Rotoprofessor’s Prospect Watch – Ross Detwiler

Nov 6, 2008

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

The Washington Nationals took Ross Detwiler with the #6 overall pick in the 2007 draft.  He spent the season pitching for Single A, but he certainly didn’t perform like he was a top prospect.  I think that’s a pretty easy statement to make given his 4.86 ERA on the season.

Were there any positives to his season?  In 124.0 innings he gave up 140 hits, meaning opposing hitters hit .286 against him.  Not the type of number any pitcher would like to see.

He struck out 114, meaning his K/9 was 8.27.  That is an impressive number, but with a pitcher said to have a fastball sitting in the mid 90’s, it certainly isn’t something to make you take notice given the level he was playing at.  With that type of fastball, you’d prefer to see hitters unable to make contact at a much higher rate.

He walked 57 batters, a BB/9 of 4.14.  That just is not a number that owners want to see from him.  Considering the problems with his control and the number of hits he was giving up, there is almost no way he can succeed.

For a pitcher who was actually rushed to the majors in 2007 (he had a 1 inning relief appearance), the only thing you can say about 2008 was that it was a major disappointment.

In the Arizona Fall League, however, he has shown signs of getting things back on track.  He’s made 5 appearances, all in relief (8 innings), not giving up a run.  He’s allowed 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3.

The failure to give up a run is impressive, but he is still failing to consistently make hitters swing and miss.  This was a first round pick who people thought could be an impressive strikeout artist.  Right now, it seems like at the major league level he’d barely be able to sniff a usable rate.

The hits are good, but 3 of them came in his appearance on October 29, a 1-inning outing.  That shows that the potential for him to struggle is certainly still there.

I’m not going to say that he is not going to be able to rediscover himself and become a top prospect for owners to monitor, but right now the only people who should be watching him are those in long-term keeper leagues.  There seems to be little chance of him turning things around to the point that the Nationals use him at the major league level in 2009.

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