Top 10 Prospects Index
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Philip Humber, rhp, New York Mets
From the 2005 Baseball America Prospect Handbook
One of three Rice righthanders to go in the top eight picks of the 2004 draft, Humber was the first selected and the first to sign. He waited until early January to come to terms, inking a five-year major league contract that includes a club-record $3 million bonus and $4.2 million in guaranteed money. Humber didn't have the highest ceiling in the draft, but he could make a case for being the safest choice. He has three potential plus pitches, starting with a 12-6 curveball the Mets rated as the best breaking ball in the entire draft. He also has a 90-94 mph fastball that has touched 97, and a splitter he uses as a changeup. He has clean mechanics, a sturdy frame and a resilient arm. Humber also has a long track record of success, going 35-8, 2.80 in three years at Rice and winning the College World Series-clinching game in 2003. His fastball can straighten out at times and there's a little recoil in his delivery, but neither is a major concern. Intense and introverted, Humber likely will begin his pro career in the warm weather at high Class A St. Lucie. With his pedigree and ability, he should reach Double-A quickly and may not need much more than a season in the minors before he pushes for a big league job.