Phillies' May Bounces Back
Righty shows well in second turn with Clearwater
PHILADELPHIA—Righthander Trevor May won the Paul Owens Award as the Phillies' top minor league pitcher in 2011. He might have also qualified as the organization's most improved pitcher.
A year after having to retreat from high Class A to low Class A, May returned to Clearwater and made strides in repeating his delivery, finding a consistent arm slot and throwing strikes on his way to striking out 208 batters in 151 innings. For the season, he was 10-8, 3.63 in 27 starts. He allowed 121 hits and 67 walks.
"I found my confidence again," May said.
His biggest area of improvement may have been his changeup.
"It's almost my second pitch now," he said. "I was able to get it down below the knees."
The 22-year-old Seattle native was a fourth-round pick in 2008 and passed on the University of Washington to sign with the Phils. He now ranks as the organization's No. 1 prospect, after first baseman Jonathan Singleton and righthander Jarred Cosart went to the Astros in the deal for Hunter Pence in July.
May heard all the trade rumors that month. He was involved in some.
"I could lie and say they were easy to ignore," May said. "You do your best to block them out. A lot of my teammates heard them, too. I lived with Singleton. It was weird to see him there one day and somewhere else the next."
At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, May throws hard. His fastball can reach the mid-90s. He also throws a curveball and slider and added a two-seamer that helped him get more ground balls in 2011. May is expected to anchor the Double-A Reading staff in 2012, and he should be joined by Jonathan Pettibone and Julio Rodriguez, a pair of righthanders who had strong seasons at Clearwater. May's goal for 2012 is to continue to throw strikes low in the zone and reach 170 innings.
• The Phillies hired former first baseman Andy Tracy to manage one of their minor league clubs, though they haven't determined assignments yet. Tracy hit 296 homers in 16 minor league seasons.
• Utilityman Pete Orr will return to the organization on a minor league contract, with an invite to major league spring training camp.