When righthander Connor Brogdon reported to short-season Williamsport shortly after being drafted in the 10th round in 2017, there was no room for him in the club’s rotation.
Howard is now the Phillies’ top pitching prospect, and Seabold is not far behind after a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League. But don’t forget about the 24-year-old Brogdon. He, too, has pitched himself onto the big club’s radar.
It all started when he moved to the bullpen after facing that roadblock in Williamsport three summers ago.
“It was probably a blessing in disguise,” said Brogdon, who had been a starter at Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. “It allowed me to explore a new area of pitching and be more of a power guy as opposed to a stamina guy. That’s been huge for me. I really enjoy it. There’s nothing better than pitching two or three days in a row and getting on a good roll.”
Brogdon, a 6-foot-6 righty with strikeout stuff, certainly got on a good roll in 2019. He started the season at high Class A Clearwater, earned a promotion to Double-A Reading then finished the season with a couple of strong months at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
“I got off to a hot start and that really built my confidence,” Brogdon said. “I built even more at Reading at it carried me through the season. It was a fun journey.”
Brogdon pitches exclusively from the stretch and delivers the ball from a high three-quarters arm slot. His fastball reaches 97 mph and his two-seam circle-changeup, which he learned from former college teammate Henry McAree, is a plus pitch.
In 76 innings at three levels in 2019, Brogdon gave up just 46 hits and 24 walks while striking out 106 and recordin a 2.61 ERA.
Brogdon was discussed as a possible September callup. Though he did not get one, he figures to get a look in big league camp and could help the Phillies in 2020.