As baseball's offseason takes shape, we will take a look at each player on the Phillies 2020 roster and where they fit in the future. We'll go through the roster by uniform number, lowest to highest for position players, highest to lowest for pitchers, and alternate daily.
Today: Reliever Connor Brogdon
Brogdon came out of the same 2017 draft as Spencer Howard (second round) and Connor Seabold (third round). When he arrived in Williamsport to start his pro career that summer, there was no room for him in the rotation as Howard and Seabold, who was traded to Boston along with Nick Pivetta this summer, were piggybacking in the fifth spot. So Brogdon had to pitch out of the bullpen.
"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."
Brogdon racked up big strikeout totals in his first two full minor-league seasons. He went from Single A to Triple A in 2019 and was talked about for a late-season call-up until that team fell out of the race.
Brogdon made it to the majors in 2020 and was one of the few bright spots in a historically bad bullpen.
How he became a Phillie
He was selected in the 10th round of the 2017 draft.
While fellow rookie reliever JoJo Romero had a big-league debut to remember, striking out the side on 12 pitches in a game against Atlanta, Brogdon had a debut to forget. Baltimore's Pedro Severino hit the first pitch he threw for a three-run homer on August 13.
Brogdon gave up four hits, three of which were homers, and five runs in his first three big-league appearances and was quickly shipped out. He made it back to the big leagues three weeks later and was a different pitcher, a dominant pitcher. In six appearances, he racked up 8⅔ scoreless innings, gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out 14. He struck out the side in order in each of his last two appearances.
The lanky, 6-6 right-hander has two plus pitches, a fastball that sits mid-90s and touched 98 mph, and a changeup that is a real weapon. He showed more of a cutter in his second stint in the majors and that has the makings of being a good pitch.
What lies ahead
Brogdon turns 26 in January. He should be in this team's bullpen in April and has the tools to be a homegrown success.