Yesterday afternoon, Phillies pitching prospect Jesse Biddle was on the airwaves of 97.5 The Fanatic for a short interview. Biddle, who actually grew up in northwest Philadelphia, was a first round draft pick just two years ago. At only 20 year olds, the big lefty finished his first complete season with the Lakewood BlueClaws in 2011, posting a 2.98 ERA and 3.38 FIP in 24 starts.
Biddle discussed topics ranging from spring training preparation to expectations for next year. In answering each question, he sounded confident, professional, and mature—or any other adjective that you might hope could be applied to your favorite team’s 20-year-old prospect. Biddle also made it obvious that he is beyond excited to be pitching for the organization that he grew up watching, something that most ballplayers never get to do. He made this clear when asked whether he would be moving up to high A ball come April 1st:
“Obviously I always want to move up a level. But the truth is that the Phillies are a team I’ve grown up watching my whole life. I’m a huge Phillies fan, and they’re the one organization in baseball that I truly trust—I signed my life away because I trust them so much. I’m going to put my faith in their hands because I’m not the first 20-year-old left handed pitcher that they’ve ever had. They know how to bring up a prospect.”
Another one, on his mid-season turnaround in 2011:
“It was both mental and physical. Pitching is an extremely mental act. You have to be focused the whole time and you also have to able to relax. That’s something I struggled with in the beginning of the year. I also lowered my leg kick, which allowed me to be a little more aggressive and quicker to the plate. And that just changed the way I was thinking on the mound. That got me into thinking, ‘throw it for strikes and see what happens.’ I told myself, ‘the Phillies drafted you for a reason and you need to go out there and prove that.'”
It’s certainly reassuring to see a prospect saying those types of things at such a young age.
For in-depth scouting reports and video footage of Biddle, check out his page at Phuture Phillies.