Justin De Fratus, RHP
Born: 10/21/1987 in Ventura, California
The Phillies chose De Fratus in the 11th round of the 2007 Draft out of Ventura College, and in a short time in the organization he has already proven himself to be an intriguing young player. He is not a flashy pitcher, just a very consistent one with all the characteristics of a solid prospect who could make himself into something more. He offers a fastball that sits at 89-93 but has topped out at 95 and shows good downward movement in the strike zone, as well as a slider and a changeup. De Fratus throws across his body to create some deception in his pitches, though it might make it difficult for him to repeat his delivery easily.
At 19 years old he started off in the Gulf Coast League, then moved to Williamsport in 2008 and after finishing with a 3.67 ERA there, he has spent this whole season in Lakewood. After pitching in relief through the first portion of the season, De Fratus transitioned to his natural role as a starter and has had mixed results. His first four starts were choppy as he stretched out, but since then he has become a consistent 6-7 inning pitcher for the Blue Claws.
De Fratus has exceptional control that makes his stuff look even better on the mound. Since adding some sink to his fastball he has become a good groundball pitcher that can rack up the strikeouts. Despite his nearly 2-to-1 groundball ratio, the most impressive statistic in his portfolio is his career 4.52 strikeout-to-walk rate, which is an elite number by any scale. Lefties hit well against De Fratus – a .297 clip this season – compared to righties, who hit just .242 off of him.
De Fratus is at just about the right age for his level, and by next season should be pitching in Clearwater with a promotion to Reading a strong possibility if he proves successful. His peripheral numbers indicate that he has all the tools necessary to continue to grow as a pitcher and become a consistent force in the minors. The flexibility he has shown, pitching well both in the bullpen and as a starter, makes him even more valuable to the organization.
Year Level W L ERA IP H ER BB K K/9
2007 ROOK 2 3 4.30 46 51 22 3 34 6.7
2008 A- 6 5 3.67 83.1 87 34 25 74 8.0
2009 A 5 6 3.36 101.2 103 38 16 91 8.1
Rankings – All previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing
15. Justin De Fratus, RHP
16. Sergio Escalona, LHP
17. Yohan Flande, LHP
18. Julian Sampson, RHP
19. John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20. Mike Cisco, RHP
21. Freddy Galvis, SS
22. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23. Domingo Santana, OF
24. Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25. Drew Naylor, RHP