Prospect Retro: Brett Tomko
Brett Tomko was drafted by the Cincinnnati Reds in the seond round of the 1995 draft, out of Florida Southern College. Assigned to Charleston in the Sally League after signing, he pitched brilliantly in his pro debut, going 4-2, 1.84 in seven starts, with a 46/9 K/BB ratio in 49 innings. At this point, he would have rated as a Grade B+ prospect: an early round draftee with strong full-season league performance in his pro debut.
Moved up to Double-A Chattanooga in 1996, Tomko went 11-7, 3.88 in 27 starts, with a 164/54 K/BB in 158 innings, allowing 131 hits. His K/BB, K/IP, and H/IP were all significantly better than Southern League average, and I rated him as a Grade B+ prospect in the '97 Minor League Scouting Notebook. Some scouts were already expressing concerns that Tomko didn't concentrate well on the mound at times, but it was hard to find anything wrong with his numbers.
He began '97 in Triple-A, going 6-3, 2.95 in 10 starts with a 60/9 K/BB in 61 innings. Promoted to the Majors, he went 11-7, 3.43 in 19 starts for the Reds. I thought he was clearly one of the best young pitchers in the game, and I thought he would become a star.
Alas, it did not happen. Tomko HAS had success. He's been very effective at times, but he's also been erratic, and certainly hasn't developed into a star pitcher. He currently owns a career record of 80-72, 4.54 in 1402 innings, basically being a slightly above-average starting pitcher. That's good, but I thought he was capable of better. His journey through the minors was quick and successful, but he didn't really develop his skills beyond where they were in 1997 when he made his debut for the Reds.
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How Many Games Will Tomko Win In His Career?
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more than 140