Overbeck Relatively Overlooked
First baseman rarely mentioned among top prospects
PHILADELPHIA—Cody Overbeck is seldom mentioned when Phillies top prospects are discussed. He's 24, so maybe that works against him. He's not a standout defender, so maybe that works against him.
It hasn't stopped him from, in his own words, "just trying to prove myself every day."
Overbeck, a ninth-round pick out of Mississippi in what is shaping up to be a solid 2008 draft for the Phillies, was named Eastern League player of the month for April after hitting .321/.352/.593 with six home runs and 20 RBIs for Double-A Reading. He was batting .291/.336/.592 overall, with nine home runs and 24 RBIs in 103 at-bats.
One of Overbeck's home runs was a mammoth shot off the 50-foot-high scoreboard that sits on the hill beyond the center-field wall at Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium. Ryan Howard and Albert Belle are the only players to clear the scoreboard. By just reaching it, Overbeck joined an exclusive club.
"That's about all I've got," Overbeck laughed. "It was the best ball I've hit all year."
Overbeck hit .302/.380/.554 with 11 home runs in 58 games at high Class A Clearwater last season before hitting .255/.333/.440 with 13 home runs in 78 games with Reading. He hopes to play his way to Triple-A Lehigh Valley this season. A third baseman by trade, he has also played first base and left field, in addition to serving as a DH. He hopes the versatility can help him open eyes in the Phillies system.
Overbeck, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound righthanded hitter, comes out of a 2008 draft that has already seen righthanders Vance Worley and Mike Stutes help in the majors. Two premium picks from the draft, outfielder Anthony Gose and righthander Jason Knapp, were used in trades to get Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee, and the organization is high on righthanders Jonathan Pettibone (third round), Trevor May (fourth), Julio Rodriguez (eighth) and Jarred Cosart (38th).
• Double-A second baseman Harold Garcia tore the ACL in his right knee and is out for the season.
• Top prospect Domonic Brown recovered from a broken bone in his right hand and was optioned to Triple-A. "He needs to play," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "We're not going to bring him up for the sake of bringing him. We'll bring him up when he's ready to contribute."