Until this season, Cody Overbeck hasn’t gotten a lot of recognition as a true prospect in the Phillies organization. But with his combined 24 home runs between Clearwater and Reading, you can rest assured that we’ll be hearing a lot more about Overbeck over the Winter.
With the Phillies organization being a little short on third base prospects, if Overbeck truly is a potential major league third baseman, it would help to fill a very important hole in the system.
Overbeck has moved pretty quickly through the Phillies organization after being drafted in the ninth round of the 2008 Draft. After playing his initial season at Williamsport, the Phillies challenged Overbeck with a jump over Lakewood and moved him to Clearwater for the 2009 season and he experienced some growing pains, but made it through the season in decent shape, although it was clear that he wasn’t quite ready for the Florida State League.
To start the 2010 season, the Phillies again had Overbeck at Clearwater, but he moved along to Double-A Reading on June 10 and has put up decent numbers, but again is showing that he’s just slightly over his head against Double-A pitching. His average is hovering around the .250 mark, about 50 points lower than he was hitting at Clearwater when he moved up.
Overbeck’s calling card is his power. Immediately upon arriving at Williamsport, Overbeck started hitting the long ball and hasn’t stopped. With the CrossCutters, Overbeck hit 12 home runs in 291 at-bats in his debut season and has improved on those overall numbers this season. In his first two professional seasons, Overbeck homered once every 27.1 at-bats and this season, he’s homering once every 19.9 at-bats.
Offensively, Overbeck is still developing and it’s possible that he’ll return to Reading to start the 2011 season and then move along to Lehigh Valley at some point during the earlier part of the season, much as he did this season with his move from Clearwater to Reading. There is no crime in needing a little extra time at each level and in reaching the upper levels of the minors, he may seem to slow a little.
Defensively, there is also some work to do for Overbeck at third, but he’s showing some progress and is no worse than an adequate defensive player.
Overall, Overbeck is reaching an important part in his development in the Phillies system and is going to be well worth watching over the next couple of seasons. He’s the type of player that doesn’t quite deserve to be mentioned in the upper echelons of Phillies prospects, but he certainly deserves some consideration as a prospect.