Phillies Prospect Breakdown: George Klassen, RHP, Jersey Shore Blue Claws, A

After not pitching at Minnesota in 2021 following Tommy John surgery, Klassen was rarely on the mound upon his return in 2022. He showed off his stuff and a better feel for where it was going in the Northwoods League that summer. His arm strength as a starter back with the Golden Gophers landed him in the sixth round, where the Phillies were able to sign him for just under $300,000. He didn’t pitch after signing.

Klassen has an extremely fast arm, and the right-hander has proven he can light up the radar gun consistently. His fastball averaged around 98 mph with running action and frequently topped triple digits in 2023, though it can play down because it doesn’t have much shape or extension. He has thrown both an 82-86 mph curve and a sharper 83-88 mph slider, and both can miss bats when he lands them in the zone. There is an upper-80s changeup in his arsenal, but that arrow typically stays in his quiver. 

An outstanding athlete with almost a bouncy energy on the mound, Klassen’s biggest hurdle as he begins his pro career is his command and control. He walked 7.5 per nine innings at Minnesota a year ago, and while he’s shown glimpses of staying in sync and being on time with his delivery, there’s a lot of effort there. This makes the bullpen his likely long-term home, but if he can start finding the strike zone, there’s something here worth watching.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.