Splitsville: Patrick Neshek v1.1

"Splitsville" is a series of articles on the Twins' prospects that we'll be doing throughout their minor league careers. In version one/chapter one (v1.1) of Patrick Neshek, we'll look how he did against right-handed batters as opposed to lefties, how he performed in the late innings, and more.

Home Sweet Home: Neshek was almost unhittable at New Britain Stadium in 2005, finishing with a perfect 2-0 record, and 11 saves. At home, he posted an ERA of 1.85 in 27 games, and struck out 42 batters in 39 innings of work. Against him, batters batted only .237, and he walked only 12 all season long.

While he was extremely dominant at home, he also pitched well on the road. In 28 road appearances, Neshek posted a 2.49 ERA, but he suffered all four of his losses. However, batters had a tougher time against Neshek when he pitched on the road, as he held them to a .214 batting average. Neshek gets it done no matter where he is, and that is a quality that makes him one of the best pitching prospects in the organization.

Kill Righty: When a right-handed batter gets into the batters box against Neshek, the case is pretty much closed. He is as dominant a pitcher against righties as anyone in the organization, and he showed as much in 2005. Against him, batters hit only .193, and he posted an ERA of 1.18. In 53.1 innings of work against righties, Neshek struck out 67 batters, while walking only eight.

Against lefties, Neshek finished the year with a 4.03 ERA, a number that worries some scouts. In order to be an effective closer, the player needs to be able to get out batters from each side of the plate. If Neshek does not learn to do this, he may end up as just a right-handed specialist out of the bullpen.

June Swoon: Neshek had his worst month of the 2005 season during June, when he posted his only monthly ERA over 3.00. During that month, Neshek appeared in ten games for the Rock Cats, and finished the month with a 3.78 ERA. His second highest monthly ERA for the season was 2.70, over a point higher. He also let up his highest batting average against, and picked up two of his four season losses.

This is not a worrisome statistic because he pitched well before June, and after June. In fact, he had his two best months of the season in July and August. However, this statistic shows that he was human during the 2005 season. Had it not been for June, he would have finished with an ERA under 2.00.

Close It Out: Neshek was the most dominating pitcher in the Eastern League in the ninth inning in 2005, posting a 1.45 ERA in 43.1 innings of work. Batters hit only .230 against him, and he walked only nine the entire season. In addition, he struck out 49 batters, and picked up 24 saves. If the Rock Cats were up in the ninth inning, and Neshek was seen coming from the bullpen, the game was usually over.

In comparison, Neshek struggled a bit in the eighth inning in 2005. He had an ERA of 3.30 in 30 innings of work, and walked ten. This leads to the notion that he may only be good for one inning, but that would be false. In fact, Neshek picked up two, or three inning saves throughout the season. And really, all that matters is the fact he can nail it down in the ninth just as well as anyone.

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