2013 Midseason Top 50: Pitcher Notes

You've seen the Top 50 rankings, but as always, the rankings are just a snap shot in time, with players performance and skills driving changes. Which lower ranked pitcher has the highest ceiling? Who has a repertoire that's just impossible to give up on? Find out inside!

Player Most Likely to Make a Big Jump – LHP Jordan John

The scouting report may not be sexy as a pitchability left-hander with a durable body, but John has a chance to become an intriguing arm in the Tigers system. With a quality arsenal, a fastball that can reach 90-91 mph and excellent makeup, John's potential as a back-end starter can't be ignored. Scouts are coming around on him as the season continues and he could make a move up the rankings as he enters the 2014 season as a pitcher that could reach Double-A quickly.

Player Most Likely to Take a Big Fall – RHP Edgar De La Rosa

It's not difficult to like De La Rosa's massive six-foot-six frame and his fastball that can touch 98 mph, but even with those attributes, his overall package is still lacking. With a slider that still rates below-average and a changeup that has only shown potential, De La Rosa may be better suited to the bullpen long term where he can air it out and challenge hitters. Without consistency across his arsenal, De La Rosa is poised to slide in the rankings.

Highest Ceiling Player Outside the Top 30 – RHP Montreal Robertson

The Tigers are giving Robertson every opportunity to develop as a starter, despite calls from scouts to let him air it out in the bullpen. Now a full two years removed from Tommy John surgery, Robertson has the overpowering fastball and the potential plus slider to work in a variety of roles. As a starter, he could be a number four, but as a reliever he could max out as a very good setup man. Either way, Robertson is very much on the prospect radar and could slide higher in the rankings this offseason.

The Guy I Just Can't Quit – RHP Endrys Briceno

Not that I should actually quit Briceno at this point in time, but when the time comes, it will be extremely difficult. On top of an explosive fastball, quality changeup and the occasional quality slider, I have watched Briceno display impeccable command in small spurts. His ceiling is in the middle of a big league rotation and while he may take plenty of time to develop, he's going to be a prospect that is impossible to give up on.

Temper Your Enthusiasm – LHP Kyle Ryan

Ryan has remained a divisive player in my own mind. At times I believe the Tigers may be working with a potential number four starter, and at other times I believe he looks more like an organizational soldier. Ryan doesn't have overpowering stuff in spite of his projectable frame, and as a result he doesn't miss many bats. What he does do though is mix his three-pitch arsenal well, work in and around the strike zone and he competes exceptionally well. Double-A will be a stiff test for him in 2014, and fans may want to prepare for some regression in his numbers.

Player Most Likely to Jump into the Rankings – LHP Kyle Lobstein

Lobstein just missed the rankings this time around and there is an easy case to be made that he should have slotted into the last ten spots on the list. Nothing about his game blows you away but at the end of the day he typically ends up with a decent line and keeps his team in the ball game. Lobstein profiles as more of a swingman or long reliever in my book, but a few positive reports from scouts outside the organization could give him an outside shot to be a number five starter down the line, and push him onto the back of the list.


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