And while the attendance at Williamsport's Bowman Field was just 1,460, it felt big-time to Biddle and the 30 or so hometown folks who made the three-hour trip to see him pitch.
"I never pitched in front of a crowd that big, so it was definitely a lot of fun," Biddle said after the Crosscutters dropped a 5-2 decision. "I've been waiting a long time to do this, so I'm just going to keep working hard."
Biddle's performance was respectable enough. He went four innings, giving up one run on three hits, striking out four batters and walking two. In the Gulf Coast League, the 18-year old was 3-1 with a 4.32 ERA.
Biddle's first start for Williamsport was a special moment for his family, who watched him play in a state high school baseball championship in May; become the 27th overall pick in the draft in June; and then pitch in Clearwater.
"It's a feeling that Jesse has accomplished something really special," said his father, David, who sat a couple of rows up from home plate.
"It's something to be called a first-rounder and it's another to be called up [to single-A]. And that's an accomplishment."
Dan Ceisler, a catcher at Germantown Friends, was in the stands at Williamsport. Ceisler, a classmate of Biddle's since they were 5-year-olds, visited his friend in Florida. Both Ceisler and David Biddle said that Saturday's game meant a lot more than the Florida experience.
"This is where it's real," Ceisler, 18, said as Biddle walked onto the mound. "Seeing him under the lights, in the jersey, running onto the field. This is where it becomes real."
Before the game, Biddle's parents went to see him at his host family's home, where they spoke for a while. At one point, his father posed a question that he has asked many times in the past.
David Biddle asked his son if he was nervous.
"I know that look in his eyes," the elder Biddle said, "and he said, 'Dad, I got this.' "
The 6-foot-5 prospect has remained composed since he was drafted.
He struck out 41 batters in 331/3 innings in the Gulf Coast League, impressing the Phillies, who have kept a close eye on him.
"He's done everything you could ask of a high school signee in his first summer of professional baseball," Phillies assistant general manager Chuck LaMar told MLB.com last week. "He's shown outstanding makeup. Really a mature, competitive kid. That comes across to everybody he comes in contact with. He's thrown really well."
Contact staff writer Mario Aguirre at 215-854-4550 or firstname.lastname@example.org.