Besides the fact that Raptors actually had feathers, is it just me or is the logo creepy as hell?
Anyway, I’ll continue my off-season recap of the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league affiliates today, moving on to the pitchers of the Ogden Raptors.
I’ll be picking the prospects for the 2012 Prospective Prospect Profiles list from these reviews, so it might be worth reading. Or not.
Ryan O’Sullivan – RHP – 20
A fourth round pick of the Dodgers in the 2011 Draft out of Oklahoma City University, Ryan O’Sullivan only ended up at the school because of academic problems that forced him to transfer from San Diego State. Additionally, he missed essentially all of 2010 at San Diego State with an elbow injury.
In his professional debut, he posted a 6.48 ERA over 8.1 IP with 6 walks and 5 strikeouts, statistics that won’t turn any heads, but it’s his stuff that’s worth mentioning. Since high school, he has put on 15-20 pounds and upped his velocity from 88-90 to 91-93 and tuned his high-70s slurve to a low-80s power curve.
With the layoff, I’m unsure of his future as a starter, especially since he essentially missed two years of competition, but the potential seems to be there. Given that he missed all of 2010 and then showed up in 2011 academically ineligible, I would have to say that’s a concern as well.
Yimi Garcia – RHP – 20
In 52.1 IP for Ogden in 2011, primarily out of the bullpen, Yimi Garcia struck out 71 batters and walked just 19 for a K% of 31.8 and a BB% of 8.5. Better yet, his 3.10 ERA is actually an understatement of his performance, as his FIP sat at 2.68.
I assume he moves a level in 2012, earning a real test at full season ball.
Brandon Martinez – RHP – 20
After two tough years in the Arizona League (ERA=9.86/5.25), Brandon Martinez seemed to take a step forward in 2011, posting a 4.07 ERA in Ogden. However, he did walk 13.4% of the batters he faced while striking out only 17.7%, both of which were about 5% worse than the league average. His FIP of 4.57 was .59 worse than league average as well, so it’s far too early to call this any type of actual progression in performance.
Of course, the upside with him is that he sits in the low-90s with three pitches and has projectability to his fastball. I still don’t like his footwork at footstrike, where he basically works against himself by straightening his front leg instead of driving through the pitch. If he could correct that, I think his balance gets better as well, and he would see better control and additional velocity.
Gustavo Gomez – RHP – 20
After struggling in full season A-ball to begin the year, Gustavo Gomez found immediate success in Ogden, winning June’s Dodger Pride Award.
Unfortunately, he faded shortly after, posting a 4.87 ERA and a 4.58 FIP for 2011. The upside is that he struck out 28.8% of the batters he faced, though he struggled with command, walking 12.8%.
Gomez certainly has the arm to do better, touching 94 and sitting in the low-90s, but like with most hard throwers, his ultimate success and role will depend on the development of his secondary pitches and his command.
Derek Cone – RHP – 21
Pitching in the Arizona League, Pioneer League, and Midwest League in 2011, Derek Cone was rather average at all levels (4.50/5.03/5.68). Spending most of his time in Rookie-ball, he managed to post a 4.34 FIP there due to striking out 27.0% of batters. His 10.9% walk rate will have to come down, but that might come with experience, especially given his frame.
At 6’5″ and lanky, there’s enough projectability to assume that his high-80s fastball will end up in the low-90s eventually.
Raydel Sanchez – RHP – 21
Raydel Sanchez defected from Cuba in 2008 during a tournament in Canada and the Dodgers signed him for $125,000 in 2011.
Sanchez was impressive in his professional debut, leading Ogden in innings pitched (75.3), striking out 22.8% of batters, and walking a miniscule 4.7%. The 4.66 ERA doesn’t look impressive, but the 3.81 FIP is a better reflection of his performance.
He’s not exactly young, so I’m guessing the Dodgers will move him to full season ball on the strength of his 2011.
Matt Shelton – RHP – 22
The 2011 24th round draft pick out of Sam Houston State made a solid professional debut. In 26.1 IP in relief, Shelton posted a 2.05 ERA and a 3.01 FIP. He struck out 26.5% of batters he faced and walked 7.1%, both well clear of the league average. Perhaps one of the better signs though is his 51.5% ground ball rate.
Shelton did what he was supposed to do as a college pitcher in Rookie-ball and set himself up as a player to watch as he moves to full season ball in 2012.