The Phillies are calling up Ethan Martin to make his major league debut on Friday. The reports are Cliff Lee will not be ready to go and Martin represents the best option in the minors.
Martin was acquired for Shane Victorino at the 2012 trade deadline and was the 15th pick in the 2008 draft. So far this year in AAA he is 11-5 with a 4.12 ERA with 67 BBs and 107 Ks over 115.2 IP. He has pitched much better of late but walks are still an issue.
Martin will bring a fastball that sits plus velocity (93-95) but he can show plus plus when needed. The curveball has been a plus pitch in the past and can flash plus plus. The slider is an average pitch with potential. At this point the changeup is a dream and not a usable pitch. Martin has the stuff to dominate if he can keep the ball in the zone. If he loses feel for his secondary offerings he has the tendency to overthrow the fastball and lose his delivery.
MLB.com released their Top 100 prospects tonight. Two Phillies made the list as well as some former Phillies, they release their org Top 20 next week. (the reports are all free at http://philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com/mlb/prospects/watch/y2013/)
Jonathan Pettibone edges Ethan Martin for the #8 spot. To keep up with variety of choices I have added Mitch Gueller, Dylan Cozens, and Andrew Pullin, the additions will likely come in larger patches for a bit as there are a lot of viable candidates beyond the top 10-12 or so.
Today Baseball America released their Top 10 prospects in the Phillies System. Since the scouting reports are behind the pay wall I will keep the scouting reports to quick paraphrases of Baseball America’s reports.
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1. Jesse Biddle – LHP – Age 21 -Biddle has drawn comparisons to Andy Pettitte for his strong left handed frame. Biddle’s fastball sits 88-93, he follows it up with a curveball which profiles as plus, an average change up, and a added a two-seamer and slider in 2012. Biddle has a great work ethic and he physically profiles as a workhorse with a clean smooth delivery. Biddle has a very good chance to be a #3 starter but there is a chance that he could profile better if one of his pitches takes a step forward. Continue reading Baseball America Phillies Top 10 Prospects→
The strength of the Phillies system for the past few years has been right handed starting pitching. In 2010 the Lakewood rotation of Trevor May, Jarred Cosart, Brody Colvin, Jonathan Pettibone, and Julio Rodrgiuez were dubbed the “Baby Ace”. Since then, the only guy to survive trades and decline has been Jonathan Pettibone, but he has been joined by some interesting arms.
As I started to write up the right handed pitchers it became clear that their is two sets of right handed starters in the Phillies system, one is more advanced, usually composed of pitchers in the high minors or college pitchers, the other group which will be addressed in the next post are the rawer younger pitchers who still haven’t made it above low A-ball.
Just a reminder that when evaluating any young pitcher that there are many things that can go wrong. We still do not fully understand what causes pitchers to break down and often it can be unpredictable and sudden. Additionally many starter will not develop the necassary control or secondary pitches to stay in a rotation and their future may be in a bullpen.
Ethan Martin (23) – Going into 2012 Martin was a failed prospect, a former first round pick who struggled greatly with his control. Martin rebounded in 2012 and was obtained from the Dodgers in exchange for Shane Victorino. Martin has a fastball that can sit anywhere from 91-97 and has good late life, this is paired with a sharp cutter-like slider, and a changeup that flashes good late life. Martin still struggles with control and his issues can come in spurts where he will overthrow his fastball and fail to keep it in the zone. If he can continue to improve his control Martin could be a mid-rotation starter who could be a #2 if he can also add consistency to his off-speed pitches, if not he has a future has a high leverage reliever with a good fastball/slider combination. Martin will start the year in the AAA rotation and could be ready by late 2013, but it is likely that he will need the whole season before being a contender for a rotation spot in 2014.
Baseball America posted their Eastern League Top 20 today including three members of the Reading Phillies, note that Adam Morgan and Ethan Martin were not eligible for this list due to innings accrued.
Tommy Joseph – Joseph a catcher was the centerpiece of the trade with San Francisco for Hunter Pence. He put up crazy numbers in the Cal League in 2011 and his numbers came down this year in the EL. He has the ability to hit the ball to all fields and has at least plus power right now. His contact rate has gone down recently but his walk rate has increased. It is still to be seen where the Phillies send him next year with Valle at LHV and Rupp behind him.