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Double-A Transition Monitor

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Darrell Rasner at the University of Nevada

Double-A Transition Monitor

Darrell Rasner, RHP, Washington Nationals
A second-round pick from the University of Nevada in 2002, Rasner spent all of '03 and most of '04 in A-ball, pitching reasonably well. He uses a 88-89 MPH sinker, a curveball, and a changeup. His command is good; he throws strikes, but he is often not overpowering. Rasner made 5 starts for Double-A Harrisburg late last year, going 1-1 but with an excellent 1.21 ERA. But his ratios this season are much less impressive: Returning to Harrisburg, he is 2-4, 4.82 in 7 starts, with a 26/8 K/BB in 37 innings. That's OK, but he's given up 50 hits, much too hittable. Now, H/IP can be flukey and heavily dependent on team context, but since Rasner is not overpowering the Double-A transition is very important for his future. So far it is not going particularly well this year.
However, if you add in his 7 starts from this year with his 5 starts from last year, you get
67 innings, 71 hits, 41/17 K/BB and a 3.22 ERA, which looks a lot better. I still worry that he doesn't dominate enough to succeed at higher levels, but we need more data.

Jerry Owens, OF, Chicago White Sox
The Sox picked up Jerry Owens in a trade with the Nationals last winter. A speed-demon outfielder, this second-round pick from 2003 was quite raw for a college player, coming out of a football background, he was playing baseball at tiny The Master's College in California. He hit .292/.365/.349 in the Sally League last year, but the Sox had him skip advanced Class A this season, sticking him in the Double-A Southern League. He is doing well for Birmingham, hitting .336/.404/.385 with 10 steals in 31 games. Owens will take a walk, and has learned to use his speed on the bases, giving him great utility in the leadoff role. He hasn't developed any power yet, and may not in the future. But he's made major progress refining his leadoff skills, and is having no real problems with the Double-A adjustment.