Minor League Notes, June 27, 2010
**Donn Roach was drafted in the supplemental third round this year, out of the Junior College of Southern Nevada. He got a lot of exposure as Bryce Harper's teammate, but the right-hander is a good prospect in his own right, due to his 90-95 MPH fastball and very promising curveball. He signed quickly with the Angels and made his pro debut Friday night for Orem in the Pioneer League, but it didn't go well: 1.2 innings, six hits, five runs, two homers allowed, one walk, zero strikeouts. Roach is an interesting guy. He was horrible as a freshman at the University of Arizona in 2009, but transferred to Southern Nevada for '10 and was one of the best pitchers at the JC level this year, going 12-3, 2.67 with a 142/26 K/BB in 111 innings, allowing 87 hits. His problems at Arizona were traced to mechanical problems and lack of effort on his part, but he got his game back together on and off the field this year. One bad game does not a failure make, and Roach has shown the ability to overcome adversity. His workload was pretty large this year and it will be interesting to see how much the Angels push him.
**The Pirates spent $1.2 million to keep Zack Von Rosenberg away from Louisiana State last summer. He's gotten hit hard in his first two starts for State College in the New York-Penn League, giving up 13 hits and seven runs in eight innings. The good news is that he's walked only one guy; some bad news is that he's fanned just three. An eight-inning sample size is miniscule, of course. I do not have a scouting report from these two games, but during spring training his velocity was reportedly disappointing, just in the low-to-mid-80s. He threw harder than that in high school, 88-91, and scouts felt his velocity would pick up with maturity, not decline. His secondary pitches are advanced for a high school product, but few pitchers can survive throwing 85 MPH. We will be watching this one closely as the summer progresses.