Prospect of the Day: Anthony Bass, RHP, San Diego Padres
Needing a spot starter on Monday, June 13th, the Padres turned to rookie right-hander Anthony Bass. He allowed one run in five innings in his major league debut, fanning one but showing some command issues with four walks. He was sent back to the minors after his start, but we should see him again later this year and in 2012.
Bass was a fifth round pick in 2008 out of Wayne State University in Michigan. He had a solid year in the Midwest League in 2009, then followed that up by leading the high-offense California League with a 3.13 ERA in 2010, along with a 109/20 K/BB in 132 innings. This year he was 6-2, 3.53 in 11 starts for Double-A San Antonio, with a 63/17 K/BB in 69 innings and 62 hits allowed. He also made one start for Triple-A Tucson, allowing one run on six hits in five innings, fanning three. In his minor league career, Bass has a 29-16 record, 2.96 ERA with a 305/93 K/BB in 365 innings.
Bass's fastball can hit 95-96 MPH at his best but he works more commonly at 90-93. He mixes in a cut fastball and a slider. In the minors he has shown a decent changeup, although he didn't use it much in his first major league outing according to both pitch f/x and people who saw the game. He'll need to use the changeup more if he remains a starter. Indeed, many scouts feel that Bass fits best as a relief pitcher, given that his secondary stuff can be inconsistent. However, he's shown a valuable ability to throw strikes and eat innings in the minors, and the Padres still believe he can be a fourth starter if he can bring that command to the majors.
Although Bass isn't going to develop into an ace rotation anchor, he was a nice find as a fifth round pick from a cold-weather college program. I gave him a Grade C in the 2011 Baseball Prospect Book, but his performance in Double-A has been strong enough that the rating looks too low now.