Entering the 2004 draft, Bradley Bergesen was widely considered one of the top prep arms in California. He had a firm commitment to the University of San Diego, but the Orioles were confident enough in their ability to sign him that they made him a fourth round selection. After the Wade Townsend fiasco that cost the Orioles their first round pick, Bergesen became their highest drafted pitcher that season. Ever since, those within the organization have been praising his work ethic and competitive makeup.
DOB: 9/25/85 Height: 6-2 Weight: 205 B/T: R/R
Bradley Bergesen's age 20 season:
Bergesen is an interesting case study into the interplay of scouting and statistical analysis. He works with a low-90‘s fastball that has touched 95 MPH. He also has a good changeup, especially for a pitcher that pitched all of 2006 without being able to legally drink an alcoholic beverage. Bergesen's slider lags behind his other pitches at this point and the Orioles have worked hard to add depth to it. Thus far, he's shown little progress with adding spin to the pitch, although his control of it has improved.
The interesting aspect of Bergesen's profile is that you would expect the powerfully built right-hander with impressive arm strength and good control to miss more bats in such a pitcher-friendly environment. Indeed, Bergesen not only has a below average strikeout rate, he also has a history of giving up more than a hit per inning. In this instance, the statistics confirm the same thing that scouts will tell you about Bergesen. Simply put, he tends to groove the ball in the strike zone too often. Instead of working the outer planes of the plate, Bergesen often gets himself into trouble by throwing very hittable pitches in favorable situations. Bergesen could also stand to waste a pitch or two, especially against the overanxious hitters of the South Atlantic League. While he has impressive control, his command within the strike zone needs some work.
Bradley Bergesen will begin 2007 as a member of the Frederick Keys rotation. Many officials within the organization still have high hopes for him and peg him as a potential breakout candidate in 2007. If he is able to tighten the spin on his breaking ball, the new look he will be able to show hitters will show up in his strikeout rate. Bergesen can also stand to be a little less aggressive against hitters, but that is rarely a long-term problem for young pitchers with his work ethic. With any luck, Bergesen could be the key to turning around the negative perception of the 2004 amateur draft.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com