- Full name David Edward Phelps
- Born 10/09/1986 in St. Louis, MO
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Notre Dame
- Debut 04/08/2012
Drafted in the 14th round (440th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2008 (signed for $150,000).
View Draft ReportAnother player who couldn't match his gaudy sophomore numbers is rigthhander David Phelps, who last year joined Aaron Heilman as the only pitchers in Notre Dame history with triple-digit strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA. Phelps hasn't commanded his curveball and changeup as well in 2008, but he's still 6-foot-3 with a quick arm and a 90-93 mph fastball. Like White, Phelps will go somewhere in the first eight rounds. His brother Mike pitches in the Cubs system.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Phelps has progressed as far as any member of New York's 2008 draft class. He rocketed to Triple-A in 2010, then hit his first speed bump in pro ball last summer, when he wound up missing two months with shoulder discomfort. He just needed rest as it turned out, and he came back to give up just two earned runs and one walk in his final 19 innings. Phelps resembles Adam Warren in that he profiles as a backof- the-rotation starter, and his future upside depends mostly on his ability to throw his secondary pitches for strikes in fastball counts. Phelps works off a fastball that sits in the low 90s and touches 95. He also has a solid curveball, fringy slider and decent changeup. Like Warren, he tried to mix in his secondary stuff more often and paid for it when he missed against Triple-A hitters. After giving up just six homers in 158 innings in 2010, Phelps surrendered 11 in 107 innings last season. He generally challenges hitters rather than nibbling, and his control ranks among the best in the system. He'd be a candidate for a callup in a different organization, but with New York he's playing a waiting game. A November addition to the 40-man roster, he's likely headed back for a third stint in Triple-A in 2012.
The Yankees fast-tracked several of their college pitchers in 2010, Phelps among them. While Adam Warren is the better prospect, Phelps had just as strong of a season, if not better, and finished the year in Triple-A. He ranked second in the system in both innings (159) and strikeouts (141). Like Warren, Phelps has taken off while tightening his mechanics, helping him get more extension and better repeat his release point. A 14th-rounder who signed for $150,000, he pitches off his fastball and throws consistent strikes with it. He pitches at 91-92 mph but can reach back and hit 95 when needed. His fastball can flatten out and he doesn't always pitch downhill like he needs to, but he stays away from home runs, giving up just 20 in 382 pro innings. Phelps' best secondary pitch is his solid curveball, which saw its average velocity jump from 74 to 78 mph last season. It's tight and short with 11-to-5 break, though it doesn't quite have the depth to be a plus pitch.His changeup is fringy, and he also throws a slider that lacks depth but arrives at 82-86 mph. Phelps pitches with an arrogance that helps his stuff play up. He's another good trade piece who'll head back to Scranton for 2011. He has put himself in position for a big league callup if he repeats his 2010 success.
The Yankees like to draft college arms and turn them over to pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras. Phelps emerged from the pack last season, as he led the system with 13 wins, ranked second with a 2.38 ERA and third with 122 strikeouts while logging 151 innings. New York stole him in the 14th round of the 2008 draft, signing him for $150,000 after he slumped as a junior at Notre Dame. His brother Mike, a former Cubs farmhand, pitched in independent ball last year. Phelps has size and stuff, taking his four-seam fastball from 91-92 mph in college to 92-95 as a pro. He threw his fastball for strikes and consistently got ahead of Class A hitters last year. He throws his four-seamer on a good downhill plane and locates his 90-mph two-seamer in the bottom of the strike zone. Phelps' ceiling is tied to his secondary stuff, which isn't special. He throws a changeup that has made progress but is still below average. He also has a fringy slider that's more of a groundball pitch than a strikeout offering, plus a curveball that has flashes average potential. Phelps' fastball makes him intriguing, but he'll have to show more when he gets to Double-A this year.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Slider in the New York Yankees in 2011