Time for the control artists. This encompasses the entire minor leagues, foreign, domestic, AAA to summer leagues.
Top 5 BB/9 (min 90 IP)
Seth Maness 0.53 (23 yr old RHP, STL, peaked at AA)
Severino Gonzalez 0.58 (19yr old RHP, PHI, peaked at VSL)
Kyle Hendricks 1.10 (22 yr old RHP, TEX, peaked at High A)
Justin Germano 1.11 (29 yr old RHP, CHC, peaked at MLB)
JD Martin 1.18 (29 yr old RHP, MIA, peaked at AAA)
Top 5 BB% (min 90 IP)
Seth Maness 1.5%
Severino Gonzalez 1.7%
JD Martin 3.0%
Kyle Hendricks 3.1%
Justin Germano 3.2%
Top 5 K/BB (min 90 IP)
Severino Gonzalez 14.33
Seth Maness 11.20
Clayton Blackburn 7.94 (19yr old RHP, SF, peaked at A ball)
Kyle Hendricks 6.83
Rafael Montero 5.79 (21 yr old RHP, NYM, peaked at High A)
Maness is in his 2nd pro year and the results this year are very close to last year. He threw 169.2 IP this year between High A and AA, walking only 10 guys. He is a strike machine. He does get knocked around a bit though with an 8.85 H/9, .252 BAA and 0.95 HR/9 and only strikes out 5.94 per 9. John said earlier that he has good breaking pitches but not much velocity and he keeps the ball down. Considering his 1.73 GO/AO ratio, he continued that trend.
Severino Gonzalez was a new name to me since I don't really follow the Dominican or Venezuelan leagues. For his 2 year professional career, Gonzalez has 135.1 IP and 9 walks. Dude knows how to pump strikes in the zone. Looking at his other peripherals, like a 2.33 FIP, 0.70 WHIP, 5.73 H/9, he just dominated the Venezuelan league. His red flags are being 19 in a league full of even younger teenagers. Once he shows what he can do stateside, better evaluation is possible.
Before he was traded in the Ryan Dempster deal, Kyle Hendricks was having an excellent year but seemed to wear down towards the end once he began playing with Chicago's High A affiliate. His control numbers are great but he's only got a 7.5 K/9 and his BABIP was a hair under .300. Other than his ability to limit walks and get a decent number of ground balls (1.46 GO/AO) I don't really see anything in his statistical profile that screams future star.
Justin Germano and JD Martin are the journeymen here. Both have extensive minor league history and have had a shot in the show. Germano is currently installed in the Cubbies rotation after putting up excellent numbers in AAA for Boston. Martin has been stuck in New Orleans, the AAA affiliate for the Miami Marlins.
Clayton Blackburn has received quite a bit of attention this year and deservedly so. In his first full season he racked up 9.8 K/9, struck out 26.9% of batters faced, walked only 3.4% for a 1.23 BB/9, and managed a 2.54 ERA (1.91 FIP) despite a BABIP of .315 and a strand rate of 68.9%. If you can't see a bright future for this kid I hope you have a seeing eye dog.
Rafael Montero was a new name to me as well when I was gathering all this info. After 4 stops last year for the Mets in his first pro season, Montero only made one jump this year from A to High A ball. After his promotion, he became a different pitcher putting up a 9.95 K/9, 1.95 BB/9, 5.09 K/BB, 0.78 GO/AO, .196 BAA line in comparison to the 6.81 K/9, 1.01 BB/9, 6.75 K/BB, 0.57 GO/AO, .223 BAA. His combined 8.11 K/9 (23%) and 1.40 BB/9 (4%) look great but he needs to keep the ball on the ground a bit more. In time his 0.64 GO/AO could bite him in the ass if the older competition in the higher minors can create more contact against him.