A little over a month into the minor league season and we’ve all heard the names that Phillies analysts focus on. Nola, Eflin, Biddle, and Lively, all pitching well early on and getting plenty of recognition in Double A Reading and listed as top 10 prospects in the Phillies system across the board.
But what about Brandon Leibrandt down in Single A Clearwater? Leibrandt is arguably having as good of if not better season than all of those guys.
Leibrandt, the 6’4″ left-hander out of Florida State University, was a 6th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2014. He finished his junior season for the Seminoles going 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA.
Leibrandt is what you may call a baseball legacy. His father, Charlie, is a 14-year veteran of the Major Leagues where he won 140 games between 4 teams: Reds, Royals, Braves, and Rangers.
After being drafted in early June, Leibrandt was quick to sign his contract with the Phillies and hit the ground running making his professional career June 20, 2014 for the Gulf Coast Phillies. Leibrandt made 10 starts (12 appearances) across both the Gulf Coast team and Low A Williamsport in 2014 where he finished with a 2.83 ERA and 67 strikeouts to just 10 walks.
Through 7 starts in 2015, Leibrandt picked right back up where he left off with control being the key to his game. His 2.66 ERA and 42 strikeouts lead the Clearwater Threshers, but most importantly just 10 walks in 44 innings pitched. The only blip on his radar came on Wednesday night when he surrendered 5 earned runs to the Charlotte Stone Crabs, which raised his ERA from 1.85 where he started the night.
If Brandon Leibrandt’s early season success continues, you just may be talking about him in same breath as the names like Nola and Eflin. It’s certainly his next step on what he hopes to be his road to the Major Leagues, following in his father’s footsteps.