2004 Tampa Yankees Pitching Prospect Review

PinstripesPlus looks at the peripherals stats of the Tampa Yankee pitchers to project development. We will look at the guys who pitched a minimum of 40 innings for Battle Creek and did not accrue 50 or more innings at Trenton. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Juan De Leon - RHP

Acquired from Houston in the Mike Lamb trade after the Yankees traded for Alex Rodriguez, De Leon was signed by the Astros as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic. After pitching really well for Houston's South Atlantic affiliate in 2003 (2-1, 1.83 ERA), De Leon was one of Tampa's most effective right-handed relievers in 2004. As was the case with most of the Tampa pitchers, he walked a few too many batters but has the stuff to be a very good relief pitching prospect. De Leon reminds some scouts of former Yankee farmhand Yhency Brazoban. He's earned a spot in the Trenton bullpen next season.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

2.93

61.1

1.29

3.67

10.7

0.88

.230



Matt DeSalvo - RHP

An undrafted free-agent signing, DeSalvo had been nothing short of amazing until an injury derailed his season in 2004 so his Trenton numbers get a pass. His peripheral stats at Tampa were awfully impressive, going 6-3 with a 1.43 ERA in 13 starts and keeping Florida State League hitters to a paltry .177 batting average. All DeSalvo needs to do is duplicate the success he's had at the lower levels in the higher levels and he'll make that leap into elite prospect status. He's ticketed for the Trenton rotation in 2005.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Trenton

6.59

27.1

1.35

3.29

7.9

0.99

.262

A

Tampa

1.43

75.1

1.04

3.58

9.56

0.18

.177



Charlie Isaacson - RHP

Drafted in the 29th round of the 2003 draft out of the University of Arkansas, Isaacson has been nothing but steady throughout his minor league career with the Yankees. With a career ERA of 3.06 in 95 games, Isaacson is solid across the board. He walked a few too many batter in Tampa this season (38 in 88 innings) which is uncharacteristic for him. Isaacson will return to Trenton for a third straight year in 2005 to begin the year but all needs to do is show the same success there to earn a quick promotion to AAA-Columbus.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Trenton

3.18

17.0

1.47

2.12

6.35

0.53

.292

A

Tampa

3.55

88.2

1.29

3.86

8.12

0.61

.240



Ben Julianel - LHP

Acquired from St. Louis along with Justin Pope in the Sterling Hitchcock trade, Julianel was drafted by the Cardinals in the 12th round of the 2001 draft out of San Diego State University. He has shown great success coming out of the bullpen as a left-handed specialist and has averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings for his entire minor league career thus far and left-handed batters hit just .135 off of him this past season. Julianel has a bright future in the Yankees organization and is a lock for the Trenton bullpen to start the 2005 season after getting in six relief appearances for the Thunder this year and after more seasoning in the Arizona Fall League.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

2.58

59.1

1.28

3.64

10.6

0.30

.225



Jeff Karstens - RHP
Drafted in the 19th round of the 2003 draft out of Texas Tech University, Karstens made the leap from the NY-Penn League in 2003 to the Florida State League in 2004. He showed he could handle skipping a level and had some of the best control among the Tampa pitchers this past year. Karstens posted an impressive 3.74 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 starts for Tampa. He's going to have to cut down on the amount of hits he allows and learn to mix his pitches a little bit better as he progresses through the system. Karstens proved enough though to be in the Trenton rotation mix in 2005.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

4.02

138.2

1.31

2.01

7.53

0.71

.284



Jeremy King - RHP

Drafted in the 6th round of the 2000 draft out of high school, King has been coming along slowly in his development. King, used primarily as a starter prior to this season, was shifted to the Tampa bullpen in 2004 and pitched fairly well in his new role. He still walks too many batters (28 in 61 1/3 innings) but has learned how to keep the hitter off balance. His peripherals are very solid and even got called up to Trenton and got in two appearances with the Thunder. Pitching in his fifth season in the Yankees organization this past season, King will only turn 23 in November so he is still on track. He'll be an important part of the Trenton bullpen in 2005.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

3.65

61.2

1.31

4.09

8.76

0.29

.225



Edwardo Sierra - RHP
Acquired from the Oakland A's along with J.T. Stotts for Chris Hammond, Sierra was a starting pitcher in the A's farm system. Sierra was a free-agent signing by the A's out of the Dominican Republic and has always struggled with his control despite having good stuff. There's a lot to be excited about when you see his 28 saves for Tampa this season. But a closer look at the peripheral numbers shows this guy walks the park and that will not serve him well as he gets to the higher levels. A 1.27 strikeout-to-walk ratio is a rare stat to find among any of the successful closers. He'll have to work on his control if he's going to make that leap into "legit" prospect status.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

3.33

48.2

1.83

8.32

10.5

0.37

.232



Jon Skaggs - RHP
The Yankees' first round draft pick in the 2001 draft out of Rice University, Skaggs missed the better part of two seasons after elbow surgery before making his professional debut with Battle Creek in 2003. His 2003 season was a wash as Skaggs was just getting accustomed to pitching in live games again. This past season Skaggs showed some of the promise that made him a first round selection, holding opposing Florida State League batters to a .235 average. But was more impressive was the fact that it appears his elbow is just fine as he lead the Tampa staff in innings pitched with over 162 innings. Still, Skaggs will be 27 years old come next season and time is running out for him to salvage what looked like a promising career. Expect Skaggs to be challenged in AA-Trenton next season with a possible quick call-up to AAA-Columbus if he shows some success.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

3.87

162.2

1.30

3.87

6.42

0.61

.235



Jose Valdez - RHP

Valdez has the "stuff" to be a top-notch pitcher but hasn't been able to put it all together. His peripherals are okay, but he still has a problem giving up too many hits as indicated by the .272 average opposing Florida State League batters hit off of him this past season. Despite the average, Valdez was quite solid. With the influx of young arms making their way into A-ball, Valdez will most certainly be challenged and sent to Trenton to be an important part of the Thunder rotation.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

4.27

111.2

1.38

3.06

6.13

0.56

.272



Steven White - RHP

Drafted in the 4th round of the 2003 draft out of Baylor University, White signed late and did not make his professional debut with the Yankees until this season with Battle Creek. White did not disappoint in his first season of pro ball, making it all the way to high-A ball with Tampa. White's success is predicated on keeping the hitters guessing. And he certainly does that as the Midwest League and Florida State League hitters had little success off of him in 2004. If there's one negative about White's peripherals, it's his strikeout-to-walk ratio: 2.3. It will be interesting to see what the Yankees have planned for White next season. With barely over 100 professional innings, White could use some more seasoning at Tampa to work on his control before being shipped to AA.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

A

Tampa

2.56

59.2

1.17

2.87

6.64

0.60

.232

A

Battle Creek

2.65

57.2

1.08

4.06

8.74

0.62

.183



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