Skip to main content

Diekman Set to Shine Among AFL Stars

The Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game is set to be played on Saturday, November 5th at 8 PM EST. The exhibition contest that features many top prospects from all across baseball will be televised nationally on MLB Network.

Left-handed pitcher Jake Diekman, a 30th round draft choice in 2007, will be the Phillies' lone representative, as he will be among the relievers for the East division squad.

Thus far in 7 appearances for the Scottsdale Scorpions, the 6-foot-4-inch 190-pound Diekman has not allowed a run or a hit. In 7 1/3 innings, Diekman has struck out 9 opponents and walked 5.

Last year, Diekman was summoned to the Arizona Fall League late, to fill a roster void left when John Mayberry Jr. suffered an injury. Diekman's efforts weren't as outstanding during that stint, as he did not expect to compete in the AFL. Diekman had a difficult time adjusting to the surprise, allowing 12 earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over 5 outings.

Diekman discribes that experience as a disappointing one, but feels it was an opportunity to grow.

"That was a downer," Diekman stated. "That was probably the worst month I've ever had, both mentally and physically. But it teaches you how to throw backwards and throw all your pitches for strikes. Like, there might be some lead-off guys (in Double-A) that you know they're gonna swing first pitch, so you just drop a slider in there and freeze them. It just taught me how to pitch to hitters at a higher level."

The 24-year-old bounced back in the 2011 regular season with the Double-A Reading Phillies as he sported a 0-1 record with 3 saves, a 3.05 ERA and a .199 batting average against.

Diekman, a Nebraska native, sports a pitch repertoire that includes a fastball, a slider and a change up. He added a couple notches of velocity this year after receiving advice from Williamsport pitching coach Lance Carter, in spring training, to lower his arm angle when playing long toss. The increased speed helped Diekman in match ups against opposing batters, as he saw his K/9 rate shoot up from 9.05 in 2010 to 11.49 in 2011.

As the Phillies move forward with several well-regarded righty hurlers like Justin De Fratus, Michael Schwimer, Phillippe Aumont, Trevor May, Austin Hyatt and others, Diekman is on a short list of left-handers that have the potential to reach the highest levels of the organization.

Diekman realizes it's a long road ahead to reach the big leagues. He has a simple mentality moving forward and a solid focus on what he needs to do in order to make his dreams a reality.

"I've just got to keep pitching! I've still got a long ways to go. Every now and then, my arm slot will go up and down, but I've just got to keep it consistent, where it is now."

****
Other players set to see action in autumn's version of The MLB Futures Game include Angels top prospect Mike Trout, 18-year-old Nats phenom Bryce Harper, Blue Jays outfielder and former Phils prospect Anthony Gose as well as Royals hurler Nate Adcock, who pitched in 24 big league games in 2011.
_______________________________________________

You can follow PhoulBallz on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Also connect with PhoulBallz on Facebook by clicking HERE

Comments

OBC said…
Yeah! Good to see there's secondary a lefty bullpen option for next yr besides Savery.

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Phillies minor leaguer Burch to use health scare as fuel

Tyler Burch, image- MiLB.com I invite you to visit Patreon.com/PhoulBallz in order to support my work and get access to exclusive interviews plus early access to features and news such as this. A missed baseball season wasn't the only challenge facing righty pitcher Tyler Burch this summer.   With persistent symptoms that began prior to spring training it was ultimately discovered, after the 2020 season was shut down due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that the 22-year-old had developed an autoimmune disease.   As symptoms that included dry mouth and frequent trips to the bathroom worsened, Burch's situation left his doctor puzzled.  And even the physician that conducted his team physical examination at the outset of spring training jokingly referenced diabetes, but did not take the possibility seriously.    The physical impacts subsided somewhat during spring training, as being more active and adhering to the team diet helped alleviate what he was experiencing. Once the base