Rotoprofessor’s Prospect Watch: Pitcher Edition

Jun 15, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve taken a look at some of the top pitching prospects in the minor leagues.  Some of these pitchers could make an impact soon, while others are still a little ways away.  Don’t see one of the young pitchers you want to read about?  Let me know and I will be sure to add him onto the next report.

Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): 4-0, 67.0 IP, 1.75 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 59 K
The question is not if he is going to make an impact in 2009, it really is when.  If he was pitching for just about any other organization he’d already have a spot in the rotation, but he’s in Boston, a team overloaded with viable starting options.  Just sit tight, you are going to get rewarded sooner or later.

Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants
2009 Statistics (Single-A): 3-1, 24.1 IP, 1.48 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 23 K
(Double-A): 4-0, 29.0 IP, 1.86 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 29 K

Since we last checked in on Bumgarner, he has been bumped up to Double-A and continues to excel.  He’s striking out a batter per inning and continues to look like one of the best young pitchers in all of baseball.  It could be as early as 2010 for the 19-year old, so now would be a great time to stash him away in all keeper leagues.

Carlos Carrasco – Philadelphia Phillies
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): 1-7, 66.1 IP, 5.56 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 67 KThe Phillies are in desperate need for a starting pitcher.  If Carrasco had been pitching well, he would have been given every opportunity to earn a permanent place in the rotation, but he has just never gotten it going.  Yes, the strikeouts are nice, but outside of that there is just nothing positive to point to.  He has been wildly inconsistent and is unlikely to get a look before September, if even then.

Jhoulys Chacin – Colorado Rockies
2009 Statistics (Double-A): 4-5, 69.0 IP, 3.13 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 57 K
He’s been solid all year long, continuing to produce groundballs at a tremendous rate.  At 58.7%, he’s got the make-up to succeed in Coors Field if he can continue his current path.  Over his last 8 starts, the 21-year old has produced a 2.43 ERA.  Could a promotion be coming soon?  He’s certainly one to watch in the coming weeks, as he potentially could get a cup of coffee so they can see what they’ve got.  Keep an eye on him as a potential 2010 sleeper.

Neftali Feliz – Texas Rangers
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): 3-4, 49.1 IP, 3.83 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 45 K
The Rangers pushed him hard this season, placing the 20-year old in Triple-A and it is possible that it was a little too much, too quickly for him.  The control has been the biggest issue, with a BB/9 of 4.77.  You can’t get away with that type of number at the upper levels and he is going to have to get it under control in order to take the next step.  He’s young and is going to have his moments, so just keep an eye on him.

Jeremy Hellickson – Tampa Bay Rays
2009 Statistics (Double-A): 2-1, 30.0 IP, 2.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 36 K
He hasn’t pitched since May 5, thanks to a sprain in his shoulder he sustained when trying to pick off a runner.  Given the way he had been throwing it is a bad blow, but hopefully he’ll be able to pick back up when he returns.  Just sit tight with him and see what he can develop into.

Junichi Tazawa – Boston Red Sox
2009 Statistics (Double-A): 7-3, 67.1 IP, 2.67 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 63 K
Thanks to remarkable depth there is little chance he makes a debut at any point in 2009, but he’s certainly turning heads in his first professional season.  He’s shown no signs of slowing down, winning each of his last 3 starts with a 2.50 ERA.  If you are looking for help in 2009, he’s not your man, but he’s proving that he has the potential to have long-term value in all formats.

Chris Tillman – Baltimore Orioles
2009 Statistics (Triple-A): 5-2, 48.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 55 K
He has been great this season, begging the question of when will the Orioles give this 21-year old a taste of the major leagues?  He’s still raw and they have plenty of other options, so just sit tight and see what happens.  In keeper leagues, he really should be considered a pitcher worth tracking.

What do you think of these pitchers?  Anyone you are extremely high on?  Anyone you think should be avoided?  Let’s hear your thoughts.

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