• Steve Potter

1/8/2021 : Pushing the Needle - The Big Arms - Part Two


Second in a series on “Big Arms” in the Phillies system. If ya missed part one here is the link ... https://www.philliesbaseballfan.com/post/1-5-2021-pushing-the-needle-the-big-arms


Part Two is a look at some of the high velocity fellas within the system that are either likely or on the verge of performing at the AA level this coming season.


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LHP Erik Miller : Drafted 4th Round - 2019 Draft - Stanford ... 22 years old ... will be 23 in early February


Erik is a starting pitcher who has the ability and size ( 6’4” 240 ) to be a dominating power arm with a FB range of 93-97 mph, also possesses a slider and change up with the change up being a pitch that also could be plus.


He pitched at three levels in 2019, his initial pro season ( GCL/Williamsport/Lakewood ) posting a 1.50 ERA in 11 games ( 7 starts - 36 IP ) with 52 K’s and 15 BB. In three games at Lakewood he had a 2.08 ERA in 13 IP with 17 K’s and 6 BB ... Erik’s command and control will be the determining factor as to how quickly he ascends the ladder, he had 90 walks in 193 IP at Stanford with 188 K’s.


I saw him throw twice in person at the Complex in 2019 and three times in game action from the internet stands 🤓 ... a Steven Matz comparison, more velocity than Matz but may need to trade some of that for movement and control ... that’s not a bad thing as the mix certainly plays ... One to watch as a potential quick mover, could even begin at Reading this year ... had a very solid 2020 Fall Instructs.


RHP Albertus Barber : Signed as an amateur free agent 6/23/19 ... Oklahoma Baptist University ... 24 years old ... turns 25 in mid February


Albertus posted a 4-0 record with a stellar ERA of 0.87 in 17 games of action his first summer of pro ball ( GCL, Williamsport & Lakewood ) in 2019 ... he earned all 4 wins at Lakewood in 11 appearances and had a 0.00 ERA in 12.1 IP with 10 K’s and only 2 walks.


The young man is a tenacious competitor, only saw him in person for a couple games but that jumps out at ya right away, he loves to compete ... FB is in the mid to upper 90’s range ... knows how to pitch ... could make the jump to Reading out of Spring Camp.


RHP Mark Potter : Drafted 19th Round - 2018 Draft - Melbourne Catholic ... 23 years old


Began the 2019 season in extended Spring Training - promoted to Lakewood on July 7th and took off from there as he became the team closer ... posted a 2.50 ERA in 27 games ( 36 IP ) with 33 K’s and 14 BB - 9 saves


Mark is a power pitcher with a big frame ( 6’6” 284 ) - FB sits in the 93-97 range which he couples with a curve and change up ... continued refinement of his secondary pitches and harnessing command will push him up the ladder - the stuff is there to excel ... should start 2021 at least with the Advanced A team ... has a great last name 🤓


RHP Andrew Shultz - Drafted 6th Round - 2019 Draft - University of Tennessee ... 23 years old


In 2019 appeared in one game in the GCL and was promptly promoted to Lakewood where he appeared in 11 games ( 10 IP - 15 K’s & 9 BB ) ... Andrew is one of the higher velo capable power arms in the organization with the capacity to get in the 100-101 MPH range ...


Generally sits high 90’s, also has a slider that “explodes” with glove side break ... I’ve seen him throw five or so times, few have the ability to make the ball rise on approach with the movement he shows ... development needs are control and command ... the “stuff” is there to rise quickly thru the system ...


Exciting hurler to keep an eye on ... at least starts at High A ... maybe even at Reading


RHP Tyler Burch : Signed as an amateur free agent 6/12/19 ... Lewis-Clark State ( Idaho ) ... 23 years old


pitched primarily at Williamsport in 2019 posting a 4-1 record with a 1.56 ERA in 11 games ( 35.2 IP ) with 34 K’s and only 6 walks 😳 ... went to Lewis-Clark State - the same school that produced Connor Brogdon.


Tyler has shown increased velocity since turning pro, he worked on his lower half mechanics with former Williamsport pitching coach Hector Berrios and was able to gain speed without sacrificing movement or command. His fast ball sits in the 93-95 range with perhaps even more there ... has a very good slider as a secondary delivery and a developing change up.


The first time we saw Tyler pitch he closed out a no hitter in his one and only appearance in the Gulf Coast League. He’s a very pleasant young man who this spring endured a bit of a health scare and was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. The issue has now been addressed bringing him back to full health ... he’s on the Adelaide roster in Australia now and should see game action soon. Likely starts 2021 at the Advanced A level as part of the rotation.


LHP Zach Warren - Drafted 14th Round - 2017 Draft - University of Tennessee ... 24 years old


Zach had a stellar year in Lakewood in 2018 posting 15 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 39 games ( 56.2 IP ) with 100 K’s and 28 walks. He pitched the full season 2019 season in Clearwater appearing in 40 games with a 3.30 ERA in 60 IP ... 80 K’s and 38 BB


He features a FB that rides in the 93-97 range and a tight spiking curve ball as an out pitch. Both deliveries have outstanding movement ... he needs to harness control and sharpen his consistency of delivery but the stuff is very real and can play at the highest level. I can see him beginning 2021 at Reading and if things click moving to Philly very quickly.


I’ll continue the series in the coming days ... next up ... younger fellas rising at the Single A levels of play.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️










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