As part of draft chat in 2010, I was asked as the "Phillies expert" of the group who the team would be selecting. Using the three minutes of half-assed googling I had done to prepare for the event, I said "Jesse Biddle," because everyone had pretty much said he was the answer to that question, and the Phillies seemed to like local kids for whatever reason, which Biddle, as a Germantown Friends School alumnus, was.
So I said "Jesse Biddle," and then Bud Selig said "the Phillies select Jesse Biddle," and everyone thought I was so, so smart. What a year 2010 was.
Much time has passed since then. There are now far more young arms who are part of the potential Phillies future in Jeff Francoeur man-crush Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Jake Thompson, Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan, and all the rest. Biddle's name has slipped a bit further down following health issues. After establishing himself as a top prospect, in 2014 he, as he put it, "really, seriously got blasted on the back of the head by a hailstone." The same hail storm absolutely shredded the back window of his car.
It's been a far from ideal couple of years for poor Biddle. And 2016 won't offer much counterweight, as James Andrews showed up at home of the 23-year-old lefty, wearing his trademark black robe and rubbing together his two pale, jagged hands that are somehow both cold and hot to the touch:
Phillies announce lefty Jesse Biddle to have Tommy John surgery on Oct 14. Requires year of rehab at least.— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN) October 4, 2015
Biddle wasn't quite on target all season in 2015. He threw 80.2 innings for Reading this year, allowing 38 ER and 34 BB with 57 SO. After his promotion to Lehigh, he logged 44.2 innings for the IronPigs, allowing 31 ER, 27 BB, and 32 SO.
What the future holds for the youngling is unclear, but with youth on his side, however unfortunate and crappy it is to have to miss a year, this surgery may be coming at the right time.