Monday, February 18, 2008
Outman, taken in the 2005 Draft out of Central Missouri State, will enter his fourth year in the Phillies system in 2008, most likely beginning the season in Double-A Reading before making the move to the Phillies new Triple-A affiliate in Allentown. Outman began his career in Batavia, throwing for the Muckdogs and going 2-1 with a 2.76 ERA (9.5 K/9) before he moved along to Lakewood, the Phillies Single-A affiliate, to be teamed with Matthew Maloney and Carrasco. The three made a fearsome trio, guiding the Blue Claws to a victory in the South Atlantic League (SAL):
Maloney: 16-9, 2.03, 9.6 K/9
Outman: 14-6, 2.45, 9.3 K/9
Carrasco: 12-6, 2.26, 9.0 K/9
Maloney, who has since been dealt to the Cincinnati Reds in a deal the team will likely come to regret, was invited to Double-A ball for 2007, while Outman and Carrasco started the season in Advanced Single-A Clearwater, playing for the Threshers. Maloney and Carrasco – generally rated as the sole Top 100 prospect in the Phillies system – have earned notice for their skills, but Outman has curiously been over-looked by scouts. Carrasco pitched well in Clearwater (6-2, 2.84) and advanced to Reading for Double-A ball. In Double-A, Carrasco has struggled a little, going 6-4, but seeing his formidable strikeout and walk totals stall:
K / BB ratio:
2006 (LAK): 2.44
2007 (CLE): 2.41
2007 (RED): 1.06
Carrasco’s ERA jumped from 2.84 in Clearwater to 4.86 in Reading. Part of all of that is the general advantage pitchers have in the Florida State League (FSL), of which Clearwater is a member. But a bigger factor he is that Carrasco has been challenged for the first time in his minor league career. How he responds will be interesting.
Outman, likewise, pitched well in FSL ball (10-4, 2.45 ERA, 2.16 K/BB ratio) and earned the invite to Reading. What has caught my eye is that Outman has out-pitched Carrasco in Reading. While his record was just 2-3, with a 4.50 ERA, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was an impressive 1.47. Outman seems to have weathered the change a little better. What has also caught my eye is the fact that Outman has been pitching in Arizona League baseball this winter and has turned on some solid numbers. In five games pitched he’s tossed thirteen and two-thirds innings with a 3.95 ERA and thirteen strikeouts to three walks.
So Outman is a formitable prospect and just as ready for the majors as Carrasco, in my opinion. According to Top Prospect Alert, Outman ranks as the Phillies fourth-best prospect and third-best pitching prospect after Carrasco and 2007 first-round draft pick Joe Savery. Since Kyle Kendrick made the jump in the Phillies hour of need from Double-A to the majors last season, it wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility to see Carrasco or Outman make the jump to Philadelphia in 2008. For all of the attention given to Carrasco, Outman could turn out to be the mainstay in the Phillies rotation for years and years to come.
The phillies farm isn't very good, so I'm suprised he is ranked 4th.
Josh Outman, LHP: Another strong athlete on the mound for the Phillies as Outman has a deceptive set of pitches due to his improved delivery with a low to mid-90’s fastball, mid-80’s slider, and a change. This delivery change has enabled him to disguise his off speed pitches better with his arm slot and speed. Looks like he could be a nice middle of the rotation starter down the road.