Before I start, I'd like to share a link with you guys. I know there are people who would like to see deeper stats for minor league players. Well, thanks to a friend of mine, I discovered this gem....Enjoy!
Now for the real point of this post.
If you're like me, you like to play all kinds of fantasy baseball, but your favorite is a long-term dynasty. I know this probably won't appeal to a lot of readers but with offline drafts and rookie drafts likely approaching, I figured I'd give you guys a little bit of info on some of the elite arms in the minors. This will probably not be in any particular order as I wrote down a bunch of names as I thought of them last night.
Madison Bumgarner. San Francisco Giants- I'll start this out with a guy most of you will probably know. The 2007 10th overall pick made his major league debut in 2009 and ended the season with only 10 major league innings pitched. While ten innings isn't usually a good way to judge a player, Bumgarner flashed what has made him such a highly touted prospect. Bumgarner struck out ten batters and walked only three batters in those ten innings. I know, super small sample size, but for a guy who's been praised for his excellent control, he really did exactly what you'd hope from a 20-year old starting pitcher debuting in the Major Leagues. Bumgarner will likely not start the year out in the Majors, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him up at some point again in 2010 once he gets more work on his secondary pitches. He's definitely someone to keep an eye on for the future. At some point, Bumgarner could become a TOR starter capable of putting up a low 1.00 WHIP with a good number of K's.
Martin Perez. Texas Rangers- Perez isn't going to be one to blow hitters away but has excellent movement on his low-90's fastball and has been compared to a cross of Johan Santana and Greg Maddux. In 2009, Perez pitched 93.2 innings in A-ball, posting a 2.31 ERA and a 105/33 K/BB rating. Ranked 86th in the 2009 Baseball America top 100, Perez is likely to be moved up in 2010 and could see the majors within the next few years, depending on his ability to pitch in AAA. If there's one type of pitcher you want in Arlington, it's a guy who can keep the ball on the ground like Perez.
Julio Teheran. Atlanta Braves- With Tommy Hanson moving to the majors in 2009, Teheran will likely take over as the Braves' top pitching prospect. Teheran will probably hit a consistent 92-93 on the radar gun and if he can build onto his 150 lb frame, one could envision him hitting mid-upper 90's on the radar gun. If you're looking for a guy who will make it to the majors in the next two years, you may want to pass over Teheran. But if you have the patience and ability to wait on him, it could pay off for you very well. While he still needs work on his changeup and curveballs, it's a good sign that he's got three pitches and is only 18 years old, hitting low to mid nineties on the gun.
Kyle Drabek. Toronto Blue Jays- Recently traded to the Blue Jays as one of the main pieces of the Roy Halladay trade, Drabek should come into the system and be neck and neck with Zach Stewart as the Blue Jays top pitching prospect. While Drabek doesn't possess excellent K/BB numbers, he did show progression with his K/9 in 2009. He hovers around 45% for a career GB% and keeps the ball in the park (has given up only 10 home runs in 197 minor league innings. Drabek is still a few years from becoming a full time starter in the Majors and his 2008 Tommy John surgery doesn't help matters. Drabek has the stuff and ability to be a decent 2nd or 3rd starter in the majors, so if you are drafting minor leaguers and want a pitcher upside to be a low WHIP guy, Drabek is your man.
Brian Matusz. Baltimore Orioles- The Orioles 22-year old pitching prospect dominated every level he's pitched in and in a recent stint in the Majors, Matusz went 5-2 with an ERA of 4.63. As I said with Drabek, Matusz has a tendency to keep the ball on the ground, posting a 48% GB% in his 113 career minor league innings. Not only does Matusz keep the ball down, he has the ability to throw four pitches for strike and post superb K/BB numbers (120/32 K/BB in 113 minor league innings.) If you were to draw a comparison for Matusz, Cole Hamels is one of the guys who comes to mind. Matusz will probably get a shot in Spring Training and could very well win a spot on the ML roster in 2010. If not, I don't expect him to be down for much longer as he's already established his dominance in throughout the Orioles minor league system.
That's going to be all for this post, but there will be plenty more where that came from as we prepare to begin offline drafts and rookie drafts.