2005 Fort Myers Pitching Prospect Review

TwinCitiesDugout.com looks at the Fort Myers Miracle pitching staff from 2005, examining the guys who appeared in a minimum of 23 games for the Fort Myers Miracle, or had a minimum of ten starts in the Florida State League.

Nick Blackburn- SP

Fort Myers was the first stop on the Blackburn Express in 2005, as he jumped from High-A to Triple-A during the season. He started 15 games for the Miracle, tossing one complete game, and posted a 7-5 record. During his time in the Florida State League, Blackburn struggled against left-handed batters. While posting a 2.19 ERA against righties, he had a 5.63 ERA against lefties, a number that badly needs to come down. Overall, he was one of the biggest attractions in the league, and after his promotion, was even more dominating. He posted a 1.84 ERA in seven Double-A starts, and even made three starts for Rochester.

Tristan Crawford- P

Crawford was used from both the bullpen, and the rotation in 2005. He appeared in 32 games for the Miracle, making seven starts, and finished the year with a 4.15 ERA. He appears to be more suited for the bullpen, posting a 3.33 ERA as a reliever, as opposed to a 5.40 ERA as a starter. He was used as a pitcher mostly for July, the month in which he put up his worst statistics. After being transferred back to the bullpen, he finished off the year with 2.92 August ERA in seven appearances.

Julio DePaula- RP

DePaula was one of the more dominating relief pitchers in the Florida State League in 2005, posting a 2.24 ERA in 36 appearances. He was used in many ways, from closing games, to working three innings at a time. He won four games, saved four more, and held the opposition to a .226 batting average. He was untouchable in June, appearing in five games, and putting together a 0.00 ERA. That month, he held the opposition to a .143 batting average, and also saved one game.

Jan Granado- RP

Granado pitched so well to open the 2005 season, that the Twins promoted him to Double-A New Britain in May. Although he struggled at the Double-A level, Granado was a beast out of the Fort Myers bullpen. He appeared in 25 games for the Miracle, made two starts, and finished the year with a 2.92 ERA. He could prove to be a lefty specialist as he moves up in the organization, judging by his 0.63 ERA against lefties in the Florida State League. He will probably begin the 2006 season back in New Britain.

Joshua Gray- P

Gray was used as mostly a middle reliever in 2005, but made three starts along the way. He was part of a bullpen that was considered the best in the Florida State League, and he at 25-years old, should finally make his mark in Double-A next season. In his 32 appearances, he posted a 3.34 ERA, and finished the year with a 1-3 record. He worked 62 innings, striking out 49 batters, and held the opposition to a .254 batting average. He is a big lefty, and should play a big role in the New Britain Rock Cats success in 2006.

Adam Harben- SP

Adam Harben's 2005 season can be summed up in one word: dominating. He was the best pitcher on the Miracle staff this past season, and was arguably the best in the entire Florida State League. He was twice named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week, and finished fourth in the league in ERA. He also tied for third in complete games, and anchored a Fort Myers pitching staff that finished first in the league with a 3.35 ERA. He is one of the top young pitchers in the Twins' organization, and should be a main piece to the New Britain puzzle in 2006.

Justin Jones- SP

Jones continued to get better as the season went on, as he continues to etch his name in the Twins' top prospect list. This past season was sort of a breakout season for Jones, as he began silencing the critics who have been bashing him since the trade. He finished the season with a 3.01 ERA in 13 starts, and posted a 7-3 record. In his 77.2 innings of work, the lefty struck out 54 batters, and finished the year with two complete games. He will join Harben in the Rock Cats rotation in 2006, as he continues to impress the Twins scouts.

Jay Sawatski- RP

Sawatski was used exclusively out of the bullpen in 2005, appearing in 43 games for the Miracle. He finished the year with a 3.94 ERA, and struck out 50 batters in 61.2 innings. For most of the season, he was used by the Miracle to close out games, and actually finished the season with 13 saves. He does not have your typical closer stuff, and will probably move to a set-up role in 2006. Oddly enough, the left-hander had trouble facing lefties in 2005, posting a 5.68 ERA against them. Against righties, he had a 3.16 ERA, and had 37 of his 50 strikeouts.

Chris Schutt- RP

Another huge part of the Miracle bullpen, Schutt appeared in 38 games for Fort Myers in 2005. He started three games, but it was his work out of the bullpen that made him extremely valuable. He finished 16 games for the Miracle, held the opposition to a .240 batting average, and struck out 70 batters in 66.2 innings of work. Actually, from May on he was almost unhittable, posting a 1.38 ERA in June, a 2.13 ERA in July, a 1.98 ERA in August, and finished off the year with a 0.00 ERA in September.

Anthony Swarzak- SP

For those of you who have been keeping track, we already talked about Swarzak when we did our Beloit Pitching Prospect Review. But, since he made ten starts in the Florida State League, we must talk a little bit about his Fort Myers season. He was 3-4 for the Miracle after being called up in mid-July. After starting off with an 0-3 record in his first six starts, Swarzak settled down, and ended up winning three of his last four starts. His best start was his first win, a game in which he threw seven shutout innings, struck out eight, and failed to yield a walk.

Scott Tyler- SP

The Twins said sayonara to Tyler in the Luis Castillo trade, but he did make 23 starts for the Miracle in 2005, so he has to be here. He had an up-and-down year in 2005, finishing with a 7-8 record, but did end the season with a decent ERA of 3.95. One blemish on his record is the fact he led the league in home runs allowed with 18, but that was pretty much it. He was second on the team with 109 strikeouts, and held the opposition to a .245 batting average.

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