Tuesday, April 21, 2015

WTHB's Under-the-Radar Roster: Pitching Staff

One of the things that I have enjoyed most in conjunction with writing this blog is looking for the under-the-radar guys. Anybody can write about Carlos Correa and Mark Appel because there is so much information out there about them. I like to dig deeper in order to find a few players who aren't necessarily on the tip of the average fan's tongue, but who are interesting nonetheless.

So, over the last couple of weeks, I've been trying to come up with an "Under-the-Radar" roster. My self-imposed rules were that the player could not be on any of the top prospect lists noted here nor could they be on the 40-man roster nor could they be a draft pick from the top 5 rounds. And the final rule was that each player had to have been assigned to one of the full season team rosters. (I hope to establish another roster when the short season teams break camp.) The plan is to check in on them periodically to see how they are doing as a group for the season.

Today, let's look at the pitchers. I went back and forth a lot on establishing my rotation and my bullpen, but ultimately, I came up with five starters, seven bullpen pitchers and four reserves to take over in the event of a prolonged DL list stint (or a call-up to the big leagues!).

Troy Scribner - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

First the Starting Pitchers (alphabetically):

Drafted in the 25th round in 2011 out of Cal State Fullerton
High strikeout guy with a fastball that can hit the mid 90's and a major league changeup

Drafted in the 10th round in 2010 out of Sinclair High School in Whitby, Ontario
Exceptional walk rate, high groundball rate and controls the running game

Drafted in the 9th round in 2014 out of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida
Ability to miss a lot of bats with an excellent slider and a fastball with developing velocity

Signed as a NDFA in June 2013 out of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut
Excellent command and high strikeout rate; uses the strike zone to his advantage; highly motivated

Drafted in the 13th round in 2013 out of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida
A innings-eater workhorse with an excellent walk rate, high groundball rate and off-the-charts competitiveness

Starting Reserves:

Drafted in the 33rd round in 2012 out of the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio

Drafted n the 13th Round in 2012 out of Wake University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Aaron West, Keegan Yuhl and Edison Frias also received serious consideration. (I almost added Edison Frias because of his tremendous start, but he wasn't on my original list so it felt like cheating to add him. But keep an eye on him!)

The Bullpen (alphabetically):

Drafted in the 40th round in 2013 out of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas
Off-the-charts intangibles and work ethic with a funky delivery that deceives and distracts the hitter

Drafted in the 34th round in 2012 out of Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina
Ability to relieve, start, handle long relief; completely dominates when he is on

Drafted in the 19th round in 2011 out of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona
Good command to both sides of the plate and hides the ball well; stingy walk rate and very good at stranding runners

Drafted in the 17th round in 2011 out of Fresno City College in Fresno, California
Bullpen leader with (excuse the vernacular) a brass pair

Drafted in the 37th round in 2014 out of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina
Intriguing start to his career in 2014; low walk rate, good curveball and a lot of upside

Drafted in the 9th round in 2010 out of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio
Deceptive delivery and funky movement with high strikeouts and the ability to miss bats; can also start

Drafted in the 23rd round in 2014 out of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina
Deceptive delivery with a high groundball rate; equally effective against lefties and excellent at stranding runners

Bullpen Reserves:

Drafted in the 25th round in 2013 out of Wichita State in Wichita, Kansas

Drafted in the 9th round in 2012 out of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

I also considered Travis Ballew, who I expect to have a comeback season; Jason Stoffel, who is currently on the DL; and Jonas Dufek, who has not yet been activated from the DL.

Later this week (I hope), I'll introduce the position players for the Under-the-Radar Roster.

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