READING, Pa.----Reading Fightin Phils starting pitcher Jesse Biddle was selected as the Eastern League Player of the Month for April by Eastern League media and coaching staff on Tuesday morning. Through the month of April, Biddle went 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA in five starts during April. The southpaw also had 40 strikeouts and 12 walks over 31.0 innings of work.
Ranked as the top Phillies prospect by Baseball America, Biddle made his Double-A debut on April 5 at New Hampshire where he gave up just one run on one hit while striking out six batters over six innings to earn his first winning decision for the Fightin Phils.
The 21-year old earned accolades across Minor League Baseball and in the Philadelphia region with his stunning conclusion to the month. Biddle was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 22 through April 28 after striking out 26 batters over 13 shutout innings. In his first start of that week, Biddle took a perfect game into the seventh inning and set a modern day Reading franchise record with 16 strikeouts, besting the mark of 13 held by Adam Walker (2001) and Randy Wolf (1999). In four innings of the outing, Biddle struck out the side, including an impressive first inning where he did it in just 12 pitches.
During his next start, Biddle was equally as impressive. The Philadelphia native struck out 10 batters and allowed just one hit in six innings pitched for the Fightins. After issuing three walks in the first three innings, Biddle retired the final 12 batters he faced before exiting at the end of the sixth inning.
The 6'4", 225 lb. hurler led all Eastern League pitchers in strikeouts (40) and batting average against (.114) during the month of April. He also finished ranked among the monthly leaders in WHIP (0.77-3rd), innings pitched (31.0) and ERA (1.74). Biddle has given up just 13 hits over 31.2 innings for the Fightin Phils this season and currently leads the league with a .121 batting average against. He is also ranked third in WHIP (0.92) and seventh in ERA (2.56).
Biddle, who had a record of 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA while striking out a league-high 151 batters in 26 starts last season with the Clearwater Threshers of the Florida State League, was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2010 draft with the 27th overall selection out of Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Biddle is scheduled to make his next start on Thursday when the Fightin Phils return home to take on the Akron Aeros (Cleveland Indians) at 6:35 p.m.
The Fightin Phils continue their 47th season affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, May 9 when the team takes on the Akron Aeros at 6:35 p.m. The first 500 adults 15 and over will receive a Mike Schmidt & Pete Rose Collector's Postcard. Tickets for the 2013 season can be purchased online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, or in-person by visiting the FirstEnergy Stadium Ticket Office.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.