    J.J. Cooper: Just answered about Asche, but Wright was the third best LHP in the Clearwater rotation which doesn’t mean that he’s not a solid prospect. He was 90-94 from the left side with a hard breaking ball. His changeup is more of an idea than a useful pitch yet. In part because of that, some see him as more of a power lefty out of the pen than a starter long-term.

  6. Congrats to Biddle and Morgan. I’m a little suprised at how well recieved Morgan has been. Statistically he’s had a great year, and he’s got a plus fastball for sure. His K/9 are killer and I’m really looking forward to seeing him in Philly. Likely a solid 3 with an outside shot at being a 2 during his prime.

    1. Your comments (plus his ability to locate his fastball) are exactly why I was NOT surprised how well he’s been received, haha. When you put up stats like that, people take notice.

  7. Lets hope all these guys stay and start with us! Hope rube doesn’t unload them for fungo bats and Some washed up pen pc

  8. Didn’t the FSL managers vote Austin Wright as pitcher of the year? This isn’t just stat geeks looking at a pitcher’s number and never seeing him throw.

    1. It is for a couple of factors, but first let me start off by saying that Wright is still a good pitcher and likely was close on the list. The first reason is that many pitchers in front of him on the list did not spend the whole year in the FSL and those did tended to be younger with higher upside. The second big reason is his change up, it is a pitch that isn’t required to dominate in the FSL but as he climbs he will be exposed. The manager awards tend to be more stat focused and the BA lists have more projection to them. If Wright ever develops an average change up his ceiling is likely a #3 starter but without it getting good enough he could be a back of the bullpen left reliever.

    2. Sure, but that’s not what a prospect is. Plenty of elite FSL pitchers can’t hack in the majors. I’d be thrilled if Wright turned into a power lefty out of the pen (preferably one who knew where his pitches were going), if only because that’s an upside he could reach by late next season.

  9. I have seen Morgan this year and was impressed. I think a 2 is a stretch but probably a solid 3 . He knows how to pitch. doesn’t throw to the same spot like so many pitchers today. The days I saw him he had 3 plus pitches going. All important, he was not afraid to pitch inside. If Biddle and Wright are his equal, this group could be tougher than the current Reading group.

  10. Which is more important in the Majors: Locating the fastball or Having a plus offspeed pitch?
    I am sure the real answer it both or it depends on how good each one is.

    It seems to me that pitchers without good offspeed stuff never last in the Majors. However, having a dominant offspeed pitch will make your career.

    1. Think most baseball people will say that fastball location is the primary need for a pitcher to succeed in the majors. Obviously just good location of an average fastball isn’t enough but you see a lot of minor leaguers throwing in the 90’s who don’t make it because they never develop enough command and control.

    2. You really need both, If you don’t have a good off speed pitch that you can throw for strikes hitters will just sit fastball on you. A major leaguer can hit almost any fastball at any velocity and location if they know it is coming. When it comes to off speed pitches you really need to be a successful starter, you need a traditional breaking ball (slider or curveball, cutter can also work here depending on its break, velocity, and use) to get out same side batters out, you also need a change of speed pitch as well (change up, splitter, cutter again depending on its use) that can be used to keep opposite handed hitters honest when it comes to sitting on your fastball. But if you can’t throw quality strikes with your fastball you are liable to make mistakes that hitters are just going to hit out. You really need both to be a successful starter long term but if you have one or the other you can make it as a reliever.

  11. Someone said a pitcher was a 2or 3. I think at that level you need to command all pitches and have a breaking ball and a plus change to succued for any period of time. If they can’t do that they are going to be moved to relief where you can survive with two plus pitches. There have been exceptions in all cases.

  12. Apparently the Phils believe that a change-up, especially for a starter, is essential for MLB success. Some time ago I said that I believe the change-up may be in a tie for the best MLB pitch along with the fastball. For pitchers without an outstanding fast-ball, it is a necessity.

    So, good on Biddle to work on THAT pitch until it becomes a severe weapon. Which, with a curve/slider show-me pitch could elevate him one notch above the #3 predicted.

    1. A change-up is an essential pitch, especially for a Left hander. There are more RH batters than LH batters. You cannot start a LH pitcher who has a weak change up.

    2. By many reports Biddle’s curveball is better than show me, it is likely plus already and could eventually plus plus (70 grade) as he continues to develop.

      The change up or other change of speed pitch such as a splitter is needed to keep opposite handed batters honest on the fastball. It doesn’t need to be great, and it is essential for lefties to have. A righty can get away without one when their other stuff is really good, the two guys immediately coming to mind are Brandon Morrow and Ben Sheets

      1. Hey Matt, I really love your posts man and same with this site. I am an inspiring baseball blogger probably going to major in journalism, but anyways I was wondering if you guys had any openings for bloggers! I Love the phils and know their system inside and out and if i could throw in some write ups/articles every once in a while that would be awesome.

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