In addition to his ranking as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ top prospect, left-hander Tyler Skaggs is also the top left-handed pitching prospect in the game.
Opening the 2012 season at Double-A Mobile, Skaggs registered a 2.84 ERA with 71/21 K/BB in 69.2 innings before receiving a promotion to Triple-A Reno. Despite the level jump to the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, the then 20-year-old posted a 2.91 ERA in just over 50 innings en route to six starts in the major leagues to finish the season.
However, not too far behind him on the list is the Mariners’ Danny Hultzen, the second-overall selection in the 2011 draft. In his professional debut last season, Hultzen dominated at Double-A Jackson, as he registered a 1.19 ERA with 79/32 K/BB, and allowed only 38 hits in 75.1 innings.
His overwhelming success didn’t translate following a promotion to Triple-A Tacoma, though, as he noticeably wore down and lost a feel for his release point. Having said that, there’s no reason to be overly concerned with the fact that he posted a 5.92 ERA with 57/43 K/BB in nearly 50 innings.
So what makes Skaggs that much better than Hultzen? Here’s a side-by-side look at how the two left-handers compare.