Brian Bannister isn't the only Royal pitcher moving up. RC has learned that both Daniel Cortes and Jason Godin, who are presently in extended spring training, will likely head for full season clubs this week. Cortes, who the Royals acquired along with Tyler Lumsden in the Mike MacDougal trade last season, will head to Wilmington. Godin, last year's fifth round pick, will debut in the Burlington rotation.
Last season, the two pitchers showed impressive stuff, and the Royals are very high on both. Cortes entered camp this year in excellent shape, and the Royals went to work straightening out his mechanics to take full advantage of his natural abilities. Just 19-years old, Cortes spent all of last season at the low-A level between Kannapolis and Burlington, compiling a 4-11 record and a 4.67 ERA while striking out 126 batters in 142.2 innings pitched. He got knocked around a bit in his seven starts for Burlington last season, but the Royals feel that he's ready for the jump to advanced-A ball.
Cortes is headed for Wilmington
Godin, who led the Colonial Athletic Association in strikeouts last spring for Old Dominion, pitched for the Idaho Falls Chukars in 2006. There he put up impressive numbers in six appearances, logging 21.2 IP while compiling an ERA of 2.49. Godin threw a lot of innings in college, so the Royals shut him down for a month after he experienced a tired arm. However, when he's at full strength, he complements a low-90s fastball with an excellent curveball. He should add to an already excellent Burlington rotation.
While the overall won-loss record of the Royals' four full season clubs is a bit disappointing, the pitching has been outstanding. Nearly every significant pitching prospect in the organization has pitched well thus far, which is something we're sure Dayton Moore and company couldn't be happier about. The Burlington Bees (9-6) have been the Royals' most successful club thus far in the season, thanks largely to the efforts of its talented pitching staff.
Perhaps the best story to come out of Burlington thus far is the return of Matt Campbell, who missed all of last season with a torn labrum. Campbell, a 2004 first round pick, has dominated through his first three starts, holding opposing hitters to a .132 BA while compiling a miniscule ERA of 0.57. In 15.2 innings pitched, Campbell has yielded just seven hits and three walks (0.64 WHIP) while striking out 11 batters.
Campbell's start is very encouraging
Brent Fisher, who dominated the last two seasons in the Arizona Rookie League, so far has given Royals fans little reason to think his sparkling statistics were a fluke. Piggybacking with Angelo Morales, Fisher has been very impressive in his three outings, compiling a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings pitched. Fisher has allowed 10 hits and struck out 10 batters, and the league so far is hitting .250 off of him.
Fisher's taking care of business in the Midwest League so far
Speaking of Morales, the 20-year old righty has been lights out thus far, logging a 1.32 ERA over three outings and 13.2 innings pitched. He caught a lot of attention for his impressive start on April 13 vs. Peoria, in which he threw seven shutout innings and gave up just two hits and no walks while striking out nine batters. Morales spent the last three seasons in Arizona, where his numbers were fairly mediocre, so his quick start this year seemingly came out of nowhere. We asked Royals' Farm Director J.J. Picollo about Morales, and he told us that the club decided that this was the season for Morales to "sink or swim." Morales works his fastball in the mid- to upper-80s, so he doesn't blow many batters away, but Picollo told us that he has a good curveball and is adept at fooling hitters. It's working so far, as he's yielded just six hits and one walk while striking out 17 batters.
The Royals' 2006 draft effort is also well represented, as several pitchers selected out of colleges last year have done an excellent job for the Bees. Harold Mozingo (6th round - Virginia Commonwealth University) is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA, and he's struck out 17 batters in 16.0 innings while opponents have hit just .172 against him.
Mozingo is putting a lackluster 2006 debut behind him
Everett Teaford (12th round - Georgia Southern University) sports an ERA of 2.45 to go along with 10 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP in 14.2 innings pitched. Josh Cribb (8th round - Clemson University) has appeared in two games, compiling an ERA of 2.08 while striking out eight batters with no walks in 8.2 IP. In the bullpen, Tyler Chambliss (11th round - Florida State University) is showing that his move back to relief duty (where he dominated in college) was a good idea. Through three outings and 7.1 IP, Chambliss has yet to allow an earned run while striking out 12 batters. Opponents are hitting just .154 against him.
Chambliss is back in the pen and doing well