HT: 6-0 WT: 145 POS: SP
Delmarva Shorebirds/Frederick Keys - (25 G, 25 GS, 150.2 ip, 3.52 ERA, 108 K, 26 BB, 7 HR, 2.17 GO/AO)
After the Wade Townsend fiasco, Brad Bergesen became the highest drafted pitcher the Orioles were able to sign in the 2004 draft. He took a huge step towards prospectdom in 2007, pitching well across two levels of A-ball.
Bergesen's arsenal begins with a lively 88-92 MPH sinker that he commands well low in the zone. He also has a changeup that has splitter action and has good movement. His slider is solid, if unspectacular. He's definitely more of a command guy than a power pitcher and he got into trouble in high-A Frederick when he let his sinker get up in the zone.
Coaches rave about Bergesen's pitchability and he keeps them on their toes with lots of questions about his craft. His ceiling is as a Brad Radke-type middle-of-the-rotation starter, but he'll have to improve his command from good to excellent to reach it. He's better against right-handers than lefties at this point, but he has the stuff and aptitude to iron that out.
Bergesen is entering his age 23 season and the right-hander should start out in Frederick's rotation. With a good start, he should have no problem ending the season in double-A Bowie. Young pitchers are all injury risks, but Bergesen has a solid frame and sound mechanics. Most scouts picture him as a durable back-of-the-rotation type and he could be up in Baltimore as soon as late-2009.
Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via e-mail at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com