2006 Ranking: 14
Cardinal: Selected in the third round of the June, 2004 First-Year Player
Draft. Received a $422,500 signing bonus. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP
Jason Scott (29): Haberer is like fellow prospect Tyler Norrick in that he is left-handed and that he was drafted out of SIU. But also, like I said about Norrick a couple days ago, I believe Haberer's future will be in the bullpen if he is going to make it to the Majors.
Haberer dropped in my personal rankings from No. 15 last season to No. 29 this time around, due mainly to his sub-par season in which he posted a 4.44 ERA between Palm Beach and Springfield. At 24, Haberer can't really afford another season like that if he is going to remain in the rankings, but I think he will put it together and have a good 2007 season, hopefully making it to Memphis.
Leonda Markee (36): Like Jose Martinez, I ranked Haberer lower than did the other three here. In fact I dropped him from my 14th-ranked 2005 prospect to my 36th-ranked 2006 prospect. He is my 21st-ranked pitching prospect this season. Haberer struggled in the jump from A-Advanced to AA and it showed up in his AA stats. His WHIP jumped to 1.61 and his K/BB ratio was just over one. Haberer is a lefty that just finished his second full season of professional ball and turned 24 right after the season finished. I see his most likely destination is the bullpen, if he makes the majors. With the strong 2005 and 2006 draft classes creating upwards pressure, his time in the rotation may be short.
Ray Mileur (32): In 11 games for Double-A Springfield, Haberer went 3-3 with a bloated 5.43 ERA, as he continued to struggle with the command and control of his secondary pitches. He walked 34 batters in 61.1 innings, compared to only 37 strikeouts and after giving up only three home runs in 2005 in 161.2 innings pitched, including the post-season, Haberer gave up 10 home runs in just 61 innings for Springfield in ‘06.
Sent to the Arizona Fall League to continue to work on his control, Haberer appeared in seven games for the Saguaros, not receiving a decision. He allowed five earned runs over 10 innings before an emergency appendectomy ended his AFL season. He is expected to be ready to start for Springfield in 2007.
My take is, if Haberer doesn't get a handle on his mechanics and control problems with his curve and changeup, he'll likely move to the bullpen by mid-season, where his basic one pitch repertoire, a 90 MPH fastball, that induces a lot of ground balls, could make him a lefty-specialist, which is where I think his future lies.
Brian Walton (23): In two seasons, the third rounder from 2004 rose to Double-A Springfield, where in 11 starts, he walked 34 while striking out 37 and allowing ten home runs in 61-1/3 innings. In other words, he walked too many and watched too many balls leave the park, which certainly contributed to his 5.43 ERA.
Haberer had an up-and-down Arizona Fall League campaign before undergoing an emergency appendectomy. It certainly looks like he will need to return to Springfield next year at 24 years of age.
Prior to 2006, Haberer demonstrated decent command and an ability to keep the ball down helping drive his miniscule home run rate (only six in his first two seasons). However, he seemed to lose that edge in his initial exposure to Double-A hitting. Haberer has a solid repertoire, but lacks power to blow away hitters.
Could Haberer become another "crafty lefty" in the majors? To increase his chances of getting there, will he remain a starter or return to his college closing duties?
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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