Greetings and Happy Mother’s day 2012. My hunch is that there are a lot of proud moms out there in the baseball world. From the smallest kids starting out in Pee-Wee league baseball or Tee ball, all the way to players who have been enshrined in Major League Baseball’s hall of fame in Cooperstown, New York. As we continue our update on the Eastern League, we shift our attention from the hitters to the pitchers. There’s several performances that would make any mom proud.
The Arm’s Race
Trevor May RHP Phillies – Age 22 – One of the very best pitching prospects in all of baseball and top’s among Phillies. May is 5-2 with a 2.83 ERA and a 45/16 K/BB ratio over 41.1 innings so far this season. The 2008 4th round pick has been a steal for Philadelphia so far. He’s picking up where he left off in 2011. He dominated FSL hitters last season, posting a 10-8 record with a 3.63 ERA and a 208/67 K/BB ratio over 151 innings. Though the Phillies do not need to rush him, it’s not unreasonable to think that they will give him some starts at the big league level this summer.
Julio Rodriguez RHP Phillies – Age 21 – A fine product from the Puerto Rican Baseball Academy, Rodriguez is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and a 29/15 K/BB ratio over 30 innings on the 2012 season. He doesn’t project to get a shot at the major league level this season. Still, he could push the issue if he continues to build this season as he did when he won 16 games in the FSL in 2011.
Daniel Rosenbaum LHP Nationals – Age – 24 – The 22nd round pick in 2009 is not regarded as one of the top prospects in the Nationals organization. He’s too old for the league and has been at each stop along the way. To his credit though, he’s pitched well on each assignment and is currently sporting a 5-0 record with a 0.71 ERA and a 33/4 K/BB rate. He’s not going to over power anyone, but does spot his pitches well. He needs to be promoted soon so that the Nationals can see if he can handle age appropriate competition.
Chris Heston RHP Giants – Age 24 – The same issues can be applied to Heston as with Rosenbaum. A 2009 12th round pick, he needs to be moved up. Low 90’s stuff, effective, but not overwhelming. He’s 3-2 with a 0.84 ERA and a 33/10 K/BB ratio over 42.2 innings. Good numbers, competition isn’t appropriate though.
Zack Wheeler RHP Mets – Age 21 – One of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, the former Giants first round pick in 2009 is 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA and a 37/15 K/BB ratio over 30.2 innings. Wheeler still needs some refinement and just returning from a torn nail on his pitching hand, but it’s possible we’ll see him some time this summer with the Mets especially if they are contending and need fresh arms for the stretch run. But he only threw 115 innings last year so we’re probably looking at 150 innings cap in 2012.
Mark Cohoon LHP Mets – Age 23 – The Mets 2008 12th round pick spent most of the 2011 season in the AAA International League. He wasn’t very good and finds himself back in the Eastern League where he is 2-3 with a 2.06 ERA His 18/10 K/BB ratio isn’t impressive, so he will need to show better command of his pitches. He’s likely to become an arm out of the pen at the major league level.
Deck McGuire RHP Blue Jays – Age 22 – Eastern League hitter’s are not treating the 11th pick from the 2010 draft very kindly. He’s 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA and a 22/10 K/BB ratio. No one will ever mistake McGuire as a front line pitcher, but he does project to a middle-to-end of the rotation inning eating work horse. He went just 1/3 of an inning in his last outing and has little to no movement or command of his pitches. We don’t like to say it, but we’re inclined to think there might be something wrong in the elbow or shoulder. Keep a close eye.
Chris Balcom-Miller Red Sox – Age 23 – Another pitcher with end of the rotation stuff, Balcom-Miller isn’t pitching well at all. He’s 2-2 with a 5.12 ERA and a less than stellar 20/17 K/BB ratio over 31.2 innings. He’s serving up a lot of fly balls and has given up nearly the same number of home runs as he did in all of 2011 when he pitched 117 innings.
That’s it for now on the pitching front for the AA Eastern League. We will check back on the EL in a couple of weeks, but check back frequently as we run through the other leagues, as well as bring you our 2012 first-year player draft coverage.
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