2007 Top 50 Pitchers in Review

This is the Top 50 pitchers list from LAST YEAR.. I'm reviewing it to see how I did. The 2008 list is, of course, in the 2008 Baseball Prospect Book available only at Johnsickels.net. I am fine-tuning the list, and it will be sent to everyone who orders the book and provides a valid email address this week.

Top 50 Pitching Prospects for 2007

1) Philip Hughes, RHP, New York Yankees
     Went 5-3, 4.46 in 73 innings for the Yankees, 58/29 K/BB. Assuming good health, he has a very very bright future.

2) Matt Garza, RHP, Minnesota Twins
     Went 5-7, 3.69 with a 67/32 K/BB in 83 innings for the Twins. Now traded to Tampa Bay. Like Hughes, assuming he stays healthy he should be really good.

3) Yovani Gallardo, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
     Went 9-5, 3.67 with a 101/37 K/BB in 110 innings for the Brewers. Nothing to complain about here, he's really good, too.

4) Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds
    Undone by command problems in his major league trial, with a 28/28 K/BB in 45 innings. It all boils down to command & health. A bright future.

5) Tim Lincecum, RHP, San Francisco Giants
     7-5, 4.00 in 146 innings with the Giants, 150/65 K/BB. Outstanding stuff, will thrive if command improves a bit more.

6) Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland Indians
     4.82 ERA with 68/21 K/BB in 65 innings for Triple-A Buffalo, undone by injuries. Health is obviously the key here.

7) Andrew Miller, LHP, Detroit Tigers
     5.63 ERA with 56/39 K/BB in 64 innings. Traded to Florida. He's capable of much better than this.

8) Mike Pelfrey, RHP, New York Mets
     5.57 ERA with 45/39 K/BB in 73 innings. Command and his breaking ball remain issues. Needs a change of scenery.

9) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
     Pitched brilliantly in the Midwest League, 2.77 ERA with 134/50 K/BB in 97 innings, then held his own in Double-A. Needs better control but tremendous stuff stands out.

10) Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City Royals
     Erratic season in Double-A and Triple-A, went 4-9, with 4.86 ERA but a 138/47 K/BB. Gave up 163 hits. More hittable than expected but showed good control.

11) Eric Hurley, RHP, Texas Rangers
      Combined to go 11-9, 4.00 between Double-A and Triple-A, with 135/55 K/BB in 162 innings. Still a bright future if fly ball tendencies don't kill him in Texas.

12) Scott Elbert, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
      Missed season with labrum injury.

13) Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Cleveland Indians
      Went 12-7, 4.37 with 123/68 K/BB in 146 innings for Double-A Akron. Not as good as anticipated, due to occasional command troubles.

14) John Danks, LHP, Chicago White Sox
      Went 6-13, 5.50 with 109/54 K/BB in 139 innings for the White Sox. Paid the price for being rushed. Should improve if he stays healthy and confident.

15) Jason Hirsh, RHP, Colorado Rockies
      Went 5-7, 4.81 with 75/48 K/BB in 112 innings for the Rockies. Should improve if he stays healthy and confident.

16) Phil Humber, RHP, New York Mets
      Went 11-9, 4.27 with a 120/44 K/BB in 139 innings for Triple-A New Orleans. Developing into an inning-eater, not an ace.

17) Franklin Morales, LHP, Colorado Rockies
      Went 5-4, 3.51 with 93/58 K/BB in 113 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. Looked very good in major league trial, with electric stuff from left side.

18) Jacob McGee, LHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
       Combined 8-6, 3.15 with 175/52 K/BB in 140 innings between Class A Vero Beach and Double-A Montgomery. Solidified status as one of top southpaws in the minors.

19) Michael Bowden, RHP, Boston Red Sox
      Blitzed the Cal League, then went 8-6, 4.28 in 19 starts for Double-A Portland, combined K/BB of 128/41 in 143 innings. A good year, but was overshadowed by others.

20) Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston Red Sox
      Pushed past organization-mate Bowden, destroyed the minors and threw a no-hitter in the Show. Currently the best pitching prospects in baseball.

21) Matt Albers, RHP, Houston Astros
       Went 4-11, 5.86 with the Astros with a 71/50 K/BB in 111 innings. Good stuff, command a major problem.

22) Brandon Morrow, RHP, Seattle Mariners
      Unexpectedly made Mariners bullpen in spring training, posted 4.12 ERA in 60 games but with 66/50 K/BB in 63 innings. Great stuff, but command is shaky.

23) Wade Davis, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
       Combined to go 10-3, 2.50 with 169/51 K/BB in 158 innings between Vero Beach and Montgomery. A very fine prospect, one of many in the pitching-rich Tampa Bay system.

24) Sean West, LHP, Florida Marlins
      Season lost to labrum surgery.

25) Humberto Sanchez, RHP, New York Yankees
      Blew out elbow, had Tommy John surgery.

26) Jeff Niemann, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
      Went 12-6, 3.98 with 123/46 K/BB in 131 innings for Triple-A Durham. Should be a good inning-eater.

27) Nick Adenhart, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
      Went 10-8, 3.65 with 116/65 K/BB in 153 innings for Double-A Arkansas. Should be a good inning-eater.

28) Craig Hansen, RHP, Boston Red Sox
       3.86 ERA with 48/32 K/BB in 51 innings for Triple-A Pawtucket. Command issues a big problem here, but he gets a ton of ground balls and still has a chance to be special.

29) Donald Veal, LHP, Chicago Cubs
      Went 8-10, 4.97 with 131/73 K/BB in 130 innings for Double-A Tennessee. Mechanical breakdown hurt his command. Still intriguing.

30) Troy Patton, LHP, Houston Astros
      Went 10-8, 3.51 with 94/44 K/BB in 151 innings between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Round Rock. A solid prospect but probably won't turn into an ace.

31) Carlos Carrasco, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies
       Pitched great in A-ball, but command fell apart after promotion to Double-A, as shown by weak 49/46 K/BB in 70 innings for Reading. Still promising in the long run.

32) Brandon Erbe, RHP, Baltimore Orioles
      Was horrible in the Carolina League due to control problems, posted 6.26 ERA with 111/62 K/BB in 119 innings. Should rebound if healthy.

33) Kevin Slowey, RHP, Minnesota Twins
     Lights-out in Triple-A (1.89 ERA in 20 starts) but needed time to adjust to the majors. If he can get the home runs under control, could be the new Brad Radke.

34) Brad Lincoln, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
     Blew out elbow, had Tommy John surgery.

35) Tyler Clippard, RHP, New York Yankees
       Went 6-5, 4.50 with 83/47 K/BB combined between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton. Component marks slipped, and was probably overrated at this slot on the list.

36) Mitch Talbot, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays
      Horrible start hurt his numbers, but finished with a 13-9, 4.53 mark and a 124/59 K/BB in 161 innings for AAA Durham. Still a decent prospect.

37) Glen Perkins, LHP, Minnesota Twins
      Limited to 29 innings in the majors by injuries, but pitched well (3.14 ERA). Rehab work in the minors resulted in 6.52 ERA in 19 innings. A good pitcher if healthy.

38) Sean Gallagher, RHP, Chicago Cubs
      Went 10-3, 3.10 with 91/37 K/BB in 102 innings between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. A solid inning-eater type.

39) Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Chicago White Sox
       Posted 3.18 ERA with 185/57 K/BB in 150 innings for Double-A Birmingham, erasing doubts following erratic '06 campaign.

40) Edinson Volquez, RHP, Texas Rangers
      Rebuilt his mechanics, went 14-6, 3.67 with 186/60 K/BB in 145 minor league innings. Great stuff, all boils down to command, just like before.

41) Matt Harrison, LHP, Atlanta Braves
      Went 5-7, 3.39 with 78/34 K/BB in 117 innings. Traded to Rangers, had some shoulder trouble but was healthy by the Arizona Fall League.

42) Chris Volstad, RHP, Florida Marlins
     Went 12-11, 4.16 with 118/47 K/BB in 169 innings between Class A Jupiter and Double-A Carolina. Remains highly projectable.

43) Will Inman, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
      Traded to Padres. Combined mark of 8-11, 3.28 for three minor league teams with 180/58 K/BB in 159 innings. Some Double-A struggles raise doubts, but still very young.

44) Jon Meloan, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
      Top closer prospect posted 2.03 ERA and 91/27 K/BB in 67 innings with 20 saves in the minors. Savage slider and good fastball stand out.

45) Garrett Olson, LHP, Baltimore Orioles
      Hammered in the majors, but very effective in Triple-A, 3.16 ERA with 120/39 K/BB for Norfolk. Will get more chances in the Show.

46) Cesar Carrillo, RHP, San Diego Padres
      Blew out elbow, had Tommy John surgery.

47) Jimmy Barthmaier, RHP, Houston Astros
       He was horrible in Double-A, 6.20 ERA with 73/44 K/BB in 90 innings, 116 hits. Was clobbered in the Arizona Fall League, too. Have to wonder if he's healthy.

48) Joey Devine, RHP, Atlanta Braves
      1.89 ERA with 78/19 K/BB in 57 innings, 20 saves between Double-A and Triple-A. Can still be a major league closer if command and confidence hold up.

49) Pat Neshek, RHP, Minnesota Twins
     Excellent year in the Minnesota bullpen.

50) Anthony Swarzak, RHP, Minnesota Twins
     Season clouded by drug suspension, but he pitched well, with 3.23 ERA and 76/23 K/BB in 86 Double-A innings.

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