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MLB Prospects: Hottest Pitching Prospects at Every Minor League Level

Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterAugust 30, 2012

MLB Prospects: Hottest Pitching Prospects at Every Minor League Level

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    With active rosters slated to expand from 25 to 40 on Saturday, September 1, speculation continues to grow about which pitchers will be September call-ups.

    Over the last two weeks, we’ve seen the major league debuts of pitching prospects LHP Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks), RHP Tyler Cloyd (Phillies) and RHP Casey Kelly. And over the final month of the season, we’re likely to see many, many more—some expected, some a complete surprise.

    So, as we prepare for Saturday’s roster activity, here’s your weekly look at the hottest pitching prospects from every minor league level.

     

    Lead image courtesy of metsmerizedonline.com.

Triple-A

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    Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets: 11-8, 144 IP, 3.31 ERA, .223 BAA, 143 K/55 BB (24 GS)

    He finally picked up his first Triple-A win on August 26: CG, 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 2 BB.

     

    Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Kansas City Royals: 15-5, 145.1 IP, 3.03 ERA, .238 BAA, 135 K/50 BB (26 G; 25 GS)

    The 22-year-old right-hander is still on pace for a September call-up.

     

    Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 12-2, 130.1 IP, 2.42 ERA, .223 BAA, 157 K/61 BB (22 GS)

    He was sent back to Triple-A to refine his command, and that’s what he’s done: 32.1 IP, 2.78 ERA, .216 BAA, 37 K/10 BB (5 GS).

     

    Chris Archer, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 7-9, 122 IP, 3.76 ERA, .220 BAA, 134 K/61 BB (24 GS)

    Last 10 games: 45.1 IP, 1.99 ERA, .199 BAA, 44 K/16 BB. He was pulled after only one inning on August 29 in case the Rays need him for a weekend start.

     

    Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 10-10, 130.2 IP, 4.89 ERA, .262 BAA, 151 K/50 BB (26 GS)

    He's enjoying his best month of the 2012 season: 4-1, 31.1 IP, 3.16 ERA, .202 BAA, 44 K/4 BB (5 GS).

Double-A

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    Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 20 IP, 0.90 ERA, .119 BAA, 37 K/4 BB (10 G; 2 GS)

    Since his promotion to Double-A: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 14 K, 3 BB (3 G).

     

    Cody Buckel, RHP, Texas Rangers: 10-8, 139.2 IP, 2.58 ERA, .209 BAA, 150 K/48 BB (25 G; 22 GS)

    Last two starts: 2-0, 11 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 14 K, 0 BB.

     

    Trevor May, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies: 10-12, 145.2 IP, 4.76 ERA, .245 BAA, 146 K/75 BB (27 GS)

    His last two starts have been among his best this season at Double-A: 1-0, 15 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 18 K, 3 BB.

     

    Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates: 8-8, 3.51 ERA, .224 BAA, 111 K/37 BB (25 GS)

    He has pitched extremely well in two starts since promotion to Double-A: 2-0, 11 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 13 K, 0 BB.

     

    Zach Lee, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: 5-6, 115 IP, 4.62 ERA, .277 BAA, 97 K/30 BB (24 GS)

    Overall, his season has been a disappointment, but he’s seemingly turned the corner over his last three starts: 2-0, 18 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 15 K, 4 BB.

     

    Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles: 9-3, 103.2 IP, 2.08 ERA, .186 BAA, 119 K, 28 BB (23 GS)

    It’s too bad we won’t see him in September.

     

    Robbie Erlin, LHP, San Diego Padres: 3-3, 55.2 IP, 2.59 ERA, .251 BAA, 71 K/15 BB (13 GS)

    In his three starts since returning from an elbow injury sustained in April: 1-0, 13.2 IP, 2.63 ERA, .220 BAA, 18 K, 3 BB.

High-A

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    Andrew Chafin, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 6-6, 115.1 IP, 5.07 ERA, .249 BAA, 143 K/66 BB (29 G; 21 GS)

    The left-hander has swing-and-miss stuff, including a plus-plus slider, and has shown improved command in his last two starts: 2-0, 12 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 14 K, 5 BB.

     

    Jesse Biddle, LHP, Philadelphia Phillies: 10-6, 142.2 IP, 3.22 ERA, .237 BAA, 151 K/54 BB (26 GS)

    In the month of August: 4-2, 38.1 IP, 2.58 ERA, .188 BAA, 44 K/12 BB (6 GS).

     

    Jose Fernandez, RHP, Miami Marlins: 13-1, 129 IP, 1.81 ERA, .189 BAA, 155 K/31 BB (24 GS)

    In my opinion, Fernandez should be the minor league pitcher of the year.

     

    Logan Verrett, RHP, New York Mets: 5-2, 103.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, .220 BAA, 93 K/13 BB (17 GS)

    Since his promotion to High-A: 2-0, 38.2 IP, 2.09 ERA, .205 BAA, 26 K/4 BB (6 GS).

Low-A

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    Clayton Blackburn, RHP, San Francisco Giants: 8-4, 131.1 IP, 2.54 ERA, .232 BAA, 143 K/18 BB (22 GS)

    Last 10 games: 66 IP, 1.91 ERA, .230 BAA, 68 K/6 BB.

     

    Justin Nicolino, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays: 10-4, 119.1 IP, 2.41 ERA, .239 BAA, 114 K/20 BB (27 G; 21 GS)

    This highly impressive southpaw has been effective against right-handed hitters: 86 strikeouts and a 3.05 GB/FB (ground ball-to-fly ball rate) in 81 innings.

     

    A.J. Cole, RHP, Oakland Athletics: 6-10, 133.2 IP, 3.70 ERA, .267 BAA, 133 K/29 BB (27 GS)

    He has thrived since his demotion to Low-A after his 0-7, 7.82 ERA start at High-A. In the last 10 games: 51.1 IP, 1.75 ERA, .210 BAA, 50 K/10 BB.

     

    Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 11-6, 130 IP, 3.88 ERA, .181 BAA, 145 K/82 BB (26 GS)

    Bradley is his own worst enemy on the mound, having given up 83 hits and 82 walks in 130 innings. Once he refines his command, he has the potential to be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball.

     

    D.J. Baxendale, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 16.1 IP, 0.55 ERA, .155 BAA, 29 K/2 BB (15 G)

    This Arkansas alumnus has been dominant in a relief role, as he’s allowed only nine hits and two walks in his professional debut.

Class-A Short Season

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    Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 1-2, 47 IP, 1.15 ERA, .193 BAA, 41 K/2 BB (11 GS)

    This 2011 first-rounder continues to exhibit command well beyond his years and could start the 2013 season in High-A.

     

    Jose Valdespina, RHP, Texas Rangers: 3-6, 59.2 IP, 5.58 ERA, .290 BAA, 54 K/34 BB (15 GS)

    This 6’6”, 20-year-old right-hander has struggled with his command, but his last three starts have been impressive: 2-0, 17 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 17 K, 5 BB.

     

    Mason Hope, RHP, Miami Marlins: 3-3, 65.1 IP, 3.17 ERA, .271 BAA, 49 K/23 BB (13 GS)

    The Broken Arrow, Okla., native’s season has been full of ups and down, but he’s coming off his best start: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 1 BB.

     

    C.J. Edwards, RHP, Texas Rangers: 5-3, 67 IP, 1.48 ERA, .141 BAA, 85 K/25 BB (14 G; 13 GS)

    The right-hander has registered an 11.78 K/9 on top of a 1.91 FIP.

     

    Joe Ross, RHP, San Diego Padres: 0-4, 54.2 IP, 4.28 ERA, .249 BAA, 56 K/22 BB (15 GS)

    After logging only one inning in 2011, the 6’3” right-hander has posted a 2.03 ERA and .178 BAA over 26.2 innings in the Northwest League.

Rookie

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    Eddie Butler, RHP, Colorado Rockies: 7-1, 61.2 IP, 2.19 ERA, .234 BAA, 52 K/10 BB (12 G; 11 GS)

    Butler had an excellent professional debut after signing early. His last three starts: 18.2 IP, 15 H, 1 ER, 18 K, 2 BB.

     

    Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 3-0, 30.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, .140 BAA, 49 K/4 BB (11 G; 4 GS)

    This first-rounder from Puerto Rico has been one of the top performers among 2012 draftees, holding right-handed hitters to a .133 batting average.

     

    Ty Hensley, RHP, New York Yankees: 1-2, 12 IP, 3.00 EA, 1.74 BAA, 14 K/7 BB (5 G; 4 GS)

    After allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks in his first professional start, Hensley has come into his own in the month of August: 10.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 13 K, 5 BB.

     

    Lucas Sims, RHP, Atlanta Braves: 2-4, 27 IP, 3.71 ERA, .217 BAA, 39 K/13 BB (11 GS)

    He’s struggled over his last two starts (5.2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 9 K, 5 BB) but still turned in an impressive professional debut.

     

    Max Fried, LHP, San Diego Padres: 0-1, 17.2 IP, 3.57 ERA, .215 BAA, 17 K/6 BB (10 G; 9 GS)

    After three rough outings from July 18 to August 3, the left-hander dominated over his final four starts: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7 K, 0 BB.

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