|Connor Brogdon, image- Jay Floyd|
Relief pitcher Connor Brogdon propelled himself into discussions about the Phillies' tops prospects with another strong campaign in 2019 and could be on the verge of reaching the top level of the sport.
A Lewis-Clark State product, Brogdon was drafted by the Phils in 2017 as a 10th rounder. That year, the right-hander began his professional career as a member of the Class A short-season Williamsport Crosscutters.
In 16 relief appearances for the 'Cutters that year, Brogdon would post a 3-1 record with three saves, a 2.34 ERA, and a .177 batting average against while recording an 11.7 K/9 mark.
In 2018, his first full professional season, the six-foot-six 192-pounder tallied a 5-3 record with five saves, a 2.47 ERA, a .228 batting average against and a 10.3 K/9 mark in 31 games (seven starts) with Class A Lakewood. Since moving to the bullpen and working in that role exclusively after May that year, Brogdon has truly thrived in the relief role.
Last year, Brogdon opened the season with Class A Advanced Clearwater, where he posted a 2-0 record, a 1.80 ERA, a .164 batting average against and a 10.4 K/9 mark in 10 contests.
He was soon promoted to Double-A Reading, where the stellar numbers continued. Brogdon would post a 1-1 record with a pair of saves, a 2.65 ERA, a .150 batting average against along with a 14.8 K/9 mark in 15 appearances.
Before July, Brogdon earned his second promotion of the year, joining the pitching staff of the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. In 26 outings in the International League, the California native tallied a 3-1 record with two saves, a .193 batting average against and a 12.2 K/9 mark.
Time with the IronPigs didn't go smoothly from the start. Having posted a 7.71 ERA through his first six outings, Brogdon breezed through his next 20 appearances, as he notched a 1.78 ERA the rest of the way.
Brogdon, a slugging catcher and third baseman in his little league and youth baseball days, grew up as a fan of Barry Bonds, so he's got a great appreciation for the minds and bats of his opposition.
Described as a power pitcher, Brogdon can bring the heat and miss a ton of bats. With a fastball that tops out around 97 MPH, a slider with good movement, a terrific change up and a spike curve ball which was a pitch with a refined grip that he learned from teammate Zach Warren in 2018.
The approach for Brogdon is a simple one...come into the game, attack the strike zone and get outs. With his long-armed, lean build, Brogdon gets a lot of extension and releases the ball closer to home plate than many pitchers, which is advantageous, as the offering appears harder to the hitter.
He possesses very good control and has walked just 2.9 batters per nine innings in his minor league career.
Invited to big league spring training as a non-roster player, the 25-year-old has a true shot at making an impact with the Phillies this year, possibly to open the season if his Grapefruit League season goes well.
You can keep tabs on this year's top 25 Phillies prospect countdown by clicking this link.