FanPost

Who IS Tommy Milone?

This pitcher for the Nationals has gotten virtually no coverage by major prospect publications (with the exception of John, who gave him a C at the start of the year after flirting with raising his grade as high as a B-), in large part due to his stuff being, frankly, quite mediocre. The quality of his stuff, however, doesn't seem at all to accord with his production.

For his first two years in the minors, his stats were about what you'd expect from a lefty with good control but unimpressive stuff. In 2010, though, at age 23 when he was promoted to AA, he started showing an ability to strike batters out along with almost never giving up a walk. It was at that point, when he showed a K/9 ratio approaching 9, and a K/BB ratio approaching 7, that John started talking about a higher grade, but ultimately, his unimpressive stuff kept him at a C. Interestingly, though, this year his stats have gotten even better. In AAA, over his first 63.1 IP, his K/9 ratio has crossed 9 (9.66) and his K/BB is a ludicrous 17.0, and his FIP is an astonishing 2.06. For comparison's sake, his FIP is almost a quarter of a point better than anybody else in the league, and over a half point better than Julio Teheran's. Nobody comes within a multiple of 2 of his K/BB. Now, quite clearly he doesn't have the upside of Teheran, and quite clearly he is not as good of a pitching prospect. But it also seems like he might be better than your typical C prospect. I know that there are often pitchers with excellent control who have excellent stats in the minors, but they tend to collapse by AA, let alone AAA. Are there examples of other pitchers without good stuff who had terrific K rates in the upper minors (at a reasonable age level)? What was their success (or lack thereof) like in the majors? Basically, my question is this; who IS Tommy Milone?
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