You Aren’t Cole Hamels Part 1: Jerad Eickhoff is the First to Arrive

I promise I won’t do this for everyone involved in the trade as it isn’t fair to anyone involved, including Jerad Eickhoff, because they have earned their shot at the major leagues.

The Past:

Eickhoff was the 4th pitcher in the 8 player trade that sent Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman to Texas.  He was in the middle of having a bit of a breakout year with Texas, reaching AAA with solid numbers outside of his ERA (it is the PCL though).  Before that Eickhoff was a 15th round pick in 2011 out of junior college and he moved fine before stalling out at AAin 2013 and 2014.  Since joining the Phillies he has been very good for AAA Lehigh Valley.

The Arm:

For a guy who seems to have been overlooked for a while, Eickhoff has raw stuff to be worth watching.  He has a plus fastball that sits 92-95 and he has bumped it to 97 at times.  He doesn’t have pinpoint command with the pitch, but he does have the control to fill up the strikezone and has shown (at least with LHV) the ability to elevate it for swings and misses.  Eickhoff’s other primary pitch is a 12-6 curveball in the upper 70s that has good downward movement.  Most of the curveballs will be plus, but occasionally the bite isn’t there.  He has the confidence to throw it to both RH and LH batters and will throw it for strikes and chases.  He will also mix in a changeup and another breaking ball that I have heard described as a slider or a cutter, both will show average potential.  Eickhoff doesn’t show the advanced command of Aaron Nola or Zach Eflin, but he is going to fill the zone with strikes.  He can be a bit fly ball (and home run) prone because of the arsenal, but it is not enough to be worried about going forward.

The Future:

For now Eickhoff will work as a starter down the stretch and likely has an inside path as a starter for the Phillies in 2016.  In the rotation, Eickhoff has the stuff to be a #3 starter if he can find growth in the command and changeup, but the likelier outcome is as a #4 starter who should be able to shoulder a large innings load.  There is some thought that if he struggles in the rotation or is bumped out by other starters, he makes an ideal candidate to move to bullpen because his stuff does play up in short stints.   In the bullpen he could be a high leverage, non-closer arm.  But for now he will be the third rookie starter behind Aaron Nola and Adam Morgan in what could be a very young starting rotation in 2016.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman
Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.

5 comments

  1. Romus

    Good detailed analysis and projection.

  2. Tim

    He works fast too looks like he knows how r hit lol.

  3. Tim

    That’s to hit

  4. Murray

    Asher will join soon and then it will really be a young rotation, and be setting them up for a young 2016 staff as well.

    • Romus

      Asher has to placed on the 40….and I think prior to next Tuesday (not sure ) if he is to be summoned to Philadelphia for September..
      There are a few who could be let go…..Neris, Loewen to name two….but Harang and Williams will be part of the six-man rotation so they probably stay.
      Of course, positional guys can be dropped to add Asher to the 40.
      But other pitchers on the current 40 are still available to be called up….Sev Gonzo and David Buchanan again…and they may call up Jesse Biddle if he has a good outing or two before the 31st.