2010 Top Prospects: Interesting pitchers

These aren't this year's top performers.  These are the pitchers that either by their performance this season or in years past are worth paying attention to.  This includes a number of relievers who had great seasons, but it is hard for me to get too excited by minor league relievers (the Tom Mastny-effect).   None of these guys should be counted on down the road to have a major league impact, but all of them are capable of reaching that level.

Corey Kluber (24.2, AA)

Corey Kluber
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
160.0
3.10
3.49
8.0
23.7
40.0
5.80
+59
2009
154.0
4.45
4.56
10.3
23.4
41.0
2.94
+19
2008
141.1
4.25
4.90
7.7
24.1
41.0
3.75
+26

Kluber is on the older side, but has a strong history of racking up innings and K totals.  2010 was actually his best season, built on improved control and minimizing extra-base hits, although he didn't get much of a chance to showcase his skills in the Indians organization.  Kluber could easily be a 2nd-half rotation candidate in Cleveland if he continues to progress at Columbus in the early summer.

Zach McAllister (22.6, AAA)

Z McAllister
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
149.2
4.75
5.29
6.7
14.8
38.0
5.18
-28
2009
121.0
2.99
2.23
6.7
19.5
49.0
7.80
+36
2008
151.0
3.05
2.09
3.5
19.1
55.0
8.72
+55

McAllister's numbers this season appear pretty pedestrian.  Poor strikeout numbers, good control, but bad overall results.  His positive progress score is driven almost entirely by the fact he is young and spent the whole season at AAA.  But look back at what he did the past two seasons.  Maybe this is a guy whose stuff doesn't translate well against higher competition, but you have to respect the Indians attempt to potentially buy low on a legitimate pitching prospect.  I'll be very interested to see what McAllister does given another shot at AAA hitters.  In some ways he has the opposite profile of Kluber - younger, better control, fewer walks, declining prospect profile - with whom he'll likely be competing with at Columbus for a shot at a Cleveland call-up.

T.J. McFarland (21.1, A+)

McFarland
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
130.2
4.10
3.39
7.5
17.3
60.0
5.49
+10
2009
120.2
3.84
3.58
8.1
16.5
55.0
4.65
-2

Somewhat surprisingly, I didn't give McFarland much attention a year ago when reviewing the Indians pitching prospects.  McFarland has kept a low profile because he does not put up gaudy prospect numbers...his BB totals are OK and his K numbers a bit below average.  But following a proud lineage, McFarland is developing into a GB specialist, with an impressive 60% GB-rate this past season at Kinston while posting a steady 3.39 ERA.  McFarland should get challenged in the Akron rotation in 2011, and it is possible the Indians see some projection left in the 21-year old lefty.

Scott Barnes (22.8, AA)

Barnes
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
138.0
4.39
5.22
9.7
21.2
44.0
4.08
+11
2009
141.1
4.35
3.41
8.2
23.1
37.2
4.87
+30
2008
43.2
3.14
2.06
7.1
37.5
39.8
5.69
+45

There's something about Barnes that has had me intrigued since we acquired him in the Ryan Garko trade.  Perhaps it was the gaudy numbers he put up in his rookie debut in 2008, or the fact that may brain for some reason makes a natural association between Barnes and similarly framed left-handed pitcher, Cliff Lee.  Whatever the reason, Barnes had an up and down 2010 campaign.  He held his own with his first full season exposure to AA hitters, but was a little too generous with walks and HRs to rack up gaudy performance numbers.  But there is more to like about him than his 5.22 ERA would indicate.  Barnes strong AFL campaign, typically a hitting exhibition, will hopefully position him for a spot in the Columbus rotation and 2011 success.

T.J. House (20.7, A+)

House
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
135.2
4.01
3.93
10.3
17.9
44.0
3.83
-8
2009
134.1
4.35
3.14
8.7
19.3
46.3
5.25
+19

House is still young, and held his own in Kinston, even if he didn't excel. I would guess House gets a promotion to Akron to start the season, but a repeat appearance in Kinston, to show that he can increase his Ks and decrease his BBs for half a season, might not be a surprise.

Clayton Cook (19.9, A)

C Cook
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
118.1
4.04
3.35
7.5
16.8
45.0
4.12
+8
2009
67.2
3.55
2.79
9.4
23.0
43.0
3.46
+27

Cook has all kinds of youth on his side, having completed a successful full season campaign before turning 20. It would be nice to see him to start put up some eye-catching performance numbers in the next year or two.

Relievers, and oh how many there are, after the fold...

Paolo Espino (23.5, AAA)

P Espino
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
143.0
4.60
4.47
7.6
20.1
43.0
4.36
-5
2009
134.2
3.68
3.01
6.5
21.2
40.6
4.17
+27
2008
66.2
3.77
5.54
7.7
22.8
47.4
0.99
+9
2007
108.1
3.84
3.66
6.9
25.7
45.8
4.77
+22

Espino has been around the organization for awhile, and one of the pitchers who might come up in Rule 5 discussions this off-season.  Espino is small, and injury problems kept him bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen during his first few years in the organization.  He has made 45 starts (in 56 appearances) since 2009 and compiled more than 270 innings, marking something of a transition into the rotation.  Espino reminds me somewhat of Raffy Perez in his developmental trajectory and, if he stays in the organization, could wind up as an emergency rotation or bullpen option down the road.

Josh Judy (24.3, AAA)

J. Judy
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
49.0
3.20
2.94
6.7
27.1
30.0
3.02
+24
2009
54.0
2.87
3.26
8.3
32.1
50.7
4.93
+41
2008
88.1
3.13
2.83
7.1
26.5
47.5
2.22
+40

Another rule 5 eligible pitcher, I'm hoping Judy gets protected.  Followers of this site will know that I've long been a Judge Josh Judy fan because of his great K/BB numbers.  That continued in 2010, though he saw a big spike in the number of line drives and fly balls he yielded.  If he's added to the roster, he should be a bullpen candidate as early as spring training.

Vinnie Pestano (25.4, AAA)

Pestano
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
59.2
2.00
1.81
6.6
31.8
53.5
6.34
+51
2009
34.2
3.41
2.86
8.8
21.1
49.0
-3.38
+7
2008
56.0
3.80
2.73
9.8
20.4
57.0
-1.76
+11

Pestano is another reliever who, because of his age and position in the bullpen, I haven't paid much attention to. It is hard to ignore his 2010 line, though, especially since the bulk of it came in Columbus, waiting in line for his shot in Cleveland (which he got in September).  Pestano has something of a low-delivery, potentially making him vulnerable to left-handed hitters, but could be a natural replacement for Joe Smith's spot in the bullpen.

Zach Putnam (23.0, AAA)

Putnam
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
75.2
2.95
3.69
5.1
20.6
44.0
4.20
+19
2009
80.2
2.89
4.13
6.7
23.5
53.6
4.82
+41

Another guy like Espino who has bounced around between the rotation and the bullpen.  Putnam, a 2008 draftee from Michigan, has been a FIP darling since his debut season thanks to his great control and frugal HR numbers (just 4 in 2010, 3 in 2009).  The organization seems content to keep Putnam in the bullpen going forward, making him an option for the second half of 2011.  If there is one guy I'd like to see the Indians move back into the rotation, though, I think it would be Putnam.

Bryce Stowell (23.8, AAA)

Stowell
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
67.1
2.70
2.14
13.2
37.4
44.0
4.42
+48
2009
70.0
4.30
4.76
11.9
24.7
41.5
-1.11
+11

No prospect covered more ground in 2010 than Bryce Stowell.  Stowell spent roughly equal portions of the season in Kinston, Akron and Columbus, finding some degree of success at each stop.  Stowell's final line, particularly the 37% K-rate, is impressive, but it also masks the areas of Stowell's game that still need work.  As he advanced, Stowell's K-rate went down at each stop (although even at AAA his 32.6% rate is great) and his BB-rate increased to unacceptably high levels (11.8% in Akron and 19.8% in Columbus).  Stowell needs to reign in his walks if he wants to bring his K-maker style to Cleveland...though he certainly wouldn't be the first high-K, high-BB backend reliever.

Rob Bryson (22.5, AA)

Bryson
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
53.1
3.40
2.53
9.6
36.7
34.0
3.36
+42
2008
67.1
3.00
3.88
9.3
30.0
41.0
2.75
+33
2007
54.0
2.88
2.67
5.4
31.5
42.0
4.94
+45

Bryson, who joined the organization as part of the Sabathia trade, blew out his elbow shortly after joining the organization in late 2008.  As a result, he spent all of 2009 rehabbing and could easily have been forgotten as a piece of the blockbuster trade that didn't work out.  Bryson's 2010 campaign would suggest he is looking for a different fate. Bryson will have to show in 2011 that he can succeed against higher level competition, but there isn't much to not like about a near 37% K-rate.

C.C. Lee (23.7, AA)

CC.Lee
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
72.2
3.31
3.24
7.3
27.3
48.0
3.51
+36
2009
83.1
2.93
3.35
8.0
27.7
46.7
2.60
+40

The Indians have treated international signee C.C. Lee with consistency (full season at Kinston in 2009, full season at Akron in 2010) to help his adjustment to the US, and he has returned the favor by turning out steady success from the pen.  I'd assume the training wheels come off Lee, who has nice numbers across the board, in 2011, as the Indians begin evaluating him as part of the crop of relievers vying for a shot in Cleveland.  A solid season will certainly set him up for the big league pen in 2012.

Cory Burns (22.8, A+)

Burns
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
55.0
1.90
1.96
6.5
36.5
58.0
6.84
+56
2009
32.2
2.35
1.93
4.8
9.8
64.0
4.80
+25

Burns has destroyed the competition during his early career.  He needs to face tougher competition.

Preston Guilment (22.9, A)

Guilmet
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
52.0
2.10
2.25
5.0
39.5
41.0
5.12
+54
2009
70.1
3.83
4.09
5.4
20.9
45.0
0.97
-3

Guilmet almost managed to make Burns' numbers look average.  He needs to face tougher competition.

Jose Flores (21.1, A)

Flores
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
42.0
2.03
2.14
4.3
31.3
43.0
5.20
+36

More of the same...

Tyler Sturdevant (24.0, A+)

Sturdevant
IP
FIP
ERA
BB%
K%
GB%
PS
Net
2010
64.2
2.70
2.10
7.3
35.1
41.0
2.17
+58
2009
36.0
2.63
2.75
8.4
27.1
55.0
2.52
+22

Sturdevant is really old, but again, has video game numbers.

There will be one more article in this series attempting to put all of the pitchers in some perspective.  For now, consider this a compendium of numbers.  All of the starters listed at the top need to step up their game to be considered seriously.  But if they step up their performance, they can all be legitimate prospects.  I don't know what to say about the relievers.  They put up a pretty incredible composite set of numbers, but a bad 2011 and most of them will be just another minor league bullpen filler.  The guys in the low minors, in particular, should be viewed with caution.  A lot of these players simply took advantage of weaker competition, and we should expect them to fall back considerably as they progress to upper levels.  That said, the numbers they put up are no joke.  Just browse the Midwest League K% leaders and you'll see Lake County players dominate the top of the list.  Someone is doing something right for the Captains.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker