Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Postseason Prospect Rankings: Pitchers 20-11

Here are the next 10 pitchers in my Top 40 rankings. In case the format is not self-explanatory, each player's vital information is followed by his 2009 Cape League regular season statistics, a short overarching blurb and a scouting blog post from earlier in the summer.

20. Bryan Morgado, Bourne/Tennessee. Throws L. 6'3" 205. Miami, Fla.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 2-1, 3.06 ERA, 47 K's, 32.1 IP

Morgado was selected by the White Sox in the third round of June's draft, but he stayed on the Cape the entire summer and he never ended up signing. Morgado looked excellent in some outings this summer and not nearly as good other times. He has a chance to be really good, and should at least be a solid pro, but he needs to be effective more consistently. Also, Morgado needs to find a way to be quicker to the plate. Base stealers ran wild on him all summer.

Here is what I blogged about Morgado on July 18: "Bourne starter Bryan Morgado from the University of Tennessee, the White Sox' third-round pick who disappointed me the last time I saw him, had better stuff Friday but he struggled with his control. Morgado's fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range and a couple of times crept up to 94. This was an improvement from the 88-91 I saw a couple of weeks ago. One Major League scout said he saw Morgado touch 96 in a relief appearance earlier in his pitching career. Morgado's 78-80 mph slider was average and he threw a decent 78-81 mph changeup. Morgado walked six and hit a batter in five innings, but also struck out eight. He still knows how to pitch, and the increased velocity made him more impressive, but I'm still not sure he was worth a third-round pick."

19. Brian Dupra, Harwich/Notre Dame. Throws R. 6'3" 205. Rochester, N.Y.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 2-1, 5.48 ERA, 25 K's, 23 IP

Dupra had one of the better bullpen arms on the Cape two summers in a row, but his numbers weren't nearly as good in 2009 as they were during his All-Star summer in 2008. Still, Dupra is highly-touted and could be in the discussion for a first-round pick next June.

Here is what I blogged about Dupra on July 4: "Right-handed reliever Brian Dupra from Notre Dame showed he is one of the better relievers in the league again this summer, pitching for Harwich for the second consecutive season. Dupra has good size and a solid, athletic build at 6'3" 205, and he has a smooth motion until the end and throws with good arm action. He does buck his head upon release. Dupra throws a 91-93 mph fastball with good tail in on right-handed hitters, and also throws an 88-91 mph cutter that runs nicely the other way. He also has a good 79-81 mph slider with tight break. His repertoire is well-suited for the bullpen, and he thrives in that role in the summer."

18. Patrick Cooper, Falmouth/Des Moines CC. Throws R. 6'2" 200. Danville, Ky.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 2-1, 0.66 ERA, 39 K's, 27.1 IP

There weren't many, but Cooper was probably the best junior college pitcher on the Cape this summer. Cooper was named a NJCAA Division II All-American and was selected in the 34th round by Arizona in June but did not sign. He is scheduled to play for Bradley University in the spring. Cooper was dominant out of Falmouth's bullpen all summer, and one has to believe he dramatically improved his draft stock for 2010.

Here is what I blogged about Cooper on July 30: "Right-handed reliever Patrick Cooper from Des Moines Community College looked really good for Falmouth with his fastball/slider combination. Cooper is average height with a solid, athletic build at 6'2" 200. He stands tall in his delivery and throws with some effort. Cooper's fastball sat in the 90-92 mph range, and his 83-84 mph slider was excellent. The slider had very sharp break and he got a lot of swings and misses with it. Cooper has an ERA under 1 this summer and he is one of the better relievers in the league."

17. Tommy Kahnle, Orleans/Lynn. Throws R. 6'0" 225, Latham, N.Y.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 2-2, 2.41 ERA, 23 K's, 18.2 IP

Kahnle was solid out of the bullpen for Orleans this summer and really threw hard. There was a rumor Kahnle hit 99 mph during a playoff appearance after I left the Cape for the summer, but I have been unable to confirm whether that really happened. It's unlikely, but not impossible. Kahnle will be draft-eligible after his redshirt sophomore season next June and could definitely go in the first few rounds.

Here is what I blogged about Kahnle on June 17 after one of his less impressive outings of the summer: "Scouts were slightly abuzz about Orleans right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle from Lynn University. One scout said he saw Kahnle touch 95 mph during the spring, but his fastball topped out at 93 on Tuesday. Kahnle had a solid build at 6'0" 225, and he threw with some effort in his delivery. Kahnle looked to be overthrowing a little bit and he struggled with his control. He also threw a tight 80-81 mph slider."

16. Cecil Tanner, Falmouth/Georgia. Throws R. 6'6" 240. Waycross, Ga.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 0-2, 3.28 ERA, 28 K's, 24.2 IP

Tanner is a promising young reliever who will be a big prospect for the 2011 draft. He is probably better suited for a bullpen role even though he did make a few starts during his freshman year for Georgia. It will be interesting to see where his velocity is when it is time for him to be drafted.

Here is what I blogged about Tanner on July 28: Right-handed reliever Cecil Tanner from the University of Georgia looked good as a short-relief prospect for Falmouth. One NL scout said he saw Tanner sit consistenly around 96-97 mph this spring during his freshman season at UGA. I haven't seen him hit higher than 94 in three glimpses of him this summer, but he is still worth keeping an eye on. Tanner has good size at 6'6" 240. He looks a little stiff and awkward on the mound, but it's possible he is still growing into his body. Tanner's fastball sat in the 91-93 mph range Monday and had some sinking action. He also showed a good 77 mph slider with sharp break. If Tanner can regain that alleged 96-97 mph heat, one would have to believe he will be a high pick in 2011.

15. Kevin Munson, Bourne/James Madison. Throws R. 6'2" 200. Roanoke, Va.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 0-1, 1.80 ERA, 24 K's, 15 IP

Munson was good in somewhat limited action this summer, as there were whispers that he was nursing a minor injury. He had a very good sophomore season at JMU as the Dukes' closer this spring, and he was named First-Team All-CAA. Munson has a good fastball he can run up into the mid 90's and an effective slider when he throws it well. Munson will be a high pick next year.

Here is what I blogged about Munson on July 9: "Finally, right-handed reliever Kevin Munson from James Madison pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for Bourne and picked up the save. I had seen Munson earlier in the year, but his stuff was a lot more memorable this time. Munson is also average size for a pitcher at 6'2" 200. He needs to tighten up his motion, and he throws with some effort, but he has two good pitches that really work for him in a bullpen role. Munson's fastball sat in the 93-94 mph range Wednesday and he spotted it well. He also threw an 80-83 mph slider with good run that he both throw for strikes and get hitters to chase out of the zone."

14. Brandon Cumpton, Cotuit/Georgia Tech. Throws R. 6'1" 190 Evans, Ga.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 1-0, 1.59 ERA, 7 K's, 17 IP

Cumpton was very effective for Cotuit for three starts before he shut it down for the summer with a sore shoulder. Assuming Cumpton is healthy, he should be high draft pick next June. Cumpton may not have as high a ceiling as some of the pitchers ranked ahead of him, but he is definitely consistently solid.

Here is what I blogged about Cumpton on June 18: "Cotuit's right-handed starter Brandon Cumpton from Georgia Tech shares Player of the Game honors with Vaughn. Cumpton is just average height and has a thin frame at 6'1 190, but he has smooth mechanics and good arm action and he was able to run his fastball up to 93 mph. Cumpton's heater sat in the 91-93 range, and he was still throwing it by hitters late in his eight-inning no-run, three-hit performance. Cumpton also showed a good 74 mph curveball and a decent 80-83 mph changeup that he tended to float up in the zone but he could also throw for strikes."

13. Taylor Hill, Chatham/Vanderbilt. Throws R. 6'4" 225. Old Hickory, Tenn.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 2-1, 1.44 ERA, 35 K's, 31.1 IP

Hill was consistently one of the better relievers in the league all summer. His mechanics aren't great, which to me means he can only get better when he enters a professional system. Hill has some starting experience at Vanderbilt, and while he seems to do better out of the bullpen he has the repertoire to start. He will be a high pick next June.

Here is what I blogged about Hill on July 19: "Right-handed reliever Taylor Hill from Vanderbilt looked really good for Chatham. Hill is tall with a solid, athletic build at 6'4" 225. He has raw mechanics in which he wastes some movement and he throws with some effort, but his stuff is really good. Hill's fastball sat in the 89-92 mph range with late sinking movement. He threw a very good 80-82 mph slider with late frisbee-like movement that was his most effective, impressive pitch. He also threw a very good 78-79 mph changeup with downward movement and some tail in. All of his pitches have late life. Hill is one of the better relievers in the league."

12. Tyler Wilson, Hyannis/Virginia. Throws R. 6'2" 185. Midlothian, Va.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 3-1, 1.60 ERA, 28 K's, 39.1 IP

Wilson was excellent for Hyannis once he joined the team after the College World Series, and he was one of the most effective pitchers in the league during the second half of the season. Wilson's stuff isn't necessarily outstanding, but it is very good and he has really good command. He had a really good spring season for Virginia where he was used mostly as a reliever, but he proved this summer he can be a starter. Wilson will be in the conversation for a first-round pick next June.

Here is what I blogged about Wilson on July 17: "Wilson was dominant Thursday, and he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He ended up going seven and allowed no runs on two hits while striking out nine. Wilson is average height for a pitcher with a thin, athletic build at 6'2" 185, but you can tell he is a really good athlete and he brings an intense, competitive presence to the mound. Wilson throws easily with good arm action. Wilson's fastball sat in the 90-91 mph range, and he had really good command working both sides of the plate Thursday. His 81-82 mph slider had tight break but was just average, and he also threw a pretty good 78 mph changeup. Wilson competes, but he needs to have command like he did Thursday to be continually effective."

11.Brett Eibner, Wareham/Arkansas. Throws R. 6'3" 205. The Woodlands, Texas.

2009 Cape League Regular Season Stats: 1-0, 2.19 ERA, 14 K's, 12.1 IP
.240 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI, .944 OPS

The main thing holding back Eibner's professional potential as a pitcher is his professional potential as a hitter. Wareham used Eibner almost exclusively as a hitter in 2008, but after seeing one of his three starts this season, I think he is better on the mound. Eibner needs to improve his stamina on the mound, but with a focus only on pitching, Eibner could definitely be a first-round pick next June. He could go just as high as a hitter.

Here is what I blogged about Eibner on July 7: "Wareham's Game 2 starter was righthander Brett Eibner from the University of Arkansas. Eibner is one of the better hitters in the league, and I was unaware before Monday the Gatemen had even planned to use him on the mound this summer. Eibner had a really good arm, though he did get tired quickly and didn't make it out of the fourth inning. Eibner has a thin, athletic build at 6'3" 205, and he throws easily with good, loose arm action. He tends to fall off the mound toward first base. Eibner's fastball sat in the 93-95 mph range in his first two innings, but he was down to 89-91 mph by the fourth. He threw an 85-88 mph slider with hard biting action, and a decent 84-87 mph changeup. He also showed an occasional 81 mph curveball."

Thursday: Top 10 Pitchers

Catchers, First Basemen, Second Basemen, Third Basemen, Shortstops, Outfielders 10-6, Outfielders 5-1, Top 30 Position Players, Pitchers 40-31, Pitchers 30-21


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