Armed with a 2-0 record, 3 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 15 games this season for the Double A Reading Phillies, Justin De Fratus continues to make strides toward his goal of reaching the Major Leagues.
Ranked as a top 10 prospect within the Phillies system last off-season, the 23-year-old De Fratus was in camp with the Phillies during big league spring training. In 3 games with the Phils during the Grapefruit League season, De Fratus allowed 4 earned runs in 4 innings and took a loss. He did strike out an impressive 5 batters in those 4 frames, however.
Drafted in the 11th round of the 2007 amateur draft, De Fratus stood out as a force in relief last year for both the High A Clearwater Threshers and the R-Phils. In 49 combined games at the two levels, De Fratus posted a 3-0 record with 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA.
De Fratus continued his excellent 2011 by pitching for Team USA in the Pan-American qualifiers held in Puerto Rico, helping the Americans finish with a 9-1 record. He also posted outstanding statistics for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, holding opponents to a .125 batting average in 7 scoreless outings.
I spoke with Justin recently about his Reading teammates, his well regarded command, Twitter and much more. Check out the media player below to listen to excerpts from the interview.