What a great 2012 season so far, isn’t it? Just like that – we have a perfect game pitched in the Majors by Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox. Speaking of pitchers, the South Atlantic League (Sally) has had their share of great performances from promising star-potential players. Certainly of note is the marquee match up tonight of Dylan Bundy (Orioles) vs Matt Barnes (Red Sox) when the Delmarva Shorebirds take on the Greenville Drive. Lets dive right into the top pitchers, in no particular order, thus far in the Sally.
Matt Barnes, RHP Red Sox – Age 21 – Ah yes, the previously mentioned Matt Barnes. One of our favorites here at Baseball Instinct. Barnes is taking names in the Sally, posting a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA (yep), giving up just 6 hits to go with a 25/2 K/BB ratio over 16 innings in 3 games. WOW! If you have the chance to see him pitch in the Sally, you better get out and see him as he won’t be there very long. A promotion in May is a strong possibility.
Nicholas Tropeano, RHP Astros – Age 21 – The 2011 5th round pick had a pretty good introduction to professional baseball with a 3-2, 2.36 ERA, and 63/21 K/BB line over 53 innings in 2011. But it came as a 20-21 year old in the NY-Penn league, so we tempered our expectations. While we aren’t willing to commit to Tropeano as a player to make our Baseball Instinct 360 yet, he is having a great start to the 2012 season with Lexington. He’s 1-0 with a 0.47 ERA, and a 27/5 K/BB ratio over 19 innings in 3 games. That’s hot and we’re keeping an eye on him.
Jose Campos, RHP Yankees – Age 19 – It’s a lot of fun when you scout a player and think to yourself “hey this kid could be very good” when no one else even knows who the player is. Bart Klett scouted Campos late in the spring of 2011 and then we gathered video and wrote up an article on Campos last summer. It took a trade to the Yankees from the Mariners this past off-season to really get Campos on the prospect map. The trade featured C Jesus Montero and SP Michael Pineda, but we suggested that Campos could be the gem of the deal. So far he’s making us look good. He’s 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and a 23/5 K/BB ration over 22 innings in 4 games. Jose! Jose-Jose! Jose!
Dylan Bundy, RHP Orioles – Age 19 – The Orioles are really clamping down on their prized prospect’s innings in the early goings. At 19 years old, he’s clearly too good for the Sally, even with the low innings. He’s had just 3 starts and has pitched just 9 innings. Oh but what a 9 innings it’s been. He’s basically thrown a 9 inning no-hitter with just 1 walk, while striking out 15 of his 27 outs. If you haven’t figured it out yet, he’s the prize of the 2011 draft no matter what position he was drafted at.
Adam Conley, LHP Marlins – Age 21 – The Washington State native was a 2nd round pick of the Marlins in 2011 out of WSU appeared at the back-end of our Baseball Instinct 360° at #325° and is showing why so far this season. He threatens to move up quickly in our next update by going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA, and posting a 23/5 K/BB ratio over 20 innings in 4 starts on the young season. He’s a candidate to reach the FSL with the Jupiter Hammerheads quickly.
Matt Benedict, RHP Pirates – Age 23 – Had decent numbers in the NY-Penn last summer, but as a 22-year-old college pitcher, we were hardly impressed. The 2011 30th round pick is a long shot at panning out as a starter, but is pushing the Pirates to put him in an age appropriate league. He’s 1-1 with a 0.84 ERA with an 18/5 K/BB ration in 21.1 innings over 4 starts. He makes our hot list because of his performance as a fairly new professional, but won’t make our rankings unless the Pirates give him a chance at Hi-A or Double-A soon. Time is short for Benedict.
Michael Foltynewicz, RHP Astros - Age 20 – His 2010 and 2011 combine numbers of 5-14 with a mid 4’s ERA and a 127/67 K/BB rate over 178.2 innings didn’t look too hot. Despite the rough start to the career of the 19th pick overall in 2010, Folty displayed the skills to make it onto our Baseball Instinct 360° at #319°. His 2012 season is off to a fantastic start, going 3-1 with a 1.66 ERA and a 23/7 K/BB rate over 21.2 innings in 4 games.
Jose Fernandez, RHP Marlins – Age 19 – The 2011 14th overall pick appeared in our Baseball Instinct 360° at #79° for 2012, and is showing why he’s there. He’s gone 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA and a 25/6 K/BB rate over 17 innings in 3 games. The fact that he has 10 more K’s than BB and hits combined is very impressive for a 19-year-old. He’s show great moxy on the mound and is coming right after hitters with no fear. Got to love his game so far and he’s looking the part of a legit #2 in the majors down the line.
Luke Jackson, RHP Rangers – Age 20 – He was the 45th overall pick in the 2010 draft and pitched well enough for a 19-year-old in the Sally in 2011. His 2nd go around with the Hickory Crawdads is looking far more impressive. His record is 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA and a 29/7 K/BB rate over 20.2 innings in 4 starts for the Rangers Low-A team. Tom Belmont described Jackson as an inconsistent raw talent in his Sally Preview recently, describing him as a high ceiling/low floor type player who will benefit psychologically from another season with Hickory. So far, Tom has been right on the money with his prognostication of Jackson.
Rafael Montero, RHP Mets – Age 21 – A late bloomer by Dominican standards, Montero signed with the Mets as a 19-year-old in 2010. He posted a respectable 2.15 ERA with a 66/13 K/BB ratio over 71 innings across 4 leagues in 2011. Here in the early going of the 2012 season, he’s gone 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a 15/1 K/BB rate in 16.2 innings over 3 starts. He’s worth keeping an eye on.
Domingo Tapia, RHP Mets – Age 21 - Yet another 21-year-old Mets Dominican righty. Tapia has made a steady climb since being signed as an international free agent in 2009. He spent time in the Pioneer League and briefly in the NY-Penn League in 2011. He’s off to a 1-0 start with a 2.55 ERA and an impressive 20/2 K/BB rate over 17.2 innings in 3 starts for the Savannah Sand Gnats.
Parker Bridwell, RHP Orioles – Age 20 – Our #96° prospect is off to a 1-0 start, but has a 5.79 ERA and a 8/5 K/BB rate over 14 innings in 3 starts.
Daniel Winkler, RHP Rockies – Age 22 – The 2011 20th round pick had a good 2011 debut in the Pioneer League, but is off to a 2-1 start with a 9.00 ERA and a 12/5 K/BB rate over 14 innings in 3 starts.
Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon for more Prospect coverage. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our top 360 prospects for 2012. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org.