Chosen with the Phillies’ second round draft pick last year, hurler Matt Imhof quickly jumped into the Phillies prospect ranks and looks poised to make a big impact in the minor leagues this year following an impressive professional debut.
In his junior season at Cal Poly last year, the left-hander posted a 10-4 record with a 2.45 ERA and an 11.24 K/9 mark in 15 starts while earning second team All-American honors. He wrapped up his college career with an 18-7 record and a 2.68 ERA in 48 games.
After being selected 47th overall by the Phillies in June, Imhof quickly signed his first pro deal and proceeded to pitch at three levels of the developmental ranks. Following his initial outing in which he tossed three scoreless frames for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies, Imhof was promoted to short-season A level Williamsport. As a member of the Crosscutters, he posted a 1-0 record while allowing just one earned run in 12 innings (0.75 ERA).
In mid-July, the six-foot-five 220-pounder earned another promotion to Class A Lakewood, where he tallied a 0-2 record with a 4.28 ERA in seven starts.
Overall in 11 minor league appearances, the California native sported a .260 batting average against along with an 8.5 K/9 mark as well as a 2.34 BB/9 mark.
The 21-year-old’s pitch repertoire includes a fastball that tops out at 94 MPH and has some movement, a slider-curve hybrid that helps him fool batters along with a developing change up which features a nice dip in velocity. The change up was something he began using increasingly after the draft and it should improve with more experience. Additionally, Imhof’s control is a noteworthy aspect of his skill set.
His wind up features some nice concealment of the ball resulting in difficulty for batters in picking up his offerings.
Projecting the big-framed Imhof, he may fill out more and could certainly increase his velocity.
Imhof, who grew up idolizing Randy Johnson, will likely begin the 2015 season as a member of the Class A Advanced Clearwater starting rotation.
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