Update on Rice University Pitchers in Pro Baseball
The arrival of Tony Cingrani in the major leagues got me thinking about Rice University pitchers again.
Back in March of 2011, I wrote this article looking at the history of pitchers drafted out of Rice from 1990 through 2010.
It was not an impressive list, filled with injured pitchers and disappointments. At the time, the only two Rice products who had done anything truly positive in the majors were David Aardsma and Jeff Niemann, although both broke down again after I wrote the article. The White Sox got a good season out of Phil Humber in '11, before he broke down again this year.
Here is an update on Rice pitchers drafted in 2011 and 2012 and what they have done so far.
Andrew Benak, RHP, Yankees: Drafted in the 14th round in 2012. Posted a 3.98 ERA with a 35/24 K/BB in 61 innings for Staten Island in the New York-Penn League. Throws strikes but not overpowering, 88-92 fastball, an organization arm at this point.
J.T. Chargois, RHP, Twins: Drafted in the second round in 2012. Very effective in rookie ball, posting a 1.69 ERA with a 22/5 K/BB ratio in 16 innings for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League, saving five games. He also posted a tremendous 7.00 GO/AO, and is expected to move through the farm system quickly as a relief option. A solid prospect.
Tony Cingrani, LHP, Reds: Drafted in the third round in 2011. Pick of the litter so far, with an outstanding 2012 campaign under his belt. Posted a 1.73 ERA with a 172/52 K/BB in 146 innings with only 98 hits allowed between High-A and Double-A, then threw five strong innings in the majors. His long-term role is uncertain but he's been undeniably successful so far.
Tyler Duffey, RHP, Twins: Drafted in the fifth round in 2012. Like teammate Chargois, Duffey blew through the Appy League for Elizabethton with a 1.42 ERA and a 27/2 K/BB in 19 innings, simply too advanced for this level of competition. Like Chargois, he could move quickly through the system.
Abel Gonzales, LHP, Royals: Drafted in the 33rd round in 2011, posted a 4.66 ERA with a 25/5 K/BB in 29 innings for Burlington in the Appy League, 33 hits. Didn't pitch in 2012.
Matthew Reckling, RHP, Dodgers: Drafted in the 14th round in 2012. Threw 2/3 of an inning on July 8th, then was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Scouts have worried that his delivery causes elbow stress.
Taylor Wall, LHP, Brewers: Drafted in the 22nd round in 2012. Posted a 3.98 ERA with a 40/20 K/BB in 54 innings for Helena in the Pioneer League, 65 hits allowed, 2.33 GO/AO. Strong reverse platoon split makes LOOGY use at higher levels problematic.
Cingrani looks like the best bet to make an impact, with the pair of relievers drafted by the Twins following behind.