TCN 2013 Cards Prospect #8: Tyrell Jenkins

Will 2013 be the year the talented right-handed pitcher translates potential into results?

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2012 and career stats)

2012 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
8 RHS 7/20/1992 6-4 180 R R 2010 1s

School: Henderson High School, Henderson, Tex.

Selected 2012 stats

QC 4 4 5.14 3.47 19 19 0 82.1 84 53 5 36 80 1.48 0.267 0.336

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (8): Tyrell Jenkins oozes potential. From his strong 6-foot-4 frame, his athleticism and his strong arm, he has the potential to be a front-of-the-rotation starter. To date, this potential has not yet been realized; but there is still time.

Jenkins has pitched well in his two minor league seasons (his signing year wasn't enough to count), but he has yet to dominate at the level one would expect of a player with his tools. You can ignore his 2012 ERA. Other than a high walk rate this past season, he has been consistently better than league average each of his last two years in nearly every peripheral statistical category. That includes ground ball rates, home run rates, line drive rates, FIP and others.

From a non-statistical standpoint, there are now concerns stemming from a late-season injury to his shoulder area. Jenkins seems to be in a no-man's land regarding his status as a prospect - he hasn't stumbled enough to lose his vaulted prospect status but he hasn't had enough success to rise to an elite level. 2013 will be Jenkins' 20-year-old season. Hopefully it will be his break out one.

If Jenkins is 100% healthy, I think the Cards will start him at Palm Beach. Being a pitcher's league, he could easily log strong numbers there and put some definite polish on his prospect status.

Message board community (8): Jenkins was eighth for the community last year and placed at eighth again this year. The case for him is fairly simple - upside.

Jenkins fanned 80 in just 82 1/3 innings in the Midwest League last year. And he began his time there at age 19. That is not as good as Carlos Martinez when he pitched for Quad Cities, also at 19 - 50 strikeouts in just 38 2/3 IP, but it is still impressive. Jenkins also kept the ball in the park, allowing just five home runs.

The downside? The community was split on his season-ending injury, with some minimizing it and others having more concerns. Jenkins also walked a lot of batters, 36. Keep in mind that he is raw, lured away from a football scholarship. He has time to develop.

The last three prospects we have discussed have been an interesting set. Kelly, Garcia, and Jenkins are all young players with big upsides. There was a clear break in the community voting between seventh and eighth, and all three had some endorsements for eighth.

In contrast, the community's seventh prospect gained all but one vote. After the first 7, there was more discussion of the tradeoff of upside and near-MLB performance. That will be worth remembering as we move forward tomorrow. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (7): Perhaps it has been a good thing for the development of Jenkins to date that the Cardinals have so many other pitching prospects closer to the majors. The organization has likely not felt pressure to rush the right-hander up the chain before he has shown he is ready. But when will he be ready for more?

There are a lot of things I like about Jenkins. He features a low-effort delivery that allows him to dial up his 93-94 mph fastball to 96. His curve shows a tight break and is a solid out pitch though his changeup remains a work in progress. Jenkins' location can good though his mechanics are inconsistent, especially when he tires.

My concern is that I could have said the exact same things two years ago and again last year, too. In fact, I think I did. With Jenkins, we continue to talk about almost exclusively about tools and potential.

A contributor for him going forward could be a gain in muscle and strength. While Jenkins is tall, he is also very slender and I wonder if he could improve his stamina. This past season, he averaged just 4 1/3 innings per start.

In 2013, Jenkins will no longer be a rough teenager, learning how to pitch. It seems time for him to demonstrate that he is ready to earn his placement in these rankings based on results. Young Cardinals arms comparable in age and experience such as Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez stepped forward around this time. It is now Jenkins' turn.

Our 2013 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! Monthly and quarterly subscribers who upgrade to our annual pass will receive in the spring the 2013 FOX Sports NEXT Prospects Guide, a $4.95 value, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "40 Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

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