2004 First-Round High School Pitchers
Here is a look at high school pitchers drafted in the first round or supplemental first round last year.
Mark Rogers, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (5th overall pick, Maine HS)
Three games, 2 starts, 9.2 innings for the West Virginia Power in the Sally League. 11/9 K/BB ratio, 8 runs allowed, 8 hits. Best number is high strikeout rate, but his command has been quite poor. Rogers may have the best pure arm strength of any '04 high school draftee, but he comes from a cold-weather state and is quite raw in many respects. The early numbers reflect this clearly. There is a significant risk that Rogers could bust, although his ceiling his very high if he does pan out.
Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds (7th overall pick, Texas HS)
Two games, 1 start, 5.1 innings for the Dayton Dragons in the Midwest League. 10/3 K/BB ratio, 6 runs allowed, 6 hits. Outstanding K/IP in the early going, but he's been otherwise hittable and needs some adjustments with his command. Considered much more polished than Rogers, Bailey doesn't throw quite as hard, but is hardly a soft-tosser, and is thought to be more advanced in most respects.
Scott Elbert, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (17th overall, Missouri HS)
One game, 1 start, 4 innings for the Columbus Catfish in the Sally League. 3/2 K/BB ratio, 2 runs allowed, 1 hit. He did OK in his first start. Elbert has a power lefty arm, but struggled at times in short-season ball last year, proving to be less polished than anticipated and more tentative on the mound than scouts expected. He's athletic and projectable, but needs to show the same confidence he had in high school.
Phil Hughes, RHP, New York Yankees (23rd overall, California HS)
Three games, 3 starts, 14.1 innings for the Charleston River Dogs in the Sally League. 11/4 K/BB ratio, 6 runs allowed (3 earned), 12 hits. Pitching well in his initial full-season exposure, Hughes is big, throws in the low 90s, and has a good slider. A sore elbow limited him last summer, but he's shown no ill effects this spring. He projects as a power starter, and is further along the development curve than the high school guys drafted before him at this point. If the elbow holds up, he should be good.
Kyle Waldrop, RHP, Minnesota Twins (25th overall, Tennessee HS)
Three games, 3 starts, 17 innings for the Beloit Snappers in the Midwest League. 11/1 K/BB ratio, 7 runs allowed, 15 hits. Pitching very well so far, with a particularly impressive 11-1 K/BB ratio. The raw strikeout rate isn't terrific but considering his other numbers this is not a major flaw. Likely the most advanced of the high school pitchers drafted early by the Twins last year.
Eric Hurley, RHP, Texas Rangers (30th overall, Florida HS)
Three games, 3 starts, 17 innings for the Clinton Lumberkings of the Midwest League. 19/3 K/BB ratio, 2 runs allowed, 10 hits. All ratios strong, particularly overall K/BB. Fastball/slider combination is rated as very good by scouts; the key this year will be developing his command (looks great so far) and refining his changeup.
Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Chicago White Sox (38th overall, Florida HS)
Four games, 4 starts, 22 innings for the Kannapolis Intimidators of the Sally League. 38/6 K/BB ratio, 4 runs allowed, only 11 hits. All ratios outstanding, especially K/IP. Gonzalez, right now, looks like the most advanced high school pitcher drafted last June. While he doesn't have the pure physical ceiling of some of the other guys, his pitching instincts are very advanced.
Jay Rainville, RHP, Minnesota Twins (39th overall, Rhode Island HS)
Two games, 2 starts, 7.2 innings for Beloit. 5/4 K/BB ratio, 5 runs allowed, 9 hits. Not pitching well at this point. Rainville's physical ceiling is right up there with guys like Hughes and Rogers, but he has less experience than some, and needs to improve his changeup and breaking ball. He may be overmatched by the Midwest League at this point, with Elizabethton his destination once the short-season leagues start up.