I’m not writing this because Jesse Biddle was the Phillies #1 draft pick in 2010, 27th overall in the draft, drawing comparisons to the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. Nor is he simply the most recent, young left-handed pitcher for the club who may make some noise at the major league level. It’s mostly because he’s a kid who grew up in Philly, and it’s something special to come up in the system for the team of which you’ve been a fan from birth. As you listen to this recent interview you’ll hear a thoughtful young man, and that more than anything else is exciting. One of the interviewers is Phil from Mt. Airy, who apparently umpired Jesse’s games when he was a 10 year-old phenom. In rare instances when he missed with a pitch, he’d ask Phil when passing home plate: “Where was that pitch, ump? Thought I painted the black on that one”. Not because he was cocky; he simply wanted to know how he could improve. Jesse had a very strong second half of his season in Single A ball in Lakewood last year, and will be in rookie camp in Clearwater when pitchers and catchers report in 20 days. When I blogged about Jesse last May he was the side attraction to Shane Victorino’s rehab start in Lakewood. Good chance this year he’ll stay in high A ball playing for the Clearwater Threshers, then on to Reading, then to the Iron Pigs.
Here’s Jesse as an 18 year-old warming up for Germantown Friends’ School. The kid simply looks like a pitcher!
With this off-season workout regimen, it’s easy to envision Mr. Biddle giving serious chase to his boyhood dreams of joining the Phillies rotation.