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Prospect Retro: Brad Penny

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Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers (AP)

Per reader requests, a Prospect Retrospective for Brad Penny.

Brad Penny was drafted in the fifth round in 1996, by the Arizona Diamondbacks, out of high school in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. He pitched well in rookie ball, posting a 2.36 ERA and 52/14 K/BB ratio in his first 50 pro innings. At this point he would have rated as a Grade C+ prospect, due to my conservatism with grades for rookie ball pitchers.

Moved up to full-season South Bend in '97, Penny was one of the best pitchers in the Midwest League, going 10-5, 2.73 with a 116/43 K/BB in 119 innings. I gave him a Grade B and as a breakthrough candidate for '98.

Break through he did, going 14-5, 2.96 in 28 starts at High Desert, with a 207/35 K/BB ratio in 164 innings. I gave him the coveted Grade A rating, making him the second-best pitching prospect in baseball, and the best RHP overall. The top guy was Rick Ankiel.

Penny began '99 in Double-A for El Paso, but struggled at times with a 2-7 record and 4.80 ERA in 17 starts. However, his K/BB was 100/25 in 90 innings, very strong. He was bothered by shoulder soreness at times, which was the major concern I had for him. The D-backs shipped him to Florida in the midseason Matt Mantei trade. Penny posted a 3.90 ERA in 6 starts for Portland after the trade; I gave him a Grade A-, rating him at 13th overall on the Top 50 prospects list.

Penny went 8-7, 4.81 in 22 starts for the Marlins in '00. He was generally effective, if erratic and somewhat injury prone, during his Florida days. Although he hasn't been quite as good as I thought he could be, he's a fine pitcher. His minor league record was marked by outstanding performance at the lower levels, particularly in the K/IP and K/BB departments, but he came to the majors with virtually no Triple-A experience, which may have inhibited his development to some extent early on.

Comparable Pitchers to Brad Penny, based on Sim Score and PECOTA, no active pitchers included.

Don Robinson
Jim Lonborg
Ray Burris
Ben McDonald
Oil Can Boyd
Ed Whitson
Dan Petry
Luis Leal
Bruce Kison

Solid guys overall, although some injury risk is apparent.