Minor League Prospect Note: Ross Stripling, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
One of my favorite players available in the 2012 draft was Texas A&M pitcher Ross Stripling. He had an outstanding season as a junior in 2011, going 14-2, 2.29 ERA with a 113/18 K/BB ratio in 126 innings, with 91 hits allowed. As a senior in '12, his ERA rose to 3.08, but his component ratios remained terrific with a 120/19 K/BB ratio in 126 innings, 105 hits allowed. This included a no-hitter against San Diego State.
(Scouting report below the fold)
His stock rose with scouts this spring, and the Dodgers selected him in the fifth round. He still got a $130,000 bonus, despite his senior status. This was below the slot value of $228,900, but still more money than most seniors got. He's highly intelligent and had a future in business management and graduate school if he wanted one, so he still had some leverage.
Stripling is a 6-3, 190 pound right-hander, born November 23, 1989. He's continued to pitch extremely well in his first looks at pro hitters, pitching 14 innings with an 18/2 K/BB ratio for Ogden in the Pioneer League, allowing 11 hits with a 0.64 ERA. His GO/AO is 2.43. His early statistics match his scouting reports perfectly.
Stripling's velocity is generally average at 88-91, but he works the lower part of the strike zone well and his fastball moves. It also plays up due to a very strong curveball and a solid changeup. His control and command are excellent, and scouts praise his mound presence and intelligence. He repeats his mechanics extremely well, and is a fine overall athlete.
He's too good for the Pioneer League, but it makes sense to be careful with his workload this summer given what how much he's thrown for the Aggies over the last couple of years. I would not be surprised if Stripling rises rapidly through the Dodgers farm system in the next year or two. He could be an inning-eating strike machine at the major league level.