A year ago at this time, Biddle was a High School senior at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia. This year, he is a professional baseball player hoping to start the season in Lakewood, a little over an hour away from his childhood home.
From the moment the Phillies chose Biddle with the 27th overall pick last summer, he has seemed destined for a potential stop with the BlueClaws. The 19-year-old left-handed pitcher signed almost immediately after being drafted by Philadelphia, and kicked off his professional baseball career right away the Gulf Coast League Phillies in Clearwater, FL last June.
"They don't really ease you in. I mean the first day I just had to go right into stretches and figure out what I was doing on the fly."
While some might view the transition from High School baseball to the pros in a couple of months as drastic, it apparently was not too much to handle for Biddle. "I'm still throwing from 60 feet 6 inches away, throwing to a catcher, throwing to a same sized plate, everything's still the same, it's still baseball." And, right away he found success on the field.
Biddle went 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 9 starts for the GCL Phillies helping them to a 2010 league title.
"I was surprised how friendly everybody was. You know even playing with guys who are 24 or 25, I got along really well with them. And I couldn't have asked anything more from my teammates, we won a championship, and I got a ring in my first year. It was an unbelievable experience."
From there, Biddle was assigned to the Phillies short-season affiliate the Williamsport Crosscutters. While the 6'5" lefty handled the transition from High School to the Gulf Coast League with ease, going from life in the GCL to short-season ball was more difficult for him.
"In Williamsport you start driving around, really small towns, playing in front of people, playing night games, it was all really new to me."
With Spring Training less than 2 weeks away, Biddle is heading back to Clearwater hoping to accomplish a few things in his first Spring as a professional.
"My goal is just to show the Phillies what I can do. I want to show them I worked really hard this off-season, that I got in shape, and everything is improved."
Should Lakewood be the team Biddle breaks Spring Training with, BlueClaws fans should be excited to see this local youngster pitch. He has a low to mid 90's fastball, a 12 to 6 curveball, and a developing changeup and slider. And Biddle has some lofty goals for the BlueClaws in 2011.
"Another championship," he said. "I do not like to lose."
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