Phillies prospect profile: 2021 5th rounder Griff McGarry

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 19: Philadelphia Phillies batting helmets sit on the wall during the MLB game between the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 19, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

This edition of Phillies’ prospect profiles will focus on Griff McGarry, a right-hander for the Jersey Shore Blueclaws.

Aside from having a tremendous baseball player name, there is a lot to be excited about with Griff McGarry. The Phillies selected McGarry in the fifth round of the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft, and he was the third starting pitcher taken by the club.

Griff played for the University of Virginia and had his college career interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of playing one more year at Virginia, the young pitcher decided to sign with the Phillies and enter their minor league system following his fifth-round selection.

Overwhelming Talent Under Control?

The connotation surrounding Griff McGarry was that he was a pitcher who lacked control. In his college career, he pitched a total of 134 innings. In those innings, he walked a total of 131 hitters. At different points in his 2021 season, Griff was moved all around the Cavaliers’ pitching staff. He spent time as a start, middle inning reliever, and even time as a closer.

You might be thinking, “why would the Phillies draft a pitcher with such a lack of control?”

The answer to that question is what happens when Griff McGarry has his stuff rolling. McGarry has lights-out arm talent that, if developed, can become huge for the Phillies in a few seasons. Griff uses a fastball, slider, and curveball and mixes a plus changeup for a four-pitch mix.

His fastball has reached 99 mph, and his baseball scouting ratings have his fastball, slider, and changeup above average. The talent is there; the job of the minor league pitching coaches will have to improve his command, which is ranked below average.

Minor League Success

Following the draft in 2021, the Phillies started Griff McGarry in the Low A Ball with the Clearwater Threshers. Fresh off a college season, the team decided to use McGarry sparingly to ensure they protected his arm. In just 13 1/3 innings, he struck out 21 batters, walked 7, and posted a 2.70 ERA. The talent was on full display, and it was undeniable that Griff has the makings of a future big league starter.

With a professional off-season in his back pocket, Griff McGarry has been excellent thus far in 2022. In 10 games, he’s thrown 35 1/3 innings with 58 strikeouts, 18 walks, and a 4.84 ERA. While the earned run average could use a little work, the positive takeaway is the number of walks. This season the Blueclaws have worked on his control, and the results are trending in the right direction.

Phillies Trade Bait?

With the MLB trade deadline fast approaching, the Phillies are likely to make some moves for major league talent. The club has shown in the past that prospects such as Bryson Stott, Mick Abel, and Andrew Painter are not for sale.

The team will instead have to pivot to other prospects in their farm system to make deals with other teams. Griff McGarry could potentially be moved in a deal at the deadline. There is certainly intrigue around the league and his potential could be enough for a team to bite. While it remains to be seen what the Phillies will do around the trade deadline, the focus should be to continue the development of Griff McGarry.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire