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2008 Top 50 Pitching Prospects Status Report

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Status report on the 2008 Top 50 Pitching Prospects. Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON List.

1) Clay Buchholz, RHP, Boston Red Sox: 2-3, 5.53 in the majors, but with 43 strikeouts in 42 innings. Currently on Triple-A rehab assignment for torn fingernail. He'll be fine in the long run.
2) Joba Chamberlain, RHP, New York Yankees: 2.42 ERA in the Yankees bullpen, could still convert to starter.
3) Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: 2.28 ERA in Double-A, looked great in his first major league start this weekend.
4) David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Just activated after some arm trouble this spring, looked great in his first Class A start.
5) Jacob McGee, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 3.59 ERA with 51/23 K/BB in 53 innings in Double-A. Command has been an issue.
6) Franklin Morales, LHP, Colorado Rockies: Has completely lost his command, mechanics fell apart in the majors, getting crushed in Triple-A too.
7) Johnny Cueto, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: 5.56 ERA for the Reds, was brilliant early, excellent K/BB ratio but giving up a lot of homers.
8) Homer Bailey, RHP, Cincinnati Reds: 4.30 ERA with 50/25 K/BB in 61 innings in Triple-A. Wobbling lately after a fast start.
9) Wade Davis, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 3.39 ERA with 43/24 K/BBin 58 innings in Double-A. Like McGee, command hasn't quite been there.
10) Ian Kennedy, RHP, New York Yankees: 7.27 ERA in the majors, then pitched 8.1 shutout innings in Triple-A. Will get more chances, command was unusually shaky in major league trial.
11) Gio Gonzalez, LHP, Oakland Athletics: 5.92 ERA with 44/26 K/BB in 49 innings in Triple-A. Gave up 10 runs in his last start, distorting numbers a bit, but he hasn't been that sharp overall.
12) Eric Hurley, RHP, Texas Rangers: 5.93 ERA with 57/22 K/BB in 55 innings in Triple-A, 66 hits. I overrated him at this spot, velocity has dropped, homer tendencies worrisome.
13) James McDonald, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.20 ERA with 49/15 K/BB in 49 innings in Double-A. Doing OK.
14) Manny Parra, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers: Command issues have resulted in 5.11 ERA in 10 starts for Brewers. Still like him long-term.
15) Fautino De Los Santos, RHP, Oakland Athletics: Sore elbow, might need Tommy John.
16) Chris Tillman, RHP, Baltimore Orioles: 6-0, 2.59 with 44/24 K/BB in 49 innings in Double-A. Stock continues to rise.
17) Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit Tigers: 2.25 ERA with 31/14 K/BB in 52 innings in the Florida State League. Low strikeout rate, but getting tons of grounders and young for level.
18) Jarrod Parker, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 2.45 ERA with 30/9 K/BB in 37 innings for Class A South Bend. Doing very well.
19) Jeremy Hellickson, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: 2.22 ERA with 64/4 K/BB in 57 innings in FSL. Stock rising rapidly.
20) Nick Adenhart, RHP, Los Angeles Angels: Pretty 2.61 ERA in Triple-A but with poor 24/22 K/BB. Command has hurt him in majors, 4/13 K/BB in 12 innings.
21) Max Scherzer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks: 1.96 ERA with 28/8 K/BB in 23 innings since being promoted to the majors. Looks excellent.
22) Aaron Poreda, LHP, Chicago White Sox: 2.77 ERA with 38/14 K/BB in 55 innings in the Carolina League. Doing well, low K/IP ratio of some concern.
23) Deolis Guerra, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 4.56 ERA with 29/21 K/BB in 49 innings in the FSL. Very erratic, velocity as low as 85 MPH at times. But very young still.
24) Ross Detwiler, LHP, Washington Nationals: 4.17 ERA with 50/24 K/BB in 45 innings in Carolina League. Good strikeout rate, getting grounders.
25) Tyler Robertson, LHP, Minnesota Twins: 3.04 ERA with 53/21 K/BB in 56 innings in FSL. Not bad at all.
26) Brett Anderson, LHP, Oakland Athletics: 5.68 ERA with 45/14 K/BB in 44 innings, 49 hits. Great K/BB ratio, components support a lower ERA.
27) Casey Weathers, RHP, Colorado Rockies: 2.21 ERA with 22/11 K/BB in 20 innings in Double-A. Ground ball machine with high strikeout rate.
28) Matt Harrison, LHP, Texas Rangers: 3.15 ERA with 28/14 K/BB in 40 innings in Double-A. Doing OK but components aren't terrific.
29) Brett Cecil, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays: 4.63 ERA with 23/10 K/BB in 23 innings in Double-A. Transition to rotation going OK.
30) Troy Patton, LHP, Baltimore Orioles: Torn labrum, out for the year
31) Tommy Hanson, RHP, Atlanta Braves: 0.90 ERA in A-ball, but 7.71 ERA with 14/9 K/BB in 14 innings, 16 hits in Double-A. Needs to adjust.
32) Kevin Mulvey, RHP, Minnesota Twins: 4.10 ERA with 41/22 K/BB in 48 innings in Triple-A, 57 hits allowed. Eating innings but not spectacular.
33) Adam Miller, RHP, Cleveland Indians: 1.88 ERA with 20/12 K/BB in 29 innings in Triple-A. As always, he's effective when healthy but can he stay healthy?
34) Radhames Liz, RHP, Baltimore Orioles: 4.12 ERA with 57/25 K/BB in 59 innings in Triple-A. Great stuff, command still shaky.
35) Jon Meloan, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers: 4.14 ERA with 47/27 K/BB in 50 innings in Triple-A. Conversion from relief is goign well, and he's surviving Vegas.
36) Alan Horne, RHP, New York Yankees: Extended spring training, rehabbing sore biceps.
37) Gaby Hernandez, RHP, Florida Marlins: 5.79 ERA with 29/7 K/BB in 33 innings in Triple-A. Showing good command at least.
38) Trevor Cahill, RHP, Oakland Athletics: 2.82 ERA with 77/18 K/BB in 61 innings, just 37 hits allowed in the Cal League. Stock rising rapidly.
39) Henry Sosa, RHP, San Francisco Giants: knee injury, just came off the DL a couple of days ago and pitched well in first outing for San Jose in the Cal League.
40) Justin Masterson, RHP, Boston Red Sox: 4.23 ERA with 37/16 K/BB in Double-A, has doen well in first two major league starts.
41) Sean Gallagher, RHP, Chicago Cubs: 3.10 ERA in Triple-A with 30/9 K/BB in 29 innings. 1-1, 5.68 in five major league starts with 14/8 K/BB in 19 innings, 22 hits. Still like him.
42) Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Cleveland Indians: Significant control problems in Double-A, has walked 29 in 42 innings with 5.62 ERA. Was overrated in this spot.
43) Jordan Walden, RHP, Los Angeles Angels: 2.56 ERA with 41/15 K/BB in 53 innings in the Midwest League. Performing well, stock rising.
44) Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City Royals: 3-4, 4.54 with 30/24 K/BB in 42 major league innings. Needs better command, getting grounders though.
45) Eduardo Morlan, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Out of action with sore shoulder.
46) Matt Latos, RHP, San Diego Padres: 3.42 ERA with 20/7 K/BB in 24 innings in the Midwest League before going on the DL with an intercostal muscle  strain.
47) Will Inman, RHP, San Diego Padres: Continues to defy scouts with 2.96 ERA and 56/23 K/BB in 52 innings in the Double-A Texas League, just 42 hits allowed.
48) Henry Alberto Rodriguez, RHP, Oakland Athletics: 8.89 ERA with horrible 29/30 K/BB in 26 innings since being promoted to Double-A. Obviously has some major command issues.
49) Kasey Kiker, LHP, Texas Rangers: 4.83 ERA with 34/8 K/BB in 41 innings in the Cal League, 43 hits allowed. Considering his age and competition he is doing OK.
50) Michael Bowden, RHP, Boston Red Sox: 2.47 ERA with 53/14 K/BB in 55 innings in Double-A. Stock rising.

Pitching lists are always problematic. Aside from some guys that I cringe at having overrated (Hurley, Lofgren) I don't think it is too bad.