Ranking the Top 15 Pitching Performances of the 2012 Arizona Fall League

Mike Rosenbaum@GoldenSombreroMLB Prospects Lead WriterNovember 20, 2012

After ranking the top offensive performances from this year’s Arizona Fall League, I thought that I’d do something similar today. However, due to the league's typical overflow of pitchers, especially relievers, I’ve expanded the list from 10 to 15 prospects.

As was the case with yesterday’s article, this is not a ranking of the AFL’s top pitching prospects. Rather, it’s a ranking based upon success had over the course of the fall.

Be on the lookout tomorrow for an all-inclusive Arizona Fall League awards article that highlights everything from “best fastball” to “best mustache.”

Fair warning: Nate Roberts is the early favorite to win the latter award.

Anyway, I digress. So lets get down to business and take a look at the best seasons had by pitching prospects in this year’s AFL.  


1. Kevin Siegrist, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 2-1, 19 IP, 2.37 ERA, 1.62 FIP, .214 BAA, 27/6 K/BB (6 G; 5 GS)

6’5” left-hander gets the nod, as he was excellent in five of six starts: 17 IP, 9 H, ER, 25/5 K/BB; the other one: 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2/1 K/BB; held left-handed hitters to a .190 batting average.


2. Robbie Erlin, LHP, San Diego Padres: 2-1, 23.2 IP, 2.28 ERA, 1.89 FIP, .212 BAA, 31/6 K/BB (7 GS)

Left-hander could work his way into back end of Padres rotation in 2013; final three starts: 13 IP, 10 H, ER, 18/2 K/BB; was highly effective against left-handed hitters with 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.


3. Kyle Kaminska, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates: 3-1, 28 IP, 1.61 ERA, 2.45 FIP, .206 BAA, 21/4 K/BB (6 GS)

6’4” right-hander has been one of the more consistent starters in the AFL; final three starts: 2-0, 15 IP, 6 H, ER, 11/3 K/BB; could receive some looks with his new organization.


4. Chase Anderson, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 3-1, 23.1 IP, 3.47 ERA, 3.24 FIP, .218 BAA, 26/9 K/BB (6 GS)

Keeps hitters off-balance with plus changeup; needs to do a better job limiting number of baserunners; if he improves his curveball, the right-hander is a candidate for a breakout campaign in 2013.


5. Seth Blair, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 2-1, 20 IP, 2.25 ERA, 3.40 FIP, .236 BAA, 22/14 K/BB (6 GS)

Right-hander missed almost all of the 2012 season, so improved command wasn’t expected; still allows too many baserunners, as has been the case throughout his brief minor-league career.


6. Mark Montgomery, RHP, New York Yankees: 10.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 1.26 FIP, .143 BAA, 72.7% LOB, 19/5 K/BB (9 G)

Seemingly incapable of being anything less than dominant, the right-hander has quickly carved his way through the minor leagues; struck out at least two batters in eight of last 10 appearances.


7. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 3-2, 23.1 IP, 5.40 ERA, 2.09 FIP, .323 BAA, 28/8 K/BB (6 GS)

6’6” right-hander showed three above-average pitches while making up for lost time during 2012 season (Tommy John surgery); showed enough in the AFL to receive consideration for Opening Day rotation.


8. T.J. House, LHP, Cleveland Indians: 3-1, 27 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2.39 FIP, .206 BAA, 26/9 K/BB (6 GS)

Left-hander was inconsistent over six AFL starts, but was excellent when around the zone; left-handed hitters batted a paltry .121 against him, as he either registered a strikeout or groundout.


8. James Simmons, RHP, Oakland Athletics: 11.1 IP, 1.59 ERA, 2.85 FIP, .059 BAA, 8/3 K/BB (12 G)

Allowed only two hits over 11.1 innings; highly effective against both right (0.50 BAA) and left-handed (0.71 BAA) hitters


10. Justin Marks, LHP, Kansas City Royals: 5-1, 24.1 IP, 2.59 ERA, 2.13 FIP, .250 BAA, 22/5 K/BB (7 GS)

A fly ball pitcher during the 2012 regular season, Marks improved his groundball rate this fall; allowed two runs or less in all six starts.


11. Carson Smith, RHP, Seattle Mariners: 15 IP, 1.80 ERA, 2.67 FIP, .192 BAA, 18/4 K/BB (11 G)

6’6” right-hander proved to be one of the more effective relievers in AFL; pumps low-to-mid-90s fastball with a short, three-quarter arm stroke that looks as unnatural as it is deceptive.


12. James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners: 1-1, 12.2 IP, 5.68 ERA, 3.12 FIP, .275 BAA, 16/6 K/BB (5 GS)

6’4” southpaw was on a short leash after logging 106.1 innings and battling various injuries; consistency will determine whether he can remain in starting rotation.


13. Kevin Quackenbush, RHP, San Diego Padres: 6 SV, 11 IP, 2.45 ERA, 2.29 FIP, .105 BAA, 16/3 K/BB (11 G)

Didn’t surrender a hit through first 8.1 IP; the right-hander led the league with six saves and finished 10 of the 11 games in which he appeared.


14. Nick Tropeano, RHP, Houston Astros: 15 IP, 3.00 ERA, 3.73 FIP, .189 BAA, 18/5 K/BB (11 G; 1 GS)

6’4” right-hander started all season for Astros between Low and High-A, but worked almost exclusively out the bullpen in AFL; held right-handed hitters to a .162 batting average with 16/3 K/BB in 10.1 innings.


15. Boone Whiting, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals: 3-2, 25.1 IP, 4.62 ERA, 3.59 FIP, .294 BAA, 33/8 K/BB (7 GS)

Has swing-and-miss stuff, as he fanned 15 batters over his final two starts (8 IP); unable to retire right-handed hitters (4.15 ERA, .400 BAA).


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