Jesse Biddle

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Jesse Thomas Biddle

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jesse Biddle was the first high school pitcher from the Northeast taken in the 2010 amateur draft. The left-hander was taken by his hometown Philadelphia Phillies with the 27th pick of the 2010 amateur draft. He has a fastball (timed up to 92 mph) and changeup as his top pitches. Biddle made his pro debut on June 25, 2010 with three hitless, scoreless innings against the GCL Yankees. He moved to the Williamsport Crosscutters before the end of the year, finishing his first professional season with a record of 4-1, 3.92 in 12 starts. One of his wins was a complete game shutout. Baseball America rated him as the #7 prospect in the Gulf Coast League, between Juan Urbina and Aaron Altherr.

In 2011, Biddle pitched for the Lakewood Blue Claws in the South Atlantic League, where he made 24 starts in 25 appearances, pitching 133 innings with a record of 7-8, 2.98; he gave up 104 hits and struck out 124 against 66 walks in a solid season. He was 4th in the South Atlantic League in ERA, between Taylor Rogers and Roman Mendez. Baseball America ranked him as the league's 6th-best prospect, trailing only Jameson Taillon among pitchers. In 2012, he was promoted to the Clearwater Threshers in the Florida State League, where his record was 10-6, 3.22 in 26 starts. He pitched 142 2/3 innings, gave up 129 hits, struck out 154 and walked 54 to confirm his place as a top pitching prospect.

After a solid start to his pro career, Jesse hit a first bump in the road in 2013 when he was limited to a 5-14 record in 27 starts for the [[Reading Fighting Phils]] of the Eastern League. His ERA was still a solid 3.64, and he struck out 154 batters in 138 1/3 innings, so his season was no that bad apart from the ugly won/loss record. However, he followed that with another very poor mark for Reading in 2014, 3-10, and this time with a 5.05 ERA to boot. He was injured for part of that year, making only 16 starts in AA and making rehabilitation appearances with a couple of lower-level teams in the system. In 2015, he was back with Reading for a third straight season, and while this time he found himself winning a number of games, going 7-2 in 15 starts, his ERA was middling at 4.24. Still, he was given a chance to pitch at the AAA level for the first time later that year, going 2-4 in 9 starts for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the International League. His ERA was 6.25 though, so his combined line was 9-6, 4.95, hand his strikeout rate fell markedly, to 89 over 125 1/3 innings. He then underwent reconstructive elbow surgery after the season.

At that point, the Phillies gave up on Jesse as a prospect and on February 3, 2016 traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in return for Yoervis Medina. The Bucs were convinced that he could still emerge as a successful big league pitcher after his recovery from the surgery. However, a few weeks into spring training, on March 11th, he was designated for assignment when the Pirates put veteran 3B David Freese under contract. He was placed on waivers and claimed by the Atlanta Braves a week later. He made his major league debut with the Braves in April of 2018 and pitched 60 times for them, all in relief, going 6-1, 3.11 with 1 save. He allowed just 50 hits in 63 2/3 innings and struck out 67 batters. He was not used in the postseason, however, and started the 2019 season slowly, with an ERA of 5.40 in his first 15 games and 10 walks in just 11 2/3 innings. On May 15th, he was designated for assignment and on May 20th was sent to the Seattle Mariners along with the injured Arodys Vizcaino in return for Anthony Swarzak.

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