The GCL Champion Phillies had two players ranked among the top 20 prospects in that league by Baseball America, it was announced last week. Both, LHP Jesse Biddle and OF Aaron Altherr, could well be with the BlueClaws when the 2011 season opens in April.
LHP Jesse Biddle: Ranked 7th, a first round pick by the Phillies in 2010, from Germantown Academy, Philadelphia…Biddle went 3-1, 4.32 with the GCL Phillies before a late-season promotion to Williamsport. Here is what scouting director Marti Wolever said about Biddle at the time of the draft pick:
“We draw a lot of comparisons to Clayton Kershaw in high school. We just felt, at this time, he was the best high school left-hander on our board. It really was a no-brainer. … We saw Clayton in high school in Dallas. They’re about the same size. Jesse’s arm might work a little easier quite frankly than Clayton’s did. But I think ceiling-wise and stuff-wise, they’re very comparable. We think Jesse’s got a chance to be that type of guy in the big leagues.”
OF Aaron Altherr: Ranked 8th, a 9th round pick of the Phillies in 2009 (from Arizona, originally from Germany)…Altherr hit .304 in the GCL over 27 games before a promotion to Williamsport, where he hit .287 in 28 games to finish the season. Here is what Chuck LaMar said about him recently:
“He started out in extended spring this year. Outstanding athlete who just needed, like all of them, to continue to play our game and get at-bats. I just saw him along with Benny [Looper] and Marti [Wolever] and the group and he’s going to be the next name that surfaces that the folks who follow us closely may not have heard of. Next year, when he goes to Lakewood, they’re going to start to hear about him. Not only keep an eye on him. I don’t know how low you can pick rotisserie guys, but I’d get him in my farm system somewhere.”
So there you go. We’ll have reports from the NY-Penn League list soon (a list which presumably could include one or both of these two). Then they’ll have the SAL list, which we figure could have a bunch of BlueClaws on there.