#26 - Alfredo Simon
|Date of Birth: 05/08/1981||Position: P||Height: 6'4"||Weight: 230||Bats: R||Throws: R|
Acquired: Traded from the Phillies in the Felix Rodriguez deal
Originally signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent in 1999
|Norwich - AA||3||8||5.03||43||9||19||91.1||104||54||51||6||24||60||.293||1.59|
Alfredo Simon may be one of the most frustrating and difficult to figure out prospects in the Giants system.
Simon, formerly known as Carlos Cabrera (and thought to be 2 years younger), came to the Giants in 2004, where he was creating similar confusions. The questions about who he is arent just the long-resolved issue about his name and age, but how well he can throw and what role he should have.
Simon, of course, was part of the bad-looking trade in 2004, where the Giants were having bullpen problems and yet traded the effective-if-not-consistent Felix Rodriguez for Simon and outfielder Ricky Ledee. Ledees horrific 6 for 31 stint with the Giants is the stuff of nightmares, but the Giants and their fans thought itd be worth it for Simon, who throws in the mid 90s and has a good slider. When he was traded, Simon had started off badly in the High-A Florida State League, but had turned it around, and rattled off three consecutive complete games just before getting traded. He ended up with 4 CG and 3 Shutouts, tied for the minor league leads in both. The seemed to ensure that he was a starter after the Phillies had flirted with the idea of turning him into a reliever.
Or so it seemed. Ready for the roller coaster ride?
Simon started off 2005 as the Norwich opening day starter, and was plastered. He went 1-3 in his first 6 starts, putting up a 6.10 ERA and had his win come in a start where he allowed 7 runs! He was moved to relief, where he got a win and blew a save before May 20th. On May 20th, he got his first save and proceeded to rattle off 12 consecutive saves and allowing runs in only 1 of them. After a scoreless non-save appearance broke the streak .he inexplicably made an appearance in the middle of a game on July 2nd and blew a save. The following game, he was brought in late and gave up 6 runs without getting a single out! The next few games, he made a couple of good starts and a couple of bad relief appearances and finally seemed set to be a starter again .and then gave up 8 runs in a 2 inning start on August 1st.
That would be the last attempt to start Simon in 2005, and he was moved back into relief. After 3 scoreless appearances and a save, and then giving up 3 runs in 2.1 innings of relief, Simon was given the closer role, and rattled off 7 more consecutives saves. And then, for good measure, he blew a save in his final appearance of the year. Even more fittingly, he got the win.
Tired yet? This kid had so many streaks in the past two years, he ought to get GoldenPalace.com tattooed on his chest.
Frankly, the Giants desperately need to pick a role for Simon and stick with it. A lot of pitchers in Norwich keep getting switched back and forth (Merkin Valdez, Chris Begg, and Brian Burres all had stretches in both roles). Consistency in a role might help Simon gain some in his results. At this point, he should only be considered a reliever, and that stretch of complete games only postponed the move and probably hurt his development. Unfortunately, if Simon is to become a closer, that inconsistency that has been the only consistent thing about him is bad news, which is why hes dropped in my estimation from a Top 10 prospect to the mid 20s.
Simons stuff still looks like a closer, though he doesnt even come close to getting the ideal strikeouts that one wants out of a power pitcher. One problem is that his throwing motions have no deception at all, tipping off batters very early to whats coming. Not everyone can hit his fastball, but his changeup and slider can be very hittable at times. At least hes usually kept good control, and rarely puts himself into trouble with walks.
2006 appears to be destined for another stint in AA, where hopefully he can close or at least consistently relieve without having to change roles all the time. Theres still room for him to become a very good reliever, but until he can be consistently good without so many (and long lasting) bad stretches, he wont be finding his way up the system.
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