30 March 2010

Press Release: Meet the SWB Yankees!!


The Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees just released about 50 tickets for the Meet the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Dinner on April 7 at PNC Field in Scranton.

There will be a private batting practice session at 3:45 followed by cocktails and light fare in the stadium restaurant. This will be followed by an autograph session with the 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. They have added a silent auction this year with some game worn jerseys, fan experiences and NYY signed baseballs.

Tickets are $75 with proceeds benefiting the Kids Night Out Program that provides game tickets to needy children and groups. For tickets, call the SWB Yankees office at 570-969-2255 and ask for Kelly Byron.

Last year’s dinner was attended by Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson and Austin Jackson. It’s a great opportunity to meet the future stars of the Yankees and MLB.

Official Link here.


With that said, it's worth noting that there really are not a lot of "future stars of the Yankees and MLB" on this team, not that we can see at this point. Juan Miranda is probably the best bet, of all the baseball betting you could do, and he projects as a platoon DH, which isn't much. I mean, sure, he could turn into the next Travis Hafner, but that's a wager than no online sportsbook would give you.

The only SWB players on Baseball America's Top 10 prospects list fort the Yankees is RHP Zach McAllister, who hasn't yet thrown a pitch above AA, but could eventually turn into a solid back of the rotation starter. Mark Melancon makes the top-11 list for Baseball Prospectus, and projects as a set up man, at best. In short: No stars. All the Yankees' best prospects are in the low minors right now, or in a couple of cases, Double-A.

Still, you could potentially meet coaches (and former MLB journeymen Butch Wynegar, Scott Aldred or Aaron Ledesma, as well as manager Dave Miley, who never made it to the Show as a player, but managed the Cincinnati Reds for almost 300 games. You could meet Kei Igawa, who actually WAS a star in Japan, even though he's ind of lousy on this side of the Pacific.

And if nothing else, you can have a fun day/evening at the ballpark, and contribute to a good cause. Which is worth something.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

11 March 2010

Commentary on Baseball America's top 20 Prospects: #16 - #20

#16. Starlin Castro, SS, Cubs
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: 2011

It's tempting to compare Castro to Alcides Escobar, given that they're both Latin American, NL Central shortstop prospects, tall with wiry frames (6'1", 160 lbs) and known for their defense. Escobar is already 23, though, and has a starting job on a major league contender, whereas Castro won't be 20 years old for two more weeks, and will be given more time to develop as his major league team rebuilds.

The difference, however, is that while Escobar is expected to be a speedy, punch-and-judy hitter who wins Gold Gloves, Castro for some reason is expected to turn into Alfonso Soriano. As he has hit about .300 everywhere he's played professionally, and they're listed as the same size, I guess I can see that, but Soriano hit for power in the minors.

Castro seemingly has no power at all, having never hit more than three homers in any season in the minors, and none at all in over 110 AA at-bats last season. He hit one in the AFL, to go with his .376 batting average, but as you're probably tired of hearing by now, everyone hits in the AFL, so take that with a grain of salt.

I suppose it's possible, since he's so young, that he'll eventually develop some power, but more likely he'll become a hack and slash, or at best a line drive hitter who swings at everything and makes up for some of that with his speed and his glove. There's nothing wrong with that, per se, but when you're expecting Soriano and you end up with Royce Clayton, people are bound to be disappointed.

He does have some speed (47 stolen bases in his 3-year career) but perhaps not great instincts, given that he's gotten caught as often as once in two or three tries as some stops in the minors. If the speed is there, it will at least help him with his defense, even if it's not an asset on the major league basepaths.

Personally, I think it's a little early to dub this guy on of the best prospects in the game, as so far he's only shown glimpses of the player the scouts expect him to become. So much can happen between age 19 and reaching the majors, and so much that's expected can fail to happen, that anyone without shock the world talent at this age should be grasped loosely.

#17 Martin Perez, LHP, Rangers
Opening Day Age: 19

ETA: Mid-2011

Perez has a low-90's fastball an above average change-up and perhaps a major league quality curveball despite the fact that he won't be 19 years old for almost another month. After embarrassing players in the high-A Sally League for most of the year (105 strikeouts in 93 innings, 2.31 ERA), Perez got roughed up a little in AA. But don't let that "1-3, 5.57" next to his name on the stats sites fool you.

First of all, it was only 21 innings. Secondly, it was more due to bad luck (a .374 BABIP) than bad pitching. According to FanGraphs, his FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, a metric that takes luck and defense out of the equation and scales it to look like an ERA) at Double-A was only 3.82. That's still well above the 2.46 he'd posted in Single-A, but also perfectly acceptable for an 18-year old at the second highest rung of the minors.

The Rangers will perhaps let him spend all of 2010 at that level to allow him to learn how to pitch a little more, but he could be in the majors by the middle of next year if everything goes well. At which time he'll still be just barely 20 years old.

Other than his youth, there's not much going against Perez. He's got good control (fewer than 3.5 walks per nine innings in the minors), good mechanics and two quality breaking pitches to go with a solid fastball. Baseball Prospectus called him "the best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball", and no, they did not forget about Madison Bumgarner and Brian Matusz.

The Rangers are the only team with three players in the top 20 this year. Though they haven't sniffed the playoffs in over a decade, that could change soon.

#18 Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays
Opening Day Age: 22
ETA: Mid-2010

Hellickson's got unbelievable command and control, walking barely two hitters per nine innings in the minors while striking out almost ten. His fastball is only 90-92 at best, but he's got such command of it, and its movement, that it may not matter. He's also got a very good curve and a major league quality changeup that produce a lot of swings and misses.

There are two things he does not have, however:

1) Anything left to prove in the minors, or

B) Anywhere to pitch in the majors.

Which is a problem.

Given that the Rays already have a young, talented starting rotation, they have little choice but to start Hellickson out in AAA again, which is not completely awful given that he is just 22 and that he's pitched only nine games at that level. Command guys who don't have overpowering stuff tend to take a while to develop as major leaguers anyway.

#19 Aaron Hicks, OF, Twins
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: Mid-2011

This first round draft pick out of high school impressed everyone by hitting .318/.409/.491 as an 18-year old in the 2008 rookie league, and he acquitted himself well in single-A in 2009, even though he only hit .251 there. Like Perez, he was victimized more by bad luck (only a .307 BABIP) more than poor performance, and his numbers should bounce back this year. He's a switch hitter with patience, speed and a cannon arm that threw mid-90's gas as a prep school pitcher, but with some work to do before he can get to the majors.

He's projected as a five tool player, though after getting caught eight times in 18 tries last season at Single-A, it appears that he needs to learn how to better utilize his natural speed if he's going to be a base stealing threat. Watching his swing, he reminds me of another switch hitting centerfielder, Carlos Beltran, though to be fair, it's pretty much a textbook swing.

#20 Logan Morrison, 1B, Marlins
Opening Day Age: 22

ETA: 2010

Though not the blue chip prospect he was after hitting .332 in 2008 in a pitcher's league, Morrison is still hanging on to his spot in the top 20. And this despite suffering through a wrist injury that limited him to only 82 games and eight homers in 2009. His pedestrian .277 batting average belies his skills at getting on base, which are more clearly evidenced by his .411 OBP. He hit 24 homers at A-ball in 2007, but hasn't shown that kind of power since, even though his body and his swing suggest that he should be a slugger.

Perhaps the wrist injury forced him to be more patient or perhaps he's just maturing as a hitter, but 21-year olds who walk more than they strike out are few and far between. Still, Morrison has shown the ability to hit for average, power or on-base percentage at different stops throughout his minor league career, but never more than one of those skills at a time. If he's healthy this year - and that's a big "if" since he's only 1-for-14 in spring training as I write this - he'll need to put together at least two of those three to stay at the top of prospect lists.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

10 March 2010

Commentary on Baseball America's top 20 Prospects: #11 - #15

#11. Dustin Ackley, OF/1B/2B, Mariners
Opening Day Age: 22
ETA: 2011

After hitting over .400 in each of his three years at UNC, Ackley got a six million dollar signing bonus as the #2 pick in last year's draft. And don't think the batting average is the only thing he's got going for him. He also got on base almost 50% of the time, slugged almost .650, walked almost twice as often as he struck out and stole 43 bases at a 75% success rate.

Due to arm problems, including a Tommy John surgery, he only played first base in college. Normally, a bat like his could play anywhere he wanted, but the Mariners are apparently moving him to second base, and it seems to be going well. At 6'1", 185 lbs, Ackley's not the lumbering physical specimen that you would expect from a slugging firstbaseman with numbers like his, and the Mariners seem to think he had the physical agility to play the keystone in the majors. Or more likely, they don't think he'll develop the kind of power expected of a first baseman or left fielder.

He played second base in the Arizona Fall League and apparently did well enough, in addition to hitting .315/.414/.425 in 20 games. Everyone hits in the AFL, so take that with a grain of salt, but at least the switch to wooden bats didn't cripple him. Note that his power output was considerably less, though that was what I said about Buster Posey after last year's AFL and he turned out OK.

Ackley projects more of a Derek Jeter type, perhaps with less propensity to strike out, with only modest power but with speed, average and patience to more than compensate. I'm always leery of dubbing someone one of the best prospects in baseball before he's faced any real competition, but if Ackley starts out at High-A ball and progresses as they expect, he could be in the majors by the middle or end of next year.

#12. Alcides Escobar, SS, Brewers
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: 2010

One of several players to repeat on this year's top 20 (along with Heyward, Posey, Bumgarner, Feliz, Alvarez and Stanton), Alcides is again the only one of the score predominantly here for his glove and not his bat. Escobar's defense is very, very good, with incredible range and instincts and a great arm, but he's also got speed to burn and a decent line-drive type of swing. He doesn't have much patience or any power and at 6'1", 155 lbs isn't likely to develop the latter - but then neither did Ozzie Smith, and he had an OK career.

The future is now for Escobar, who will be the Brewers' everyday shortstop after they traded JJ hardy away in the off season. Because both his range and his speed on the bases depend so much on his speed, he'll be more susceptible than most to any sort of leg injury, but if he develops as expected, he's a perennial Gold Glove middle infielder who can hit for a respectable average and steal 30+ bases.

#13. Justin Smoak, 1B, Rangers
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: Mid-2010

This is the body you expect to see with Dustin Ackley's numbers, except that Smoak has the numbers too, or at least he did in AA. After mashing the ball for three years in the SEC, Texas made him the #11 overall pick in the 2008 draft, and he's moved up quickly through the ranks. Though he hasn't shown much of the power he had in college, he has shown some, and his body (6'4", 220) and approach suggest that the homers will come.

He stalled a bit in the second half of last season, after his promotion to AAA, though how much of that was difficulty adjusting to the highest level of the minors (well, short of the National League, anyway) and how much had to do with an oblique strain is anybody's guess. Given that he hit nine homers in nine World Cup games in the fall, he's probably not favoring that oblique anymore, I would say.

#14. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: Mid-2010

After posting a 15-3 record with a 1.46 ERA in Single A as an 18 year old, there was really nowhere for Bumgarner to go but down, statistically speaking. he did, but not very far. He posted a combined record of 12-2 at High-A and AA with an ERA comfortably under 2.00, but his strikeout rate dropped dramatically, from about 10.4 per nine innings last year to about six per nine this year in AA, before fanning ten batters in ten frames at the major league level.

Most sources seem to agree that the drop in strikeout rate coincided with a drop in velocity, continual over the year, which could be a harbinger of problems. Indeed, I said in my prospects article last year that his mechanics, particularly the long, sweeping arm action, concerned me, and perhaps this is a sign of a shoulder injury beginning to rear its ugly head. Or, it might just be because he threw too often and too vigorously between starts, as he and the Giants seem to think. That, of course, begs the questions of

1) Why it wasn't an issue in 2008, if he had the same training regimen, or

B) Why he bothered to change his regimen in 2009, if everything was going so well in 2008.

So far this spring, his velocity is still down a bit, so we have to wait and see. With his control and his long, left handed delivery, he can still be a good starter in the majors, but to be great he's going to need those extra few mph on the heater.

#15. Domonic Brown, OF, Phillies
Opening Day Age: 22
ETA: 2011

Phillies fans, this is the reason that Cliff Lee is no longer on your team.

Well, that's not precisely true, but essentially GM Ruben Amaro figured that Brown was not enough of a prospect to tide the farm system over without getting a little help. So after practically emptying the cupboards to get Roy Halladay, he sent Lee to Seattle for more prospects, including another toolsy outfielder, Tyson Gillies.

Brown's big frame had some projecting him for eventual 30-homer major league power, but he's shown little evidence of that in the minors so far. He did hit 11 homers in 238 at bats at High-A last year, but then smacked only three in almost 150 at bats at AA. He's got great speed, but it comes from his long stride rather than quick movement, so he gets caught stealing a little more than you would like. Overall he's been caught about 28% of the time, though in some stints it's been as much as 35%, which hurts the team. Not as much as thinking, but still.

His body type and statistical profile remind me a lot of Bernie Williams for some reason, though I think he's probably got less patience and a better arm. Bernie took a while to develop, and wasn't really an impact player until age 26 or so, and I see a similar path for Brown. He's still working on the patience and power, but all the tools are there for success. Given the Phillies' crowded major league outfield, he should have time to master both AA and AAA before he gets much exposure in the Show. Best case scenarios have him in the majors in the middle of next year, though I would guess a September 2011 call up is more likely.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

04 March 2010

Commentary on Baseball America's top 20 Prospects: #6 - #10

#6. Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: Mid-2010

This is why the Rays are in no hurry to shell out tens of millions of dollars to Carl Crawford. After hitting well enough (.316/.395/.486) in AA to win Southern League MVP, Jennings went to AAA for a month or so and hit even better (.325/.419/.491). He's got tremendous speed (52 for 59 in steals and 10 triples in 2010) and that helps make him a potentially elite defensive center fielder as well. He also has the plate discipline, at 23, that Crawford is just starting to develop at age 27.

He hasn't shown a lot of power yet, but his 6'2" frame could probably carry more muscle than the 180 lbs he currently sports. Even if he never bulks up much, a lead off hitter who can smack a dozen homers and steal 40 or 50 bases while getting on base 40% of the time and playing excellent defense in center is a huge asset for any team.

Not that he's going to produce like that right out of the gate, but it shouldn't be but a year or two before Jennings is one of the best young players in the game. Technically, Jennings is "blocked" by Matt Joyce at the moment, but on a scale of one to ten, Joyce is not that good. Jennings should be in the majors by mid summer.

#7. Buster Posey, C, Giants
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: Mid-2010

In my column on last year's top prospects, I had two, tentative criticisms of Posey, both of which he answered with aplomb in 2010. One was that his having recently been converted to catcher made him something less than a stellar backstop, but then he went out and caught 45% of would-be base stealers at two levels in 2010, so I can't say that anymore.

The other was that his power, displayed only in his last year at Florida State, had not yet emerged as a pro. Well, after hitting 18 homers and 31 doubles between High-A and AAA, with a slugging percentage well over .500, I can't say that anymore either.

While Posey's seemingly got little to prove in the Minors, the Giants are not known for their bravado in promoting prospects, especially when they've got a comfortable - if not especially good - major league option. Having re-signed Bengie Molina for the year, Posey will likely get some more seasoning in AAA, but assuming that he continues to hit the cover off the ball, he should be up in the majors for good by the end of May.

Long term, he's likely to soon become the best catcher in the game, but in the short time he'll just be jockeying for playing time. If the Giants fall out of contention, he'll probably get more playing time in the majors, so they can help him develop, bu tif they can somehow stay within earshot of a playoff berth, look for them to give Molina the bulk of the playing time while Posey wiles away on the bench or in AAA.

Ironic, isn't it? The more they need him, the less playing time their best catching option will get.

#8. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: Mid-2010

You've got to give Alvarez (and agent Scott Boras) credit: They may have made a big stink about his signing last year, but it was with good reason. When he finally got to play, Alvarez struggled a bit in High-A ball, hitting only .247 although still with impressive power, making some wonder if the Pirates had made a mistake.

Nevertheless, upon his promotion to AA, Alvarez raked at a .333/.419/.590 clip, having one of the best second halves in all of professional baseball. He's expected to start the year in AAA, and given that Andy LaRoche is the only thing between him and a major league job, we should see him in the majors by June or July. He's too big and too slow to be a third baseman for long, but then the Pirates aren't exactly stocked with great hitting first basemen either, so he should get his chances to play once he's there.

#9. Neftali Feliz, RHP, Rangers
Opening Day Age: 21
ETA: 2010

Another questionable inclusion on a prospect list, after having spent two months on the Rangers' roster and pitching 31 stellar innings, but at least he's not within 5 innings of the "rookie" limit. Feliz has a 100 mph fastball that moves and a solid slurve, plus a change up that is still developing. His trouble as a reliever has always been walks (with a rate of almost 4 per nine innings in the minors) but in the majors last year he pitched only in relief, where he could rely mostly on the fastball, and it worked.

The Rangers, understandably, want him to start, but right now their projected starting five has an average age of about 25, with Rich Harden as the most seasoned veteran, at 28, so there's no hurry. In any case, he'll have a hard time succeeding if he can't get the walks down. One saving grace - and it's something he'll need, pitching half his games in Arlington - is that his stuff is so filthy it's almost impossible to hit it solid, which is why he's allowed only seven homers in 276 minor league innings.

Make no mistake: Despite all the hype about the three-digit fastball, Feliz is still a work in progress. But that work can be done at the major league level.

#10. Carlos Santana, C, Indians
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: 2010

Santana spent all of 2009 at AA Akron, where he hit for decent average (.290) in addition to remarkable power (55 extra base bits) and patience (90 walks). He's not a great defensive catcher, having caught only 30% of base stealers at AA, but unlike Montero, he is serviceable. He hits with power to all fields, swings at few bad pitches (as evidenced by his having struck out only 83 times in 535 at-bats) and generally makes life difficult for pitcher wherever he goes.

He's behind Lou Marson and grizzled veteran Mike Redmond on the Tribe's depth chart, but if Pronk or Russel Branyan get hurt, they could conceivably call Santana up to DH or play first base. With the Tribe trying to rebuild, there's really no hurry, and Santana hasn't even been to AAA yet.

His bat is good enough that he could be an adequate MLB first baseman right now, or at least that's what Bill James' projection says. CHONE is a lot more conservative, while PECOTA's more modest, but closer to James. the one real issue is playing time. Unless something really bizarre happens, Santana isn't likely to see much MLB action before he gets a chance to master AAA, which means late 2010 at the earliest.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Commentary on Baseball America's top 20 Prospects: #1 - #5

A year ago I looked at the top 20 prospects from Baseball America's annual Top-100 list, so I figured that now would be a good time, with Spring Training beginning, to do a similar thing.

I'll break it up into four posts this time. here are prospects #1 through #5:

#1. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: 2010

Nobody doesn't like Jason Heyward. He's the #1 position player prospect on everybody's list, and with good reason, as there seem to be no weaknesses to his game. Scouts like his tools and his athleticism. Stats geeks like his ability to take walks, hit for power without striking out a ton, and steal bases without getting caught. braves fans like him because, frankly, their outfield has been kind of a drag since Andruw Jones was in his heyday. Everybody else's fans may not like him, but have to concede his talents.

He's hit for average and for power, with patience, at every professional level where he's been tried, with a composite .318/.391/.508 line across five levels (mostly single and double A). He doesn't steal a ton of bases, but when he attempts one, he's usually successful (26 for 31).

He's played mostly right field in the minors, where his cannon arm has racked up 22 assists in only 190 games, but he's reportedly got the speed to play center if needed, too. If there's a chink in his armor - and really, it's just a scratch, at worst - it's simply his youth and inexperience, as he has only 3 official games above AA, though he also hit .300/.364/.475 in 24 spring training games last year, for what they're worth.

Expectations are that the Braves will give him every shot to win a job as their everyday right fielder right out of spring training, but even if they send him back to AAA for a while, he'll probably be back up to stay by the end of May. This guys gonna be a lot of fun to watch. I'm glad he's not in the Yankees' division.

#2. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, Nationals
Opening Day Age: 21
ETA: Mid-2010

Speaking of fun-to-watch-prospects-not-in-the-AL East...

Strasburg is quite possibly the most hyped prospect in a very, very long time, perhaps ever. In baseball circles, he's already a household name in spite of the fact that he has yet to throw an inning of pro ball. Well, he tossed 19 innings in the AFL, amassing 23 strikeouts and a 4-1 record despite a 4.26 ERA, inflated by one bad outing (of five). That's not exactly top notch competition, but the AFL is known for the high level of offense, and Strasburg generally acquitted himself well there.

The man has a perfect pitcher's build (6'4", 220 lbs), good mechanics, a 100-mph fastball that he throws regularly with pinpoint control at 95-98 mph, a knee buckling curve and an above average change-up, despite being only 21. He has no chinks in his armor. The only things than can stop him now are some form of Steve Blass Disease, or an injury. And those are no small things, as there have been countless "can't miss" prospects who somehow did, simply because they couldn't stay healthy or forgot how to pitch.

#3. Mike Stanton, OF, Marlins
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: Mid-2010

I remain unconvinced on Mike Stanton as an uber-prospect. After mashing up the Sally League as an 18 year old in 2008, he was promoted to High A Jupiter in the Florida State League, and maintained most of his rate stats in 50 games there. In fact he was named an FSL All-Star and was leasing the League in homers when he got promoted to AA Jacksonville.

Here is where he kind of fell apart.

Sure, the power is still there - his .224 Isolated Power was exactly the same number David Ortiz had last year in the majors - but he hit only .231 and struck out in a third of his at-bats. he did hit well in the Arizona Fall League, but in only six games before being shut down with a sore back.

He's still only 20, but he'll have to learn to hit the kind of breaking stuff they throw in AA and AAA before he can even get to the majors, much less be an effective major leaguer. I expect that the Marlins will start him in AA again and advance him quickly if he seems to have made the necessary adjustments.

I still think his closest comparison is Russel Branyan, and you could certainly do worse, but when everyone expects Reggie Jackson or Dave Winfield and they get stuck with Branyan, well, folks will be disappointed.

I think Baseball America's ETA of mid-2010 is a bit ambitious, given that he needs to master not one but two minor league levels before he would get called up, and that the Marlins have a perfectly acceptable (and relatively young) outfield trio of Cody Ross, Chris Coughlin and Cameron Maybin. September is more likely, if that.

#4. Jesus Montero, C, Yankees
Opening Day Age: 20
ETA: 2011

Montero, like Stanton, was born in November of 1989, though a few weeks later than Stanton. And like Stanton he was tearing up the FSL last year, though he got promoted to AA too soon to take his rightful place on the All-Star team. Unlike Stanton, however, he did not falter at the higher level, hitting a robust .317/.370/.539 in 44 games in the Eastern League, a total decreased by the broken finger he sustained in . Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus reports that Montero hit an astounding .400/.457/.718 away from Trenton, which is evidently a severe pitcher's park. So, you know, that's pretty good.

Unfortunately, Montero's too big and clumsy to be a catcher in the majors. The Yankees are doing what they can to help him improve, but the word is out that he can't catch base stealers, who attempted 108 steals against him in only 59 games in 2009, and were rewarded with an 80% success rate.

He's a first baseman or DH waiting to happen, and as good as he is, the Yankees have no place to put him either now or in the forseeable future. That means he's trade bait if the Yankees decide they need a starting pitcher or if the Gardner/Winn platoon in left field falters. Whoever gets him, and wherever he plays, he's going to mash.

#5. Brian Matusz, LHP, Orioles
Opening Day Age: 23
ETA: 2010

This is a little sketchy, including Matusz on the list of prospects for 2010, given that he pitched 44.2 innings and won five games for the Orioles in 2009, but whatever. Matusz skipped AAA entirely, and won't likely go back down to the minors unless he shows some problems in the majors this year. His repertoire is a low-90's fastball, slider, curve and change, which sounds kind of pedestrian until you consider that all four of them are above average pitches, and that he's only 23 and has fewer than 50 innings of seasoning above AA.

His minor league numbers, limited though they are, portend a mid-rotation starter with impressive control (he struck out 121 and walked only 32 in 113 innings in A and AA ball). His build (6'5", 200 lbs) suggests that he can handle the workload, and his mechanics are solid. He's left handed too, so he'll get lots of chances even if he falters a little.

Prospects #6 through #10 will follow tomorrow...

Stumble Upon Toolbar