Scouting Twin Prospect #21: Kyle Edlich

Kyle Edlich was signed by Howard Norsetter out of Australia, and this past season, made his professional debut. He seems to have the intangibles that should take him far within the organization, and he his age gives him all the time in the world to work on his faults. He will be 20 years old when the 2006 season kicks off, and should begin the year in extended spring training, before joining the Elizabethton Twins.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kyle Edlich
Position: Starting Pitcher
DOB: March 9, 1986
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 180
Bats: Right
Throws: Left

Kyle Edlich is a very young pitcher, who showed tremendous promise during his first season of professional baseball in 2005. Scouted by International scout Howard Norsetter, Edlich is from Australia, and signed with the Twins in 2004. For someone who could project to be a number 1 or 2 starter, Edlich was a bargain at 60,000 dollars.

He was originally assigned to the Gulf Coast League, and to say he had a good season would be an understatement. He ended the season as one of four Twins' prospects to lead the league in earned run average, as he finished the year with a 1.70 clip in ten appearances.

The other three prospects to win ERA titles were Scott Baker of the International League, Kyle Aselton of the Midwest League, and Adam Hawes of the Appalachian League.

Making nine starts, Edlich showed the prowess for the strikeout, as he whiffed better than one batter per inning. He also suffered through a scare in 2005, as he was sidelined with a heart problem for two weeks during the middle of the season. While he was required to wear a heart monitor, everything checked out OK, and he was able to return to the GCL staff.

Towards the end of the season, Edlich made two appearances for the Fort Myers Miracle, working exclusively out of the bullpen. His age, and inexperience showed, as he posted a 6.67 ERA to go along with his 0-1 record. Normally a starter, the switch to the pen may have messed with his confidence, as well as the move to playing some of the best player in Minor League baseball in his first season.

Repertoire: Fastball, Curveball, Changeup

Fastball. Edlich does not have overpowering stuff, but somehow managed to strike out better than a batter an inning during his first season of professional baseball in the United States. He is young though, and while his fastball usually tops out at only 90 miles per hour, added strength could bring that number up a few digits. Still, he has decent command of his heater, which is beginning to show late break, and he uses it to his advantage.

Other Pitches. Most scouts have told me that his curveball could become his outpitch as he continues to progress as a pitcher, and that is only going to make his changeup, and fastball that much better. His curveball is an over the top version, and if he can improve on his command, should be one of the better deuces in the organization. The changeup is a work in progress, but it seems to be a pitch that could be relied on in his repertoire in the 2006 season.

Pitching. Edlich is a fierce competitor, and for a kid his age, shows a lot of poise on the mound. There were a few situations last season where he could have just shut down, but he continued to fight and work his way out of trouble. Another thing he shows for a kid his age is his ability to stay cool on the mound. He has tremendous mound presence, and that is something that cannot be taught.

Projection. While some scouts believe he is a middle of the rotation guy, I see him as being a fourth or fifth starter, until he can add some weight and some miles per hour to that fastball. His breaking stuff could be filthy with some work, and if he gets his command straightened out, will then have the potential to be a number 2 or number 3 starter. He is only going to be 20 years old by the time the season starts, so he has a lot of time to develop.

ETA. 2009. They plan to take it slow with Edlich, so I would not plan on seeing him suit up for the Minnesota Twins in the near future. In fact, the only Twins he will be on for a while is the Elizabethton Twins. Still, if he continues to show poise and grit at each level they throw him at, then he will make a steady climb throughout the organization. The Twins system is stock-piled with arms, and Edlich is a great addition to that. I see him staying with Elizabethton this season, and getting a taste of full-season ball in 2007, when he will only be 21 years of age. However, do not count out that the Beloit Snappers may need a starter at some point in the season, and Edlich should be able to take on that challenge with ease.

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