Prospect Rankings No. 11: Antonio Bastardo

Posted by Ben Seal, Fri, September 11, 2009 01:00 PM | Comments: 0
Posts, Top 25 Prospects from 2009

Orioles Phillies BaseballAntonio Bastardo, LHP

Born: 9/21/1985 in Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 195

He only had five starts in the majors, and finished with an ugly ERA, but in that June stretch when he filled in for an injured Brett Myers, Dominican hurler Antonio Bastardo made an impact. He burst onto the scene, a surprise call-up who skipped over some more proven Phillies farmhands, limiting the Padres to one run over 6 innings in his debut. Instantly all the hype that had built over the past two seasons – that he was actually a better prospect than Carlos Carrasco, that he was killer against lefties – was kicked up a notch. And though, by the end of June, it became clear that Bastardo was not quite ready to pitch consistently in the major leagues, it was also clear that he has a future doing just that.

Signed by the Phillies as a non-drafted free agent in 2005, Bastardo got to work in 2006 in the Gulf Coast League. Three years later he has pitched at 6 different levels of the Phillies system, bounced up and down because of a series of successes and setbacks – mostly related to a recurring shoulder injury. Along the way he has posted impressive numbers and earned rave reviews from scouts for a good combination of quality pitches and deception. Without an overpowering fastball he has still managed to strike out more than a batter per inning over his career. His ERA over four seasons (2.58) is excellent, as is his hits per 9 innings (6.7), both showing that despite some bumps along the way he has been very effective.

Bastardo does his best work not based on a blazing fastball or nasty slider, but – much like J.A. Happ – with a very deceptive delivery that makes his fastball seem faster and his changeup drop off the table even quicker. Scouts have pinned his velocity around 90-91 mph on the fastball, though when he was up with the Phillies he clocked 94-95 a handful of times and bottomed out around 90. His changeup is a plus pitch, and a lefty with a great changeup and a low-90s fastball is a dangerous weapon. Bastardo mainly works with those two pitches, though he has a slider that needs work to become a reliable pitch.

The taste of the majors that Bastardo earned this summer will lead to better things down the road, whether in the rotation or the bullpen. Lefties can’t help but flail at his stuff, as they were just 7-for-38 against him this year with 16 strikeouts, good for a .163 average. The first thing Bastardo needs to do is show that he is over his injury issues and work through the offseason to condition himself better for what is sure to be a long year in 2010. He’ll likely start in Lehigh Valley, having shown that he can dominate double-A, and be just a quick call away from the big club.

Statistics – Because of all the bouncing around, Bastardo’s stat sheet is a long one, so check it out in its entirety here.

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

11.  Antonio Bastardo, LHP
12.  Anthony Gose, OF
13.  Colby Shreve, RHP
14.  Anthony Hewitt, 3B
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

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About Ben Seal

Ben Seal has written 48 articles on Phillies Nation.

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