Or PSP, if you like abbreviations.
Obviously, all the buzz about Stepthen Strasburg in the big leagues is warranted. And it’s not likely to die down any time soon. But now that he’s up with the big club, the question is: Who’s left in the Minors?
Any time Strasburg took the mound in a Minor League ballpark, it was the top news of the day. Now that he’s gone, it’s not like there are no pitching prospects worth talking about. Quite the contrary. They may not have the Q rating of the 2009 No. 1 overall pick, but they’re pretty good in their own right. You might see some of them take the mound out west in the All-Star Futures Game, to be held on Sunday, July 11 in Anaheim.
There are a couple of ways to look at the top pitching prospects in the Minors. First, we’ll start with the MLB.com Top 50 Prospects list from the start of the year. Strasburg was No. 2 on that list. Here’s how the others are faring (excluding ones already in the big leagues):
10. Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants: Concerns over his drop in velocity have dissipated as he tweaked his mechanics and looks more like the guy who everyone was all excited about to begin with. His June hasn’t been as thrilling, but he went 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA in six May starts. Overall, he’s a 20-year-old who’s gone 6-1 with a 3.13 ERA in the Triple-A PCL.
17. Kyle Drabek, RHP, Blue Jays: The key to the Roy Halladay trade, Drabek has spent the year in the Double-A Eastern League and has a 7-5 record to go along with a 3.24 ERA, .238 batting average against. He’s ninth in the EL in ERA and tied for the lead in K’s.
18. Martin Perez, LHP Rangers: The young lefty has scuffled a bit in the Double-A Texas League. He has struck out more than a batter per inning, but his 5.32 ERA over 11 starts is a result of less-than-stellar command (27 BB in 45 2/3 IP) and being somewhat hittable (.280 BAA). He missed some time with a fingernail injury and just came back last Sunday.
20. Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Rays: Can’t complain about how he’s pitched this year. He’s tied for the International League lead with eight wins, is second in K’s with 84 (in 81 2/3 IP) and is fourth with his 2.42 ERA. A good argument could be made that he’s been the most consistent non-Stras ptiching prospect in baseball this year.
21. Jarrod Parker, RHP, Diamondbacks: Following Tommy John surgery, Parker is throwing from a mound and seems to be ahead of schedule.
23. Christian Friedrich, LHP, Rockies: The lefty was slowed earlier this year, missing nearly a month with elbow soreness, but the good news is he’s been taking his regular turn in the Double-A Tulsa rotation. The bad news is he hasn’t been particularly effective and is currently 0-4 with a 4.89 ERA and .302 batting average against.
That’s 1-25. Stay tuned for 26-50 tomorrow…