Phillies Prospect #41: Jacob Diekman

Phillies Prospect #41: Jacob Diekman

Jacob Diekman simply didn't have much going for him as a starter, but being moved to the bullpen in 2009 helped him out. Now, he just needs to keep building on that success and climbing the minor league ladder.

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 30th round of the 2007 Draft.
Bats: L   Throws: L
Height: 6' 4"   Weight: 190 lbs.
Birth Date: January 21, 1987
2009 Team(s): Lakewood
Games/Games Started: 32 G / 2 GS
School: Cloud County Community College (%%MATCH_3%%)
2009 Ranking: 51

Why Diekman jumped to #41: Since joining the Phillies organization, Jacob Diekman just seemed to be missing something. There was always just something lurking that kept him from putting things all together and posting better numbers than he was showing. Basically, he was pitching like a 30th round pick - which he was - but seemed like if he could just figure something out, he could be better. In 2009, Diekman - and perhaps, the Phillies - figured something out and pitched much better; he's better suited to pitching in relief. His arsenal just wasn't deep enough or strong enough to survive the rigors of being a starting pitcher, but out of the bullpen, he had enough good stuff to throw at hitters that he looked like something more than he has in any of his previous pro seasons and his numbers improved greatly. As he continues to embrace his new role, Diekman may be able to push himself to even better numbers and become a bigger blip on the prospect radar. 

CATEGORY Jacob Diekman South Atlantic League
ERA 4.04 3.70
H/9 IP 9.5 8.8
HR/9 IP 0.5 0.5
BB/9 IP 4.5 3.1
KO/9 IP 8.4 8.0
WHIP 1.56 1.31
WP/9 IP 0.6 0.8
A player's stat posted in white indicates that he performed above the league average in that category. A player's stat posted in black indicates that he performed below the league average in that category.

Repertoire: Diekman has a decent fastball, but sometimes doesn't deliver the pitch with authority. His mechanics can sometimes be a little erratic, causing him to lose some velocity and not get much movement on his pitches. His curve and change are average at best and simply weren't developing the way they would have needed to for him to stay in the starting rotation. Deikman's sidearm motion is also much better adapted to relieving than to starting.

Pitching Style: Another reason why the bullpen should be a good spot for Diekman is that he likes to be aggressive and go right at hitters. Since he doesn't have great secondary pitches that he can set up, Diekman pretty much relies on spotting his fastball well, changing speeds on it and keeping it down in the zone. His strikeout numbers were as good as they've ever been in the pros last season and he also allowed very few home runs; good strikeout numbers and low home run totals are always a good sign of a developing pitcher.

Projection: It's most likely that Diekman will get a promotion to High-A Clearwater to start the season. He picked up two saves last season and it's a possibility that the Phillies will start to mix him into closing situations here and there, although he profiles better as a set-up man down the road.

Comparison: Diekman and former Phillie Chan Ho Park have similar styles in that both like to be aggressive. Diekman has been quicker to adapt and accept the role of a reliever than has Park, but then again, he didn't have much choice. Park has better overall stuff and Diekman will need to continue to develop to reach that type of level in the majors.

Jacob Diekman's career stats

Year Tm W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2007 Phillies 1 3 2.92 10 7 0 37.0 29 12 12 2 13 35 1.135
2007 Williamsport 2 1 2.25 3 3 0 16.0 10 4 4 0 8 11 1.125
2007 2 Teams 3 4 2.72 13 10 0 53.0 39 16 16 2 21 46 1.132
2008 Williamsport 1 4 4.40 8 8 0 45.0 41 24 22 4 25 43 1.467
2008 Lakewood 3 5 5.42 19 19 0 96.1 120 72 58 4 47 53 1.734
2008 2 Teams 4 9 5.09 27 27 0 141.1 161 96 80 8 72 96 1.649
2009 Lakewood 2 0 4.04 32 2 2 55.2 59 32 25 3 28 52 1.563
3 Seasons 9 13 4.36 72 39 2 250.0 259 144 121 13 121 194 1.520


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