2006 Ranking: 35
Cardinal: Selected in the third round of the June, 2003 First-Year Player
Draft. Received a $400,000 signing bonus. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP Totals 54 3-6 65.2 56 21 71 4.11 1.17
Jason Scott (11): I knew that my ranking of Dove at No. 11 would be the highest of the four. A third round draft pick in 2003, Dove has yet to reach higher than Double-A, and at 25, is a bit old for that level. I think the Cardinals realized this, however, when they moved him to the bullpen for 2006, presenting him with a faster path to the Majors. Armed with a high-90s fastball, Dove posted a 2.81 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, striking out 56 and walking 13 in 51.1 innings for Palm Beach. Despite struggling a bit after a promotion to Springfield, Dove posted a 1.93 ERA in six appearances in the Arizona Fall League. Placed on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, Dove will go to spring training with the hope of impressing the coaching staff for a possible call-up during the season.
Leonda Markee (NR): The opinion on Dove is rather split among my three colleagues and me. He was ranked by two and not ranked by two. I am in the latter group. In Dove's favor is his strikeout rate of 9.42 for every nine innings pitched in AA ball which is impressive. That follows the 9.8 K/9 IP rate he put up in A-Advanced Palm Beach last season in fifty-one plus innings. On the other hand, he walked over five batters a game at Springfield. (It should be mentioned that the Springfield sample size is only fourteen plus innings.) His Palm Beach BB/9 IP rate was just over two. Dove also does not have the calendar on his side as he turned 25 in August. If he gets it all together then Dove will move quickly as the Cardinals love his stuff. But I just do not currently see him as a Top 40 prospect right now.
Ray Mileur (37): I was standing next to Dennis Dove the first time I saw him warming up. I thought I was seeing things. Holy cow, what an arm! When he entered the game later in relief for the Springfield Cardinals, the stadium radar gun consistently showed his pitches in the 100 MPH range with some pitches hitting 103 MPH consistently. Now granted, everyone in the Springfield press box told me the radar gun was off a few miles per hour, but the bottom line is the kid has some electric stuff.
Dove started last season at Palm Beach, where he posted a 2.81 ERA while striking out 56 and walking just 13 in 51-1/3 innings. That led to his promotion to Double-A Springfield, where he struggled in spite of blowing out the radar gun, giving up 14 runs in 14-1/3 innings, but still striking 15 batters, but walking eight as well.
A 2003 third-rounder, Dove is coming off his first season as a reliever and clearly has the potential to be a quality reliever if he can harness his stuff. The Cardinals added Dove to the 40-man roster in November in time to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.(Why can't baseball teams afford to have calibrated radar guns that work properly?)
Brian Walton (NR): The right-hander was the Cardinals' third-rounder back in 2003. By 2005, he had cracked the organization's top ten list in wins (12) and innings (144-2/3). In 2006, Dove returned to Palm Beach, and converted to relief. He did a fine job, posting a 2.81 ERA while striking out 56 and walking just 13 in 51-1/3 innings.
That led to a promotion to Springfield, where the going was a lot tougher. Despite a heater rumored to hit 95 MPH, Dove was winged for 14 runs in 14-1/3 Texas League innings, fanning 15, but walking eight. Perhaps after a longer period at that level, he will right his ship. But, all things equal, I don't value a reliever as highly as a starter.
In his Arizona Fall League stint, Dove allowed just two runs in 9-1/3 innings and held opponents to a collective .129 batting average before suffering a minor injury. But, it is going to take more than that for me to get excited about a 25-year-old reliever who struggled with his control in his first Double-A action.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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