2009 Profile: Spokane RH starter, 6.3 215, 2008 22nd rd. TX really did a number on this kid during the off-season. He was a bad college starter with a fastball and slider that flashed above average but with ZERO command (think ~1-1 so/bb ratio) who seemed destined to be an org guy at best or wash out completely with his poor command. His 2008 #s in AZL backed up this impression: ~38ip/28h/28bb/40so. So what happens in 2009? They might end up with a legit rotation prospect.
He has had a really nice year in the rotation with the first decent walk rate (3.1/9) of his entire baseball career. He began the season at 21.7yo, so he is relatively young (was only 20.7 when drafted as a Jr), malleable, with a fresh arm and needs innings. His pre-draft reports said that his velo was in the 89-93 range but I have yet to get any readings on him this year. What is clear from the game reports is that this kid gets groundballs (1.25, July) with his hard sinker, and has a nasty slider with lots of movment that is hard to pickup and is presently a S&M ptich (that he changes speeds on). In addition, he has only given up 2HR in 60 innings. What is more encouraging is that his changeup seems to have above average potential and has become an effective swing and miss pitch vs LHH (.221)this season; the scouting reports failed to mention it at all in his pre-draft reports. We'll see where this goes.