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Friday, April 27, 2007

Rookie Pitchers to Look Out For

With the arrival of Philip Hughes, I thought it fitting to go over a few other minor league pitchers who figured to be called up sometime within the next month or two. I've talked a little about each player and given his 2006 and 2007 minor league numbers. I haven't included every possible player because doesn't provide a comprehensive list of players, just individual pages. If there's someone else you'd like to know about just let me know. We'll keep tabs on these guys throughout the year.

Philip Hughes | NYY | SP - Seemingly had a sub par outing against the Blue Jays in his first start on Thursday, but Hughes put up terrific peripheral numbers. 10.38 K/9, 2.08 BB/9, and a 46.7% Groundball rate does not equate to 4 runs. Hughes certainly could have pitched worse, and if he stays in the majors past his start against the Rangers on Tuesday figures to be a good play in most leagues. His minor league numbers from 2006 are below:
2006 AA Trenton - 116 IP | 10.71 K/9 | 2.48 BB/9 | 52.4% GB
2006 A+ Tampa - 30.3 IP | 8.90 K/9 | 0.59 BB/9 | 51.4% GB

Adam Miller | CLE | SP - Doesn't get nearly as much hype as Philip Hughes, Homer Bailey, Tim Lincecum, or Yovani Gallardo, but Adam Miller is just as good as any of them, and is significantly better than Bailey. But up fantastic numbers in AA last year, just a touch worse than Philip Hughes. There's no guarantee he will be called up this year, but the Indians brought up Jeremy Sowers after 97 IP at AAA Buffalo last year, and Adam Miller is much better than Jeremy Sowers. Would become the Cleveland's 2nd best fantasy pitcher after C.C. Sabathia if he is called up. His minor leagues numbers from 2006 are below:
2006 AA Akron - 154 IP | 9.18 K/9 | 2.51 BB/9 | 55% GB
2007 AAA Buffalo - 24.3 IP | 8.51 K/9 | 2.96 BB/9 | 54.7% GB

Yovani Gallardo | MIL | SP - While he is not as heralded as Hughes or Bailey, Gallardo is generally considered the third best pitching prospect in baseball. While I don't quite agree with this consensus, Gallardo is certainly a good one. His GB Percentage is what will determine where he falls. It is down for this year, but if he can get it back above 50% he should be just a tick worse than Hughes and about even with Miller. Milwaukee's rotation seems set for now, but if Vargas starts to struggle or one of the starters get injured Gallardo could get his shot. Gallardo would become Milwaukee's third best fantasy starter behind Sheets and Bush. His minor league numbers are below:
2006 A+ Brevard County - 78 IP | 11.88 K/9 | 2.65 BB/9 | 57.3% GB
2006 AA Huntsville - 77.3 IP | 9.89 K/9 | 3.26 BB/9 | 42% GB
2007 AAA Nashville - 22.3 IP | 13.3 K/9 | 2.82 BB/9 | 39.6% GB

Tim Lincecum | SF | SP - Drafted in June of last year, Lincecum didn't get much work in. The work he did get in though was fantastic, and his numbers this year are also great. The Giants rotation seems pretty set at the moment, although Russ Ortiz or Noah Lowry could find himself out of a starting gig if the Giants decide Lincecum is ready. When he is called up, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him over every other Giants pitcher. He will need to cut down on his walks though. If he can do that he would shoot to the top of this list. His brief minor league numbers are below:
2006 A+ San Jose - 27.7 IP | 15.61 K/9 | 3.90 BB/9 | 52.1% GB
2007 AAA Fresno - 24 IP | 12.00 K/9 | 4.13 BB/9 | 56% GB

Homer Bailey | CIN | SP - Bailey is a guy who I feel is overrated. He is considered by some a better prospect than Philip Hughes, but his numbers just don't support this theory. He walked more batters at AA than any of our other pitchers did, and his GB rate isn't stellar. He is still a decent pitcher, but he will need to improve his control in order to be successful in the Bigs this year. His minor league numbers are below:
2006 A+ Sarasota - 70.7 IP | 10.06 K/9 | 2.80 BB/9 | 44.2% GB
2006 AA Chattanooga - 67.7 IP | 10.24 K/9 | 3.72 BB/9 | 49.7% GB
2007 AAA Louisville - 21.3 IP | 5.48 K/9 | 3.80 BB/9 | 39.1% GB

Jason Windsor | OAK | SP - Perhaps you've never heard of Windsor, but he is a fine young pitcher. He's the only player on this list to pitch in AAA last year and put up numbers comparable to all of their AA numbers. His GB Percentage is not premium and is what keeps him closer to Bailey than Hughes. Has not pitched well this year, but if that changes you might see him up with the big club by the end of the year. His minor league numbers are below:
2006 AA Midland - 33.3 IP | 9.45 K/9 | 2.70 BB/9 | 48.2% GB
2006 AAA Sacramento - 118 IP | 9.38 K/9 | 2.44 BB/9 | 46.1% GB
2007 AAA Sacramento - 26.7 IP | 5.74 K/9 | 4.05 BB/9 | 37.8% GB

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