the first of a series...(not)...
So on occasion I'm going to roll out what I call my NAP (not-a-prospect) list as a fiendish counterbalance to the glowing prospect profiles that are profilgate in the prospect-fanboy (and girl) universe. If you don't want a smoothie and a smile with your prospect profiles, preferring rather a bit of gritty, unsympathetic, noirish realism with your prospecting, then this is the series for you (though it might only be a series of one).
Ok. Faux prospect #1. RHP. Reinier Bermudez. 5.11 175 24yo Cuban flamethrower who might have signed for 6 figures before the 2008 season(say somewhere between 100-300k). Bermudez rolled into the year end statistical gate with a mountain of strikeouts and tantalizing rumors that he threw "97". WTF? So, after we determined that this phantom arm was indeed a corporeal one after popping up in instructs '08, we were understandibly eager to see how this guy did in his full-season debut for Hickory (and get dirkatron's Stuckeys-style critical exposition of his first appearance). He could indeed speed through the system with his Robert Rodriguez-style flamethrower of an arm given his age...
Fast Fwd to, well, now.
He was surprisingly left off the Hickory roster and ended up in extended. Jason Cole heard that he was having a bad spring training in minor league camp and that he was also having trouble adjusting to life state-side. All a bad sign for someone who needed to show both an advanced skill set and state of maturity for someone his age while moving quickly thorugh the system in order to maintain his prospect status.
Imagine my surprise listening to one of his early appearances (which mirrored the rest):
"JULY: Diminuitive 24yo Cuban Reinier Bermudez does indeed throw as hard as was reported last year. Last night he sat 94-95 (92-97) but his problem (which is likely one reason he never made it to full-season ball out of ST) seems to be his inablity to command his CB. The announcer claims that he has hit 100 before. Plus PO move to 1B. CB low 80s, bounces 2, can't seem to throw for strikes or fish for swings; no mention of CU."
So what do we have in this kid, err, man? He could have the second-best fastball in the system, often sitting at 96-99, but here is why this one-pitch wonder shouldn't interest you. Once you listen to a couple of his outings it is clear why he was left off of the full season roster at age 24: he has questionable pitchability and mound presence and his secondary offerings are rudimentary. He is a thrower and to say that at his age is a career deathknell to be sure. His velo is 94-100, but he can't throw his curveball for strikes or induce swing and misses or, in fact, any swings at all. He is basically a one-pitch pony and will likely never make it out of A ball(before 30). I didn't realize he even threw a changup until i caught a SOS during one AB during his 8/9 appearance. That would be one changeup in about 5-6 appearances that i have listened too to go along with a lot of bouncing curveballs. His feel for pitching is the most troublesome part, acting nonchalant and unfocused on the mound (as conveyed by the PXP guy), throwing in a balk, SB, HBP or WP at inopportune moments, and simply overthrowing/throwing harder when he gets in a jam. This kid heads my NAP list: "Not A Prospect".
Bermudez, you've been NAP'd.
Honorable Mentions (and possible future subjects): Kevin Castner, Justin Gutsie, Christian Santana. What with both Castner and Gutsie on the DL (I'll be waiting...) and Santana not worth the ink, well, this might be a short series...Unless, unless, someone has a suggestion for a write-up...?