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LHP Robbie Erlin (Padres)
SP: James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners
One of many highly talented Mariners pitching prospects, the 6’4” left-hander spent the entire season at Double-A, though he did spend some time on the disabled list.
Paxton pitched excellent down the stretch of the season, finishing his age-23 campaign with a 3.05 ERA, 9.3 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 106.1 innings.
SP: Andre Rienzo, RHP, Chicago White Sox
A Brazillian-born right-hander, Rienzo turned in a strong season despite serving a 50-game suspension for a performance-enhancing drug. He was promoted to Double-A upon his return and seemingly didn’t miss a beat, and even made an impressive start for Triple-A Charlotte at the end of year.
The 24-year-old finished the season with a 2.53 ERA, 9.8 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 103.1 innings spanning 18 starts.
SP: Jimmy Nelson, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
The 6’6” right-hander enjoyed a breakout season while pitching for the Brewers’ High-A and Double-A affiliate. Nelson showcased a heavy sinker and plus slider, though his changeup still needs some work.
Making 23 starts this past season, the 23-year-old posted a 2.83 ERA, 8.4 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 over 127.1 innings.
SP: Jarred Cosart, RHP, Houston Astros
Cosart has excellent stuff in a fastball, curve and changeup that are all at least above-average offerings. In his first full season with the Astros, the 22-year-old right-hander reached Triple-A and posted a 3.30 ERA, 2.01 GB/FB rate and 92/51 K/BB in 114.2 innings.
SP: Robbie Erlin, LHP, San Diego Padres
An undersized left-hander, Erlin missed most of the season with elbow tendonitis. However, he returned in August and pitched extremely well to finish the season. He’s more advanced than most of the pitchers in the AFL, but needs to make up for lost time in the regular season.
Erlin started 11 games for Double-A San Antonio this season, posting a 2.92 ERA, 12.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 52.1 innings.
RP: Mark Montgomery, RHP, New York Yankees
After an exceptional professional debut in 2011 where he registered a 1.91 ERA and 16.2 K/9 in 28.1 innings, Montgomery took a step closer to the major leagues this past season with his performance at High-A and Double-A.
With a plus fastball-slider combination, the right-hander posted a 1.54 ERA, 13.8 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 64.1 innings. Mark my words: Montgomery is the Yankees’ future closer.