ProspectNation 2011: #6 Trevor May- RHP – Phillies Nation
2011 Top 25 Prospects

ProspectNation 2011: #6 Trevor May- RHP

Washington state native Trevor May appeared to be on an extremely fast track to the big leagues after two season in the Phillies’ system. However, a rough patch in High A ball followed by a demotion seemed to bring May back down to Earth a bit and served as somewhat of a reality check. Now, following improvements in the second half of his 2010 season, May seems to be back on the rise.

A 4th round draft choice in 2008 out of Kelso High School, May has won minor league championships in each of his three seasons as a pro in the Phillies system.

After signing with Philadelphia, May helped lead the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies to their league title in 2008. In 5 regular season games in the GCL, May went 1-1 and had a 3.75 ERA.

The right-handed May began the 2009 season in extended spring training then later was assigned to Class A Lakewood and swiftly became one of the Phillies top rated pitching prospects by blazing through opposing batters with a 4-1 record and a 2.56 ERA in 15 starts. May also struck out 95 batters in 77 1/3 innings pitched en route to the BlueClaws’ South Atlantic League title.

May began his 2010 campaign with High A level Clearwater, but struggled with his grip in Florida’s humidity and had great difficulty throwing strikes, which resulted in an uncharacteristically high 61 walked batters in 70 innings. Overall with Clearwater, May posted a 5-5 record with a 5.01 ERA in 16 games, 14 of which were starts.

Phillies assistant general manager in charge of player development Chuck LaMar chose to return May to Lakewood, where he quickly bounced back and received a boost in his confidence, returning to excellent form. In 11 regular season games, May went 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA. On July 27th at Delmarva he struck out 14 batters to tie a team record for strike outs in a game.

May again helped lock down a Sally League title for the BlueClaws. In the 2010 postseason May was strong, whiffing 13 and walking 1 in 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Hickory Crawdads in the opening round to earn a win. In Game 1 of the championship round against the Greenville Drive, May gave up a run and struck out 8 over 5 innings and took a loss. The BlueClaws locked down the SAL title before May was needed in game 5.

Combined in two postseasons with Lakewood, May, who stands 6-feet-5-inches tall and is listed at 215 pounds but likely weighs more, allowed just 1 run in 22 2/3 innings.

The 21-year-old’s pitch repertoire consists of a heavy fastball that steadily reaches the mid-90’s, a sharp curveball and a change up that has come along nicely since May began throwing it in 2009. Considered a power pitcher at times, May has tried to work some finesse into his game with placement and by using each pitch in any given count. Despite that though, his strike out rates have stayed high throughout his three pro seasons, as May has averaged 11.55 strike outs per 9 innings in his minor league career, and he averaged 12.13 strike outs per 9 innings in 2010.

The Phillies could wish to take their time moving May upward in the system, but it will ultimately depend on May’s drive. If May continues to mature and learns to cope with the varying climates he’ll have to deal with at higher levels, he could be in consideration to break into the big leagues in a couple years.


Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor.  You can read more from Jay by checking out his site,

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  1. The Dipsy

    February 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Jay – I hate to break this to the Phillies fan base but if Trevor May can’t grip a baseball when its humid out he should probably get in a different line of work. I played a little baseball and its easier to grip a ball when its humid than when it is cold or dry hot. Alrighty then. Movin into the top 5 prospects now. Can you tell us if you are counting Dominic Brown? Damn, we have a lot of good pitching in the A and AA.

    The Dipsy

  2. tavian

    February 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It is nice to read about all the pitching we have in the minors. Also, it’s good we are also grooming some outfielders who look promising. Now for a good shortstop candidate. Nice article about Travis May.

  3. The Dipsy

    February 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Grooming outfielders????!!!! We do everything for these prima donnas as it is and now we’re giving them haircuts, waxing their chests, and maybe even “manscaping” them, too? I give up. These guys are so coddled no wonder they expect everything just be given to them on a silver platter.

    The Dipsy

  4. The Original Chuck P

    February 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Dipsy, are you here all week?

  5. Jay Floyd

    February 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Dipsy, read the first entry of the series. It will answer questions that you have.

    Plenty of pitching still on the way in the countdown.

    As for May’s grip issues, I sort of thought perhaps he was making excuses when I first talked to him upon his return to Lakewood. But, the following week I spoke with some Reading guys who had already been through Clearwater and they confirmed that plenty of guys have a hard time in Florida when the summer heats up. Obviously, not every1 struggles the way Trevor May did, but plenty of guys notice the difference and have to adapt. May talked about being from Washington and said he had never perspired the way he did while in Clearwater.

    He’ll get another chance to try again there this season. Hopefully, he can cope.

  6. Pat Gallen

    February 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Jay, what do other teams think of this guy? Have you heard of anything in that regard? I often wonder what scouts from other franchises think of middle-to-top prospects from our organization like May.

  7. Jay Floyd

    February 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Three scouts I eavesdropped on one night last summer in Lakewood were talking about position players. I didn’t get any feel for what they thought of the pitchers that were healthy at the time. They liked Castro and Singleton from what I remember most of the conversation focusing on. I also heard Gump was popular with one of the scouts, forget which team.

    Talked to a guy from (I think) the Rockies one day in July and he was asking about Villar, who was eventually dealt in the Oswalt trade, and getting a feel for which guys had missed some time with injuries (Pettibone & such), so he could better gauge where their stats/progress should be. Also recall talking to him about Cosart.

    For some reason I don’t recall any chatter about May from scouts last summer. That’s not saying there wasn’t any, I just didn’t witness any.

  8. The Dipsy

    February 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    We have a “gaggle” of pitchers that logjammed from A to AA that I’m sure other teams really like. I don’t regard Aumont as a certified prospect any longer. I can see where dealing with perspiration on the ball when you’ve never done it before might be difficult. That said, I don’t know why you would take him out of Clearwater where he would be forced to learn to deal with it. If it were me, I would have had him throwing in a steamroom all winter. Anyway, Jay, can you talk a little bit more about Gillies. I like the guy a lot, but as I understand it, he went from a real hitters league in his last year with the Seattle org to the screwy year he had last year. What do other teams think about him AND does he project into a starter or fourth outfielder, maybe in a Michael Bourn (how’s that trade looking now?) mold?

    The Dipsy

    P.S. I’ve been watching the Westminster Dog Show all week so I’m kinda into the grooming thing right now.

  9. GoPhils

    February 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    I think a key number for May is BB/9. If you look at his history, there is a promising progression. In his first stop in Lakewood, it was around 5/9. This is clearly poor, but May’s stuff is so good presumably that other hitters were still overmatched. When he gets to Clearwater, the walks go up even more but this time the E.R.A. shoots up as well. I understand this to mean that the hitters at high A had the discpline to realize that May couldn’t locate his pitches and got him into hitting counts, whereas the hitters at Lakewood did not do this. At the second stop in lakewood, May’s BB/9 goes down to around 2 or 3. He had the same success he had before in terms of ERA., but the walks were down and I think because of this that he’s going to go to Clearwater as a more refined pitcher and figure out this level.

  10. Jay Floyd

    February 18, 2011 at 2:02 am

    I think walks were only an issue with May this year due to his grip issues and it being the first time he was working on throwing all his pitches with deep counts. Previous seasons, he’d really just try to blaze by guys with the heat when he needed to put them away, but he was working on versatility in 2010.

    I like Gillies to be comparable to Shane Victorino as he progresses. His 2010 season was marred by a hammy injury that he tried to come back to soon from. With a healthy year in 2011, Gillies could be a top 5 guy on next season’s prospect list, on the verge of a MLB debut.

  11. Brandon Tiemens

    May 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    We need to get trevor up soon. I went to schhool with the kid and hes just a beast im glad tom say he got drafted by the phillies he just needs some time. Theres not that much room in the line up for him now but down the line i see him possibly doin some damage. plus the phillies can always use someonein the bullpen

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