One test out of the way, Phillies 2010 first-round Draft pick Jesse Biddle is preparing for another in '11.
The 27th overall pick last year out of a Philadelphia Quaker school, Biddle told the Philadelphia Inquirer how difficult he expected it to be to adjust to pro ball, especially as an 18-year-old just out of high school.
"One of the things that surprised me was how unsurprising it was," Biddle said. "Everybody warned me that the Gulf Coast League was going to be terrible, that you're going to have a lot of trouble being away from home."
No trouble. Biddle went 3-1 in nine Gulf Coast League starts with 41 strikeouts and nine walks in 33 1/3 innings before moving up to the short-season New York-Penn League for three starts.
The Phillies hope Biddle, a 6-foot-5 left-hander, could end up in the mold of the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. But Biddle knows this season, his first full year of pro baseball, will be more difficult.
"This is going to be the longest season of my life," Biddle told the Inquirer.
Biddle's been working on a changeup, and the Phils are thrilled by what they've seen so far.
"He's everything you could ask of a young first-round pick," assistant general manager Chuck LaMar told the paper. "He showed physical ability and the potential of three pitches: fastball, curveball and change. ... There's a little extra pressure, not just because he was a first-round pick, but because he's from the Philly area."