Now that the regular season has ended, its time for a little fun with the leaderboards. I've noticed a strong lean towards the sabermetrics here so I'll stick with those numbers and start with the sexiest of all stats, K/9 and K%
Top 3 K/9 (min 40 IP)
Rob Wort 15.03 in 56.2 IP (23 yr old RHP, WAS, peaked at High A)
John Cornely 14.42 in 58.2 IP (23 yr old RHP, ATL, peaked at High A)
Jack Leathersich 14.13 in 72 IP (21 yr old LHP, NYM, peaked at High A)
I promise I looked outside the Carolina, Cal and Florida State Leagues. Wort has some warts (couldn't help myself) in his profile. He's repeating High A and is already in his 4th pro season. His previous K/9 rates were solid (between 9-12 K/9) but this is still quite a spike. On the flip side he's also gained a bit of control, from 6.63 BB/9 last year to 3.02 BB/9 this year. AA is his ticket next year for sure and we can get a chance to see how he fares against better competition and if he'll have to repeat the level again in the future.
Cornely is a personal favorite because of his resemblance to Craig Kimbrel's minor league strikeout numbers. He is in his second pro season at age 23 so he should be dominating lower level hitters, but the comparison is close.
In Kimbrel's first pro season he put up a 14.26 K/9 (56K) over 3 levels (R, A, A+) in 35.1 IP.
In Cornely's first taste of the pros threw up a 13.64 K/9 (50K) in 33 IP, but the Braves left him in Rookie ball all year.
Pro season #2 for Kimbrel was his breakout year with a 15.45 K/9 (103K) over 4 levels (A, A+, AA, AAA) in 60 IP.
John Cornely saw his second season end up with a 14.42 K/9 (94K) over 2 levels (A, A+) in 58.2 IP.
Hopefully he progresses as Kimbrel did in year 3 with a 14.50 K/9 (123K) in 76.1 IP between AAA and the show. Now this doesn't mean I expect to see Cornely in Atlanta's pen by the end of the year but he is definitely a guy to watch for when it comes to a late inning strikeout artist.
Jack Leathersich is the lone lefty of the group. In his second season of pro ball at age 21, he is the one most likely to appear on the back end of some Top 10 lists for the Mets in 2013. He tallied 113 K in 72 IP over two levels (A, A+), good for a 36.8 K% which still is in the top 5 in all of MILB. He was knocked around after his promotion so a start back at St. Lucie is probable next year. He has a "solid fastball in the 91-95 mph range and also flashes an above-average curveball" according to Marc Hulet.
When it comes to percentages of batters struck out, the list changes a bit.
Top 3 K% (min 40 IP)
Rob Wort 41.3% (23 yr old RHP, WAS, peaked at High A)
Mark Montgomery 39.4% (21 yr old RHP, NYY, peaked at AA)
Michael Olmsted 39.2% (25 yr old RHP, BOS, peaked at AA)
I've already covered Wort's numbers. John said in 2011 Wort would grade out as a C prospect, that most likely won't change much given his past.
Mark Montgomery has had an excellent year for the Yanks splitting time between High A and AA pitching an inning or 2 each appearance. In 64.1 IP Montgomery has 99K, good for a 13.85 K/9. His K numbers from last year are similar at 51k in 28.1 IP over 2 levels (16.20 K/9 and 41.1 K%). At the beginning of the year, John had Montgomery listed outside the Top 20 for the Yankees but tabbed him as a guy to watch in his mid-season update.
Michael Olmsted is the elder statesman of the group at 25 and in his 4th season. His track record is different to say the least. He played for the Mets organization in 2007(2.52 ERA, 36/12 K/BB, 9.08 K/9, 35.2 IP) and 2008(2.67 ERA, 37/10 K/BB, 9.89 K/9, 33.2 IP), didn't play at all in 2009, appeared in 3 games in Japan in 2010, then hooked on with Boston in 2011(1.39 ERA, 48/10 K/BB, 13.36 K/9, 32.1 IP). From what I can tell his numbers have always been solid. I have no idea what happened in 2009 and 2010 (injury maybe?) but he is back on track with Boston. This year he has struck out 92 in 59.1 IP, which translates to a tasty 13.96 K/9. This could either be a case of dominating younger players or a late bloomer, either could be possible but it will have to wait until he sees higher level hitters. Not to mention his 6'6" 245lb frame and wicked moustache.