AA Pitching Prospect Review

The Trenton Thunder compiled a 70-71 record in 2003 with a very good offense and a not so good pitching staff. This article will review the pitching prospects that played for the Thunder and did not amass a minimum of 20 innings at a higher level this season.

Yhency Brazoban – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

7.81

27.2

1.70

4.55

6.18

1.63

A

Tampa

2.83

28.2

1.36

3.77

10.67

0.00



It was a tale of two seasons for Brazoban this year. After amassing 15 saves for A-Tampa, Yhency Brazoban enjoyed little success at the AA level for Trenton. Yhency's peripherals went up in every category, but the biggest difference was the home runs allowed. After not allowing a single HR for Tampa, he served up five roundtrippers for the Thunder. A converted outfielder, Yhency still has the makeup to turn it around in 2004. His solid numbers for Tampa suggest a little more seasoning at AA should do the trick.

Eddie Candelario – SP/RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

4.52

93.2

1.51

4.52

6.63

0.86



A long reliever/spot starter, Candelario put up pedestrian type numbers in 2003. His strikeout to walk ratio isn't all that great and you would like the see the home runs cut down a bit before you get too excited about this right-handed pitching prospect. At 24 years old, Candelario is probably slated for a return to Trenton next season.

Rik Currier – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

2.60

34.2

1.07

3.89

8.57

0.26

A

Tampa

1.95

73.2

1.17

3.67

10.51

0.12



Currier had a phenomenal year for both the Tampa Yankees and the Trenton Thunder. His keys to success? Keeping runners off base and keeping the ball in the park. In 108 1/3 combined innings pitched this season, he allowed just two home runs, or a HR/9 ratio of 0.12!! Selected in the sixth round of the 2001 draft, Currier's stats were off-the-charts fantastic. It would not be surprising for Currier to break in with Columbus to start the 2004 season.

David Glick – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

5.31

40.2

2.02

5.31

6.86

0.66



What else is their to say about a LHP pitcher that posted terrible peripheral numbers in a league that he's way too old for? Glick, who turns 28 in April, is a career minor leaguer and does not figure into the Yankees plans.

Brad Halsey – SP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

4.93

91.1

1.59

2.17

7.69

0.39

A

Tampa

3.43

84

1.31

1.50

6.00

0.32



Thank God Halsey walks hardly any batters (22 walks this season), or else his ERA and WHIP ratios at Trenton would have been even more brutal than what they were. After going 10-4 for Tampa and posting really good peripheral numbers, the left-hander had problems adjusting to AA hitters. Halsey, a 22-year old selected in the eighth round of the 2002 draft, has plenty of time to find his groove at Trenton in 2004.

Charlie Isaacson – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

6.12

25

1.92

3.96

5.40

1.08

A

Tampa

2.53

10.2

1.31

4.22

3.38

0.00

A

Battle Creek

0.54

33.1

0.93

3.51

8.91

0.00



A 29th-round draft pick in the 2002 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Isaacson did tremendously well on his way to Trenton. The problem was he had trouble adjusting to AA hitting once he got there. Isaacson did not allow one home run in 34 innings prior to Trenton, but allowed three in 14 relief appearances for the Thunder. Expect Isaacson to get a little more seasoning at AA to start 2004 before a mid-season call up to Columbus.

Jeff Kenard – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

3.86

18.2

1.61

6.75

3.86

0.96

A

Tampa

2.15

54.1

1.16

4.80

5.63

0.00



If Kenard is going to be be a successful relief pitcher in the Majors someday, he has to stop giving up the free pass. It's amazing his ERA has been so good despite the propensity for the walk. In fact, Kenard allowed almost more walks than hits in his 54+ innings at Tampa (29 walks, 34 hits)...opposing batters hit just .186 off Kenard at Tampa last season. Expect Kenard to work on his control some more at Trenton next year.

Charlie Manning – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

6.26

46

1.91

6.85

6.80

0.20

A

Tampa

3.45

31.1

1.34

4.31

7.18

0.57



Charlie Manning made six starts for Tampa before being called up to Trenton where he was used almost exclusively as a reliever. Manning had a rough go of it last year, walking one more batter than striking out. The jury is still out on Charlie.

Javier Ortiz – SP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

5.76

150

1.68

4.26

5.46

0.66



Ortiz typified the plight of the Trenton Thunder...NO pitching! Ortiz led the Trenton staff in starts with 26, and as his peripheral numbers show, that might not have been a good idea. Ortiz's K/BB ratio was terrible in 2003 as was his WHIP ratio, ERA, etc, etc. Just turning 24 this fall, Ortiz has plenty of time to turn things around. Expect another year at Trenton in 2004.

Ramon Ramirez – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AAA

Columbus

4.50

6

1.00

1.5

7.50

1.50

AA

Trenton

1.69

21.1

1.22

3.38

8.86

1.27

A

Tampa

5.21

74.1

1.45

2.42

8.48

0.85



Ramirez pitched quite well for the Thunder in limited action last year, posting solid numbers in WHIP ratio and BB/SO ratio. Ramirez's big problem is he can not seem to keep the ball in the park, allowing 11 home runs combined in his three stops. Despite his success at Trenton and his call-up to Columbus, expect Ramirez to return to Trenton to begin the 2004 campaign. He needs to limit opposing hitters' BA against him - hitters hit .291 off of Ramirez at Tampa.

Adam Roller – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

2.90

40.1

1.59

3.35

8.03

0.45



Roller and Shepard shared the closing duties for the Thunder this past year with Roller accumulating 10 saves. At first glance, Roller's peripheral numbers appear to be fantastic, and they are. But Roller gives up a few too many hits for a closer. Opposing batters hit .295 off of him and that won't cut it. He should get a little more time at AA next year.

David Shepard – RP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AAA

Columbus

5.74

15.2

1.40

1.72

8.04

1.72

AA

Trenton

2.82

67

1.09

2.42

8.73

0.94



Like Ramirez, Shepard's main problem is keeping the ball in the park. Shepard walks very few batters and he keeps hitters at bay (opposing batters hit just .220 off him at AA this year). But one only has to look at the 7 bombs Shepard allowed this year to know that this has to stop if Shepard has any plans on being a future closer. Shepard should be working out his kinks at AAA next year.

Chien-Ming Wang – SP

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

AA

Trenton

4.65

122

1.43

2.36

6.20

0.52



The Taiwanese right-hander had a decent year at AA after making the jump from Staten Island. Wang went 7-6 in 21 starts for the Thunder despite the fact opposing batters hit .297 off him this past year. All of his number could use a little more work but check out Wang's walk rate...very nice! Expect Wang, who will just turn 24 to start the 2004 season, to head back to Trenton next year.

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