Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 26th round of the 2006
B: R T: R / Height: 6' 4" / Weight: 210 lbs.
2007 Team/Level: Clearwater (High - A)
Games/Games Started in 2007: 42 g / 0 gs
School: Oklahoma University
2007 Ranking: #45
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Why he moved from #45 to #34: Most 26th round draft picks aren't very serviceable. Sure, some have made it, but more often than not, they simply become a filler player somewhere or are gone quickly and not remembered after that. Will Savage is showing that not only can he be more than that, he can be much more than that. One concern about Savage coming out of college, was that he allowed too many base runners. He posted a WHIP of 1.44 in the college ranks and has cut that to 1.2 in the pros, which isn't a dramatic movement, but is enough to show that the improvements that he's made are working.
Repertoire: Before last season, Savage thought that he could push his fastball consistently to the low-90s and he did just that. He's basically a sinker/slider type pitcher, who works to keep his ball down in the zone and keep hitters from going deep. In fact, in two minor league seasons, he's allowed just one home run and he's quick to point out that the wind was blowing out and the home run was definitely helped by that fact.
Pitching Style: Opposing hitters still posted a .265 average against Savage last season at Clearwater, which is a little too high, but a lot of his secondary numbers are interesting. With runners in scoring position (RISP), opponents hit .250 against him and with RISP and two outs, they managed to hit just .048 against him. Ironically, most of the damage was done by right-handed hitters, who hit him at a .287 clip as opposed to lefties who hit him at a .230 pace. Also, as a pro, he hasn't allowed a run in extra innings or in the post-season, which is interesting, considering that he's pitched in the post-season in each of his first two seasons.
Projection: Savage pitched well enough at Clearwater that he deserves a promotion to Double-A Reading for 2008. He's already looking forward to it, since he's admired Reading pitching coach Tom Filer and is looking forward to working with him this season. It's going to be fun to watch Savage develop over the next couple of seasons, since he's been effective early on in his career and is moving at a good pace. He's got the mentality to handle closing, but for now, he believes that he's more of a set-up guy and is happy handling that or any role that the Phillies look to throw at him. He could be a reliever's version of Kyle Kendrick, who was pretty much off the radar coming into last season and wound up playing a key role in the big leagues.
What else you should know about Will Savage :
- Before going to Oklahoma, Savage attended the College of the Canyons and was not only pitching for their baseball team, but was the college's starting quarterback in football.
- Savage pitched as both a starter and a reliever in college.
Will Savage's career stats
Stats courtesy of The Baseball Cube.