Winter Meetings Links
In the Rule 5 hitters preview, I ranked the players as only 3 seemed worthy of ranking but the pitchers are a different animal. So little separates them that one winter ball outing in front of the right scout can take a guy from undraftable to the top of a club's board and relievers (which all of these players are) are notoriously streaky anyway. There's some familiar types of pitchers that get drafted, so I separated these guys into those group with any of them candidates to go anywhere, really. Many other players (like Matt Loosen of the Cubs, for example) are in the same general range of these players, but I had to cut the list off somewhere and there's superior versions of those players on this list. Also, note that 5 of the 17 pitchers listed come from the Yankees system.
Above Average Stuff, Fringy Command
Tommy Kahnle, RHP, Yankees: Husky 6'1 righty is 93-97 mph when he's right with inconsistent slider that's above average at times, a changeup that's solid average at times and fringy command with some AA success.
Manny Barreda, RHP, Yankees: Smallish 5'11 righty has lively four seamer at 91-93 mph and above average changeup to go with fringy slider and aggressive approach.
Danny Burawa, RHP, Yankees: He's had trouble with command but I've seen him up to 96, easily sitting 92-95 mph with three usable pitches that range from below average to solid average depending on his feel.
Fred Lewis, LHP, Yankees: Extremely unheralded lefty had late career velo spike and will be 27 next year but has fringy command of 91-94 mph fastball that's hit 95 and average to slightly above slider and changeup.
Alex Sogard, LHP, Astros: Power lefty has plus fastball and inconsistent but above average slider, though (sensing a theme?) some real command problems for long stretches.
Marcus Hatley, RHP, Cubs: Big 6'5 righty is up to 96 mph and has no trouble striking out hitters with three pitch mix that flashes average but has trouble with command.
Kevin Munson, RHP, Diamondbacks: Stuff has been up and down since turning pro, but 91-94 mph and a solid average slider with solid results as high as AAA could tempt some clubs.
Marcos Mateo, RHP, Cubs: Recovering from elbow injury, righty has lively arm into the mid 90's with hard slider but short track record of success.
Matt Lollis, RHP, Padres: 6'9 monster works in the low to mid 90's and has run it up to 97 but (tell me if you've heard this before), his command and off-speed pitches vary due to trouble repeating his delivery
Big Stuff, Limited Experience/Command
Brody Colvin, RHP, Phillies: Promising righty fell apart when he went to AA and hasn't recovered due to stiff delivery but has 92-94 mph sinker that's hit 96 with plus curveball and above average changeup at his best.
Omar Luis, LHP, Yankees: Weird case of being eligible due to voiding a contract and re-signing with same club, Cuban defector got $2.5 million, has hit 95 with average or better three pitch mix but 21 year old hasn't gotten out of rookie ball yet.
Tyler Ybarra, LHP, Blue Jays: Lefty has lively fastball that's hit 96 mph with effort in delivery but an above average slider that could make him setup guy with mechanical tweaks; hasn't gotten out of A-ball yet, however.
Angel Nesbitt, RHP, Tigers: I could list Nesbitt with Ybarra as they're both power arms into mid-90's that haven't gotten out of A-Ball, though Nesbitt has less off-speed stuff and is right-handed.
Average Stuff That You're Hoping Plays Up
Zach Thornton, RHP, Pirates: Thornton has a lot of momentum as a stat-head favorite but only solid-average stuff in three-pitch mix with some awkwardness to the delivery but eye-opening numbers and ground ball rates.
Boone Whiting, RHP, Cardinals: Similar to McGuire but much smaller, Whiting is a gutty righty with average stuff and advanced feel that gets the most out of this stuff with success as high as AAA as a starter.
Brian Moran, LHP, Seattle Mariners: Similar to Thornton (and brother of Marlins 1st rounder Colin Moran) with great numbers as high as AAA, but Moran has below average stuff with just enough funk to give lefties hits at the big league level.