Cole Irvin Learns To Pitch Inside
Phillies officials spent the first half of the season getting a feel for what they have in 22-year-old righthander Enyel de los Santos.
They learned they have a big league starter on their hands.
The Phillies acquired de los Santos from the Padres in a December trade for Freddy Galvis. So far, they love the trade, because de los Santos recorded an International League-best 1.89 ERA through his first 16 starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
"When the season started we were still getting to know him,” farm director Joe Jordan said. "What we’ve seen is a guy who can pitch with his fastball to both sides of the plate. He’s ranges from 90-95 (mph) and sits 92-94, with an above-average changeup and a slider and curveball that are really improving.”
De Los Santos, who stands 6-foot-3, had allowed just 72 hits through 95.1 innings while striking out 87.
"He’s big, physical and mean on the mound,” Jordan said. "It’s a pretty good package . . . He really seems to know who he is on the mound and he gets after it.”
BIGGEST LEAP FORWARD
Lefthander Cole Irvin established himself as a prospect last season when he pitched to a 3.39 ERA over a full season split between high Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading.
Like de los Santos, Irvin made the jump to Triple-A this season and had been outstanding. Through 16 starts he led the IL with a 1.04 WHIP while striking out 87 in 101 innings with a 2.76 ERA.
The 24-year-old Irvin, a 2016 fifth-rounder from Oregon, had pitched his way into the discussion for a big league callup.
"He really knows how to pitch,” Jordan said. "He’s 90-92 (mph), and he can go get a little more when he needs it, but he really commands (his fastball) well. His changeup is a good pitch. He’s really learned to pitch inside to righties, and that’s opened up the outer part of the plate for his changeup.
"The slider and the curveball are good. He has a good arm, a good mix and a good brain. He’s very equipped. Never does he go into an outing without a game plan. He prepares like a major leaguer.”
Top 20 MLB Rookies Entering 2021
Ranking the 20 best rookies in Major League Baseball ahead of the 2021 season, plus 10 additional names to keep an eye on.
** Top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez was shut down indefinitely with right elbow inflammation. Tests determined that the 19-year-old righthander will not require surgery, but the Phillies will be cautious. Sanchez is rehabbing in Florida.
** First baseman/outfielder Austin Listi was promoted to Double-A Reading after hitting .344 with nine home runs in 58 games at Clearwater. The 24-year-old was a 17th-round pick in 2017 out of Dallas Baptist.