Posted by Ben Seal, Mon, September 14, 2009 06:54 PM Comments: 0
Mike Stutes, RHP
Born: 9/4/1986 in Corvallis, Oregon
Experience always counts for something, and in the case of Mike Stutes it counts for a lot. The 23-year-old just completed his first full season of minor league ball, but is well ahead of the learning curve for his relative youth as a professional. Before the Phillies chose him in the 11th round (346th overall) of the 2008 Draft, Stutes pitched in college at Oregon State where he helped his team to two straight College World Series in ’06 and ’07. That experience pitching on a big stage for two years in a row will surely make a difference for Stutes in his pro career.
But more important than Stutes’ experience is what he can do on the mound. And pitching all of 2009 at double-A Reading, Stutes showed that he is more than capable on the mound. After throwing 69.2 stellar innings last season between Williamsport and Lakewood, the Phillies decided to move Stutes up to double-A to start 2009, a big jump for his first full pro season. With teammate Vance Worley, Stutes became the first Phillies prospect to start at Reading the year after he was drafted since Pat Burrell in 1999. Stutes handled the task well, finishing the year with a 4.26 ERA in 27 starts. He had some poor stretches, especially as he wore down a bit toward the end of the summer, but also showed a great deal of ability and performed very well most of the time.
Stutes is an athletic pitcher with a good low-90s fastball that still has room to improve if he can add a little bit of size. Both his fastball and his curveball are plus pitches that will carry him as he moves through the system and scouts have described him as having advanced off-speed stuff. He is not a dominant strikeout pitcher, and his strikeouts-to-walk ratio is just about 2-to-1, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting batters out consistently.
His great showing in 2008 across two levels made Stutes look like a fast-track type of pitcher, one that would blaze through the system and make it to the Majors sooner rather than later. This year he made a huge jump to face much more talented batters and fared well, but the real test will come next year. It’s likely that he starts at Reading again and is up with Lehigh Valley in triple-A before long. He has said that he thinks he’s ready to start at triple-A, and that remains a possibility. Either way he will need to find more consistency and continue to grow as a pitcher, which seems attainable for someone with Stutes’ pedigree.
Year Level W L ERA IP H ER BB K K/9
2008 A- 2 1 1.33 27 16 4 11 31 10.3
2008 A 5 1 1.48 42.2 20 7 18 53 11.2
2009 AA 8 8 4.26 145.2 147 69 58 109 6.7
Rankings – All previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing
10. Mike Stutes, RHP
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