Tuesday, February 19, 2019

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #19 LHP Cole Irvin

Cole Irvin, image- Jay Floyd
A swift ascent in the organization has helped left-handed starting pitcher Cole Irvin show that he is one of the Phillies’ top pitching prospects.

A 5th round pick in the 2016 draft, Irvin had undergone Tommy John surgery, missing the 2014 college season, and recovered enough to earn first team all-conference honors as a red shirt junior, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.17 ERA and a 7.9 K/9 mark in 17 contests for Oregon.

Irvin was the first of the Phils’ 2016 draft selections to reach the Double-A level and has enjoyed notable success at every level of his career to date.

The 25-year-old made his professional debut shortly after signing with the Phillies as a member of the Class A short-season Williamsport roster. In 10 outings there (seven starts) he sported a 5-1 record with a 1.97 ERA while striking out 37 and walking just eight in 45 2/3 innings of work.

In 2017, Irvin opened the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater. In 12 games (11 starts) he posted a 4-6 record with a 2.55 ERA while striking out 52 and walking 14 in 67 innings. He earned a promotion to Double-A Reading in June. In 13 starts he would notch a 5-3 record with a 4.06 ERA with 66 strike outs and 24 walks in 84 1/3 innings. Once promoted to the Eastern League that year, Irvin held opposing lefties to a .148 batting average.

Last year, the six-foot-four 220-pounder took the step up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he had an outstanding campaign, earning the honor of being his division’s All-Star starting pitcher. In 26 outings (25 starts), Irvin sported a 14-4 record with a 2.57 ERA, a .227 batting average against as well as a 7.3 K/9 mark.

The repertoire for Irvin includes four-seam and two-seam fastballs, a strong change up that he can throw in any count, a slider and a curve ball. The fastball has movement with velocity that can range 93-95 MPH. Overall, the pitch offerings may not stand out, but Irvin is smart and knows how to use what he has.

Former Phillies pitcher Dan Plesac talked about Irvin on Twitter this week, calling him a "pitcher, not a thrower", citing that he has a good feel for pitching as a strike thrower.

Irvin works quickly on the mound and has excellent command. He likes to take charge and dictate the pace of a game. While possessing a great understanding of the game and displaying mature instincts, he studies the opposition and will have a solid plan each time out and has an ability to adjust on the fly.

A native of the Anaheim, CA area, Irvin grew up as a big fan of Jim Edmonds of the Angels. He would also watch former Phillies lefty Cole Hamels and sees a reflection of Hamels’ mechanics and demeanor in his own approach. Irvin stays reserved with comparisons to the other Cole, but hopes to take the same path to the diamond at Citizens Bank Park.

The talented prospect will be in big league spring training for a second straight year, getting a chance to impress the Phils' coaching staff.  His ceiling could be as a mid-rotation guy with an estimated time of arrival in the big leagues being as soon as the Phillies have a vacancy this coming season.

Keep tabs on this year's complete Phillies top prospects countdown by clicking this link

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