The Phillies may have found something in Orion Kerkering.

Kerkering was drafted in the fifth round in the 2022 MLB Draft out of South Florida. The Florida native quickly navigated the minor leagues.

He started the 2023 season in A-ball for the Clearwater Threshers, and by October, he was pitching playoff innings for a Phillies team looking to make yet another World Series run.

Although the Phillies fell short of the World Series last year, Kerkering’s emergence as a legitimate arm out of the back end of the bullpen was certainly a welcomed sight.

The 23-year-old righty screams future closer.

He has one of the best sweepers in all of baseball, making him a mainstay on @PitchingNinja.

He pairs the sweeper (56%) with a plus fastball (33%) and will flash a sinker (10%) here and there as well.

Since coming off the IL with the flu in April, Kerkering has been nearly unhittable. The righty has allowed just 3 ER this year in 22.2 innings pitched. He is more of a middle reliever in a Phillies bullpen that seems to have 3 to 4 different closers, but that’s perfectly fine for the time being.

Kerkering obviously threw a career-high in innings last year, with his last 8.1 being extremely high leverage. The Phillies need to let Kerkering develop into the closer of the future rather than throwing him into the fire right away.

Kerkering’s development as the closer of the future is something to monitor as the Phillies look to keep their window open with homegrown talent going forward.

PHOTO: Unsplash

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