JESSE BIDDLE, LEFT HANDED PITCHER
|Born: October 22, 1991
Drafted: 1st round, 27th overall, 2008 (Phillies)
How Acquired: Trade (from Phillies for Yoervis Medina)
High School: Germantown Friends HS (Philadelphia, PA)
Agent: Sosnick, Cobbe and Karon
WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES
|Biddle at one time was one of the better pitching prospects in baseball, rating as high as #71 on Baseball America’s list of the top 100 prospects. He’s a big left-hander with a fastball that, at different times, has come in at 88-93 mph up to 92-94. He’s thrown a slow curve throughout his time as a pro, but scouts give it mixed reviews. He also throws a change and slider, both of which scouts regard as having potential. Biddle has put up some impressive K rates in the minors, but he’s also had control problems. He advanced quickly through the low minors, but the walk issues got worse in AA in 2013, then he ran into health problems in 2014-15. He had Tommy John surgery in fall 2015 and will miss all of the 2016 season. The Phillies designated him for assignment in January 2016 order to claim former Pirate Bobby LaFromboise, then traded him to the Pirates for reliever Yoervis Medina.
Biddle mostly pitched very well in his Gulf Coast League debut, striking out over 11 batters per nine innings. Out of nine starts, he struggled in three, giving up 19 of the 23 total runs he allowed. He finished with three starts in the New York-Pennsylvania League, where he struggled to throw strikes.
The Phillies moved Biddle up to full season ball, where he pitched well apart from a high walk rate. He held hitters to a 218/316/292 line.
Biddle was the Florida State League’s second-youngest ERA qualifier after Jameson Taillon. He made good progress with his walk rate while also improving his K rate.
In AA, Biddle was very hard to hit. Opponents batted only .210 against him and his K rate went higher still, but he had trouble throwing strikes.
The Phillies sent Biddle back to AA and he had a rough season. He suffered a freakish concussion in a hailstorm early in the season and may still have had concussion symptoms as he continued to pitch. He struggled off and on, with control remaining a problem. The Phillies sat him down following a 10-run outing in late June. He worked his way back through a rehab assignment and made one last start in AA. The Phillies added him to their 40-man roster after the season.
Biddle left winter ball prior to the 2015 season with elbow soreness. In retrospect, it seems likely he wasn’t healthy all year. He opened in AA for the third straight year and made progress with his walk issues, but he was uncharacteristically easy to hit. The Phillies promoted him to AAA in July anyway and he struggled through nine rough starts there. After the season he had Tommy John surgery.
Biddle obviously is a long-term project for the Pirates. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go at the beginning of the 2017 season. The Pirates designated him for assignment, however, during spring training when they signed David Freese. They’re no doubt hoping that he’ll clear waivers.
|2016: Minor League Contract|
|Signing Bonus: $1,160,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: N/A
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2021
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2014
Options Remaining: 2 (USED: 2014)
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 7, 2010: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1st round, 27th overall pick; signed on June 10.
November 20, 2014: Contract purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies.
January 29, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies.
February 3, 2016: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Yoervis Medina.
March 11, 2016: Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.