Prospect of the Day: Michael Pineda
Named this week as Seattle's fifth starter, Mariners prospect Michael Pineda won the job honestly with a 2.12 ERA and a 15/6 K/BB ratio in 17 spring training innings. He posted a 4.76 ERA in 62 Triple-A innings last year, but with an excellent 76/17 K/BB ratio and raves from scouts regarding his 92-98 MPH fastball and strong slider. His biggest weakness has been an erratic changeup but he's made a lot of progress with it. Like all young pitchers, Pineda carries risk, but he has the upside of a genuine ace. The main weakness in his profile is a a sore elbow that cost him half ot the 2009 season, but he didn't have an ill-effects last year, increasing his velocity as a matter of fact, and has thrown great this spring. On my pre-season list, I ranked Pineda as the Number Five pitching prospect in baseball, with a Grade A rating.