In today's paper, we take a look at 22-year-old pitcher Joe Savery, who will get the start tonight in the Phils' exhibition game against Florida State. He's a left-handed, fastball/change-up type of guy who was a star hitter and pitcher for four seasons at Rice.
The Phillies drafted him 19th overall last June (as a point of reference, the team took Cole Hamels 17th overall).
When Savery was drafted, he told reporters he hoped to be in the team's rotation by opening day of 2009. It's still way too early to tell whether he'll get his wish, but Savery has, in the words of one member of the Phillies' personnel staff, "opened some eyes" early this spring training. Charlie Manuel told me a couple days ago that he loves how Savery's fastball takes off out of his hand. And at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, the kid certainly has the size and build you look for in a power pitcher.
Right now, Savery is slated to start the year at high-A Clearwater, but there's no guarantee that a solid spring wouldn't earn him a trip to Double-A Reading.