It was one of those rare Sunday afternoons when two of the best young left-handed pitchers in minor league baseball were pitching on adjacent fields at the Blue Jays minor league complex in Dunedin Fl. The Phillies 21 year old former first round draft pick, Jesse Biddle was pitching in the AA game and 23 year old former third round Phillies draft pick, Adam Morgan was pitching in the AAA game against the Toronto Blue Jays minor league teams. To me Jesse Biddle reminds me of a young Cole Hamels. Jesse relies on his his off speed stuff, primarily his curve ball as his out pitch much like Hamels relies on his change-up to get batters out. On the other hand Adam Morgan is more of a power pitcher who reminds me of a Cliff Lee who needs to spot a low 90’s fastball to dominate and set up his other pitches.
Both Biddle and Morgan have started strong in the spring camps. Jesse has pitched in two preseason minor league exhibition games so far. In seven inning of work he has given up one run on three hit, walked one and struck out ten. Morgan started earlier and averaged better than a strike out an inning in major league spring games before being sent down. On Sunday he pitched five shutout innings and struck out six Blue Jays in the AAA game. If these two stay on the same five day rotation they look to meet in the April 2nd preseason Route 222 showcase game in Allentown when the AA Reading team takes on AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs. That should be a game not to miss because it might showcase these two outstanding pitchers.
In Sunday’s game I focused on Jesse Biddle who gave up a run on two hits and struck out five in four innings. He had great command of his breaking pitches which kept the Blue Jays AA bats off balance. Based on the speed gun that I was occasionally able to see, as I stood behind the home plate screen, Jesse was getting an incredible 15-20 mph separation between his fastball and off speed pitches. Only on the two hits were the Blue Jays hitters able to square up his pitches. Having watched both Biddle and Morgan pitch in Clearwater for the Threshers last year I have no doubt they will be starting pitchers in the Phillies major league rotation in the near future.