24-Year-Old Pitcher – Pittsburgh Pirates
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Biddle was once considered the top prospect in the Phillies farm system, but his struggles the past few seasons have dropped him far off the radar. He opened last season at Double-A Reading where he s...
Biddle (elbow) was traded to the Pirates on Wednesday, CSN Philadelphia's Jim Salisbury reports.
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Pittsburgh Pirates Roster
MajorsBell, Josh (1B)
AAAAllie, Stetson (1B)
AABaker, Nathan (P)
A+Heredia, Luis (P)
ABarnes, Barrett (OF)
RookieBrewer, Colten (P)
Jesse Biddle: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Biddle will likely slip down prospect lists for the second straight year thanks to his struggles while repeating Double-A last season. He struggled with his command which led to a high number of walks, while his strikeout rate also dipped from 10.4 to 8.8 K/9. Biddle also missed time with a concussion that resulted from being hit in the head with a hail stone. He was later placed on the temporary inactive list for a "mental break" from pitching. During that time off, the Phillies had Biddle meet with Roy Halladay, who went through his own struggles as a young pitcher before turning into one of the game's more dominant pitchers. Biddle returned to the mound late in the year, but suffered a quad injury that ended up sidelining him for the rest of the season. He was able to get back on a mound in instructional ball, but Biddle experienced elbow tendinitis and was shut down in November. The Phillies likely will send him to Double-A for a third straight year with hopes that he can break through and make the jump to Triple-A by midseason.
Biddle entered last season as the Phillies' top prospect but will likely rank second or third on most lists this year. He'll slip because Maikel Franco broke out as one of the better prospects in the game, but he also raised some concerns with a BB/9 that jumped to 5.3 last year, after he had made progress the past few seasons at cutting back on his walk rate. However, Biddle struggled with whooping cough for most of the season and pitched the final month of the season with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, two issues that could have had some impact on his numbers. The positive sign is that his K/9 went up nearly half a strikeout to 10.0 in 2013. Given the higher level of competition at Double-A, the development is a positive sign for his future. The Phillies will likely start Biddle out a Triple-A this season, and at just 22 years old, his future remains bright.
Biddle handled the transition from Low-A to High-A ball last season with little problem. His 9.6 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 were both improvements over the ratios he posted in 2011 at Low-A Lakewood, despite the step up to better competition at High-A Clearwater. Biddle, who throws a four-seam fastball, changeup and curveball, added a slider to his repertoire during the second half of last season, but used the pitch just a handful of times per game to limit the stress on his arm. He just turned 21 years old in the offseason and will be one of the youngest players at the Double-A level in 2013. He'll likely top most Phillies prospect lists based on his excellent numbers and solid upside.
Biddle, the Phillies' top pick in the 2010 draft, went 7-8 with a 2.98 ERA and a 124:66 K:BB ratio in 133 innings for Low-A Lakewood last year as a 19-year-old. He needs to do some work to cut down on the free passes, but there is plenty of time for him to work on things. Biddle did suffer a minor knee injury at the end of last season but he is expected to be fully healthy this spring. He'll open the year at High-A Clearwater.
Biddle, the Phillies' top pick in the 2010 draft, went 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA and a 50:20 K:BB ratio in 43.2 innings between the Gulf Coast League and Short-Season Class A ball last year. Biddle struggled with his control once promoted to Short-Season ball but with only 10.1 innings pitched it's not fair to read much into those numbers due to the small sample size. Biddle could open next year at Low-A Lakewood as a 19-year-old. Ultra-projectable, he throws in the upper-80s now but is expected to increase his velocity. Biddle also features a strong change-up, but will need work on his breaking ball.