Given how much he was touted during the preseason, you’d think Shelby Miller would’ve already surfaced in St. Louis after injuries to big league starters Chris Carpenter and Jaime Garcia. But a poor spring training followed by a brutal first half in the Pacific Coast League forced the Cardinals to turn to Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly instead. Whatever was bothering Miller during the first four months of 2012 — mechanics, command, velocity… all of the above — whatever it was, he seems to have worked through it. In 40.2 IP over his last seven outings with Triple-A Memphis, he’s posted a 42/4 K/BB along with a 3.32 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Miller is once again commanding his mid-90s fastball and he truly looks to be back on track as an elite prospect. With the Cardinals welcoming back Jaime Garcia to their rotation today, however, it seems unlikely that we’ll see him pitch in the bigs this year. Still, at just 21-years-old, Miller’s ceiling remains enormous. He should help in all formats next year.Please, blog, may I have some more?
For the past few weeks I’ve been super pumped for Dan Straily‘s arrival — like, Brett Lawrie-on-a-shizzload-of-RedBull pumped. I first wrote about him here, providing a little background and a brief scouting report. Then, earlier this week, I rolled out my Top Ten Prospects for the Stretch Run, and Straily topped the list. He debuted on Friday night. I watched. And what I saw was pretty much what we expected: Straily worked his fastball at 91-92, touching 93 a handfull of times, commanding it all over the zone, and drawing variable contact. He countered with his sharp slider and his fading change often. Both offerings looked like plus pitches, generating whiff-rates right around 25%. He also threw a few curveballs, but he used the pitch sparingly, and it looked like nothing more than a get-me-over type. When he needed to throw strikes, he threw strikes. And as his pitch count reached toward triple-digits, his velocity didn’t dip, and his pitch movement remained steady. There was one glaring mistake, however: the run he allowed in the fourth inning on a sac fly from Rajai Davis. Straily flat out hung that slider — zero movement, 82 mph, fat part of the plate. Davis should’ve blasted that pitch. Check it out the Brooks Baseball charts from that at bat and see what I mean. And check out the rest of Straily’s Brooks charts here — the site is off-the-chain cool. In all, though, I was impressed. The A’s ‘pen squandered his W, but Straily looks like he’ll handle himself very well going forward. Go ahead and blow out your FAAB.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The fantasy baseball world waits impatiently for the arrivals of Anthony Rizzo and Wil Myers. Some owners have been stashing one or the other on their rosters for months now, as folks like me keep spewing lines like “arrival is imminent” — whatever that means. Truth is, these call-ups are utterly unpredictable. They’re based more on opportunity than readiness, and “opportunity”, it seems, is defined differently by every GM in baseball. Both Jed Hoyer and Dayton Moore are claiming patient approaches with their prospects, hinting that we won’t see either player in the majors this year. But who can believe these guys? Rizzo and Myers have combined for 55 homers on the season, and I’d love to see them join Trout and Harper in MLB’s 2012 prospect party. When that might happen, though, is tough to gauge. Until then, arrival is imminent.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Gerrit Cole | RHP, Pirates | Born: 9/8/1990
As the first overall selection in the 2011 draft, signed out of UCLA to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a bonus worth $8 million, Gerrit Cole has arrived in pro baseball with large expectations. The hype isn’t without merit, though. Cole’s heater tops out at 102 mph and he counters with a deadly slider and a plus change. His arsenal is impressive, and at an athletic 6-4, 220, Cole’s frame projects wonderfully. He’s simply oozing with ace-potential. Trevor Bauer, his teammate at UCLA, has captured most of the fantasy-prospect-to-watch headlines this spring, and based on his proximity to the majors, rightfully so. Looking long-term, however, Cole figures to be the safer bet to reach and sustain fantasy ace status. The major factor holding him back for the time being is command.Please, blog, may I have some more?
I spend most of my time here focusing on prospects who’re nearing their big league debuts. Today, though, I’m gonna be discussing some guys a little further out. In these rankings, talent trumps all – although, I broke that rule a few times based on lack of experience (see Bundy, Sano, Starling).Please, blog, may I have some more?