Armed with a 2-0 record, 3 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 15 games this season for the Double A Reading Phillies, Justin De Fratus continues to make strides toward his goal of reaching the Major Leagues.
Ranked as a top 10 prospect within the Phillies system last off-season, the 23-year-old De Fratus was in camp with the Phillies during big league spring training. In 3 games with the Phils during the Grapefruit League season, De Fratus allowed 4 earned runs in 4 innings and took a loss. He did strike out an impressive 5 batters in those 4 frames, however.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound De Fratus stood out as a force in relief last year for both the High A Clearwater Threshers and the R-Phils. In 49 combined games at the two levels, De Fratus posted a 3-0 record with 21 saves and a 1.94 ERA.
De Fratus continued his excellent 2011 by pitching for Team USA in the Pan-American qualifiers held in Puerto Rico, helping the Americans finish with a 9-1 record. He also posted outstanding statistics for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League, holding opponents to a .125 batting average in 7 scoreless outings.
I spoke with Justin recently about his Reading teammates, his well regarded command, Twitter and much more. Check out the media player below to listen to excerpts from the interview.
Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league contributor. You can check out more solid content from Jay by visiting his site, PhoulBallz.com.