Minor League rotations, part I

As I’ve been working on the 2006 Top 50 list and some early work on organizational previews (we’ll be doing a top-to-bottom look at all 30 farm systems over the course of the month of March), I’ve been thinking about some of the best rotations that will start off the 2006 Minor League season. From time to time, I’ll post a nominee for best rotation in the Minors on this blog and open the "floor" for comments/criticisms/suggestions. Rotations can come from any level, and I don’t necessarily need all 5 starters, but if an affiliate somewhere has three top-level starters, that staff at least warrants being mentioned here.

For starters, we’ll go to the Twins’ system and head to the Florida State Leauge. Our first Top Rotation Nominee: the Ft. Myers Miracle:

Anthony Swarzak, RHP (2nd round, 2004 draft; 3.58 career ERA; strikeout per inning and 4:1 K:BB ratio in his career)
Jay Rainville, RHP (1st round, 2004; 3.06 ERA; 150 K, 36 BB in career)
Kyle Waldrop, RHP (1st round, 2004; 4.15 ERA; 163 K, 30 BB)
Kevin Slowey, RHP (2nd round, 2005; 2.13 ERA; 84 K, 8 BB in 72 IP)

Slowey could conceivably make the leap to Double-A to start the season, but no worries there. Talented, but oft injured lefty Justin Jones should start the year back in Ft. Myers. And just a rung below, Eduardo Morlan and Matt Garza should see the FSL at some point in 2006. The depth of arms in this system is astounding…so much for saving the best for last. I’m not sure I’ll be able to top this collection, but I encourage people to try.

3 Comments

Those are some pretty great prospects. But tell me, what makes you think Slowey could start in AA? Also why not include Garza and drop Waldrop, who really struggled last year?

I’m basing it on where it seems they’re going to pitch to start the year. Garza will most likely start in Beloit, with Waldrop in Ft. Myers. And Slowey is so advanced and has a such a good feel for pitching, they may try pushing him to Double-A. They also need to find spots for everyone and Slowey, perhaps more than any of them, could handle that challenge.

Looks like putting the Twins pitching prospects on rosters out of spring training is going to be tough. With guys like Hawes, Mullins, Morlan and Garza possibly starting in Beloit, that pitching staff has to be up there too. What do you think the rotations will look like from Low-A to AA?

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