New Britain 2007 Recap: The Pitchers

Here are the pitchers who took the mound for the New Britain Rock Cats in 2007. In order to make these reviews, a pitcher had to appear in 13 games or have made 11 starts for the team in 2007. Take a look at some of the arms who will be either back with the team in 2008, or with Rochester.

Brad Baker, Starting Pitcher
Baker split time between Rochester and the Rock Cats in 2007, and has really used as a guy to fill innings. He struggled with both clubs, but is the kind of pitcher who will take the ball every fifth day. He is a very valuable guy to have on the roster because he can start, and he can also fill innings as a long reliever. He is currently a free agent, and I do not believe that he will be back with the Twins organization in 2008.

Tristan Crawford, Relief Pitcher
Like Baker, Crawford is a free agent this off-season, and it remains to be seen if he will be kept or not. Crawford has been one of the better relief pitching prospects in the Twins organization for some time now, but he seems to have peaked a bit. Though he won eight games for the Rock Cats in 2007, he had an earned run average over 5.00, and batters hit close to .300 against him.

Jesse Floyd, Starting Pitcher
Floyd is another guy who is a minor league free agent this season, though I believe the Twins will try to keep him in the system. This guy absolutely eats innings, and actually had two complete games in 2007. Though his earned run average was over 5.00, Floyd notched 23 starts, giving the Rock Cats a rock in the rotation for much of the season.

Joshua Hill, Relief Pitcher
Though 11 of his 16 appearances were starts, Hill is viewed mostly as a long relief prospect. He had a very good season for the Rock Cats in 2007, posting a 4.36 earned run average. I think he is a guy who could be in the bullpen for Rochester next season, because he is good at getting the strikeout, and he mixes his pitches well. If he is not with the Red Wings, look for him to anchor the New Britain bullpen.

Timothy Lahey, Relief Pitcher
Lahey was phenomenal for the Rock Cats in 2007, making the Eastern League All-Star team. Lahey appeared in 50 games for New Britain, notching 13 of his 16 save opportunities. He was counted on to pitch in some of the biggest situations all season long, and did not disappoint, as he finished with a 3.45 earned run average. He will be in Rochester next season, and could get a shot with the big league club late in the season.

Jonathan Martinez, Relief Pitcher
His record and earned run average do not show it, but Martinez had a decent season for New Britain in 2007. The young right-hander, who many believe is one of the top relievers in the organization, held the opposition to a batting average under .250, and nearly struck out a batter per inning. Though he was only 3-6 and had a 4.19 earned run average, Martinez was one of the key members of the New Britain bullpen in 2007.

Frank Mata, Relief Pitcher
Mata really struggled out of the New Britain bullpen in 2007, posting an earned run average of 5.36 in 32 appearances. Batters hit him hard all season, as he had a mark of .327 batting average against. Mata does have good stuff, and it seemed like he did not have confidence on the mound this past season. He is much better than his statistics showed in 2007, though he will likely be back with New Britain in 2008.

Jose Mijares, Relief Pitcher
Mijares is one of the top relief pitching prospects in the Twins organization, and he pitched very well for New Britain last season. The young left-hander appeared in 46 games for the Rock Cats, being worked mostly in late inning situations. He picked up his fair share of saves, and showed why he is considered as having some of the best stuff in the system. He struck out 75 batters in only 61.0 innings of work, and is slated for Rochester next season.

Ryan Mullins, Starting Pitcher
Mullins was outstanding for New Britain after being called up from High-A Fort Myers, as he was one of the main starters for the team down the stretch. He made 14 starts for the team, including one complete game, and had an earned run average under 4.00. He showed pinpoint control, and earned himself a promotion to Rochester at the end of the season. He was recently named to the Rising Stars Classic in the Arizona Fall League.

Danny Powers, Relief Pitcher
It was a very trying season for Powers in the Eastern League, and eventually led to him being released this past week. One of the better relief pitchers in the organization coming into the season, Powers struggled all season long, as batters hit him to the tune of a .313 batting average. He will definitely latch on somewhere else, where he should regain his form.

Jay Sawatski, Relief Pitcher
Sawatski was counted on early and often for the New Britain Rock Cats, and by the end of the season, proved to be a main cog in the Rock Cats bullpen. The right-hander appeared in 31 games for the team, making three starts, and had a respectable 4.50 earned run average. In 2008, Sawatski will likely be with Rochester, and I believe he has earned the chance to at least start the season there.

Anthony Swarzak, Starting Pitcher
After beginning the season struggling, and then being suspended, Swarzak rebounded to regain his status as a top prospect in the Twins organization. Armed with arguably the best arsenal in the Twins farm system, Swarzak dominated the Eastern League down the stretch, and put himself in position to be the staff ace for Rochester next season. Opponents hit only .241 against him this past season, and he was nearly unhittable late in the season.

Kyle Waldrop, Starting Pitcher
After being arguably the best starter in the Florida State League, Waldrop was promoted to Double-A New Britain, where he did struggle at time with Eastern League hitters. Though he made 11 starts, the young right-hander seemed a bit overmatched at times, leading to a bloated earned run average and a high batting average against mark. Still, he is widely regarded as one of the top starting pitching prospects in the organization, and will likely front the New Britain rotation in 2008.

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