University of North Carolina Pitchers in Professional Baseball.
Here are all pitchers drafted out of the University of North Carolina in the last 20 years who either 1) made the major leagues or 2) were drafted in the first through sixth rounds of the draft. Are they more successful than Stanford and Rice products? Let's look.
Jim Dougherty: Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 26th round in 1990. Excellent stats in the minors despite lack of hot prospect status, reached Houston bullpen in 1995. Very good minor league pitcher but stuff was short for the majors. Career 8-8, 5.99 ERA, 59/46 K/BB in 95 innings, 110 hits, 5.00 FIP, WAR -0.7.
Brad Woodall: Signed by the Atlanta Braves as an undrafted free agent from North Carolina in 1991. Pitched brilliantly in the minors at times due to excellent control but never found consistent major league success. Career 10-14, 5.31 ERA, 119/67 K/BB in 190 innings, 208 hits, 5.59 FIP, WAR -0.4.
Paul Shuey: Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the first round in 1992, second overall. A starter at first but struggled with control, converted to relief. Took some time to gain consistency and he never developed into a full-time closer, but he had success as a middle man. Career 45-28, 3.87, 556/277 K/BB in 530 innings, 471 hits, 3.70 FIP, WAR +8.2.
Mike Jerzembeck: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the fifth round in 1993. Pitched well in the low minors, but blew out his elbow and had Tommy John surgery in 1994. Recovered sufficiently to pitch well in Triple-A and receive a six-inning trial with the Yankees in 1998, before hurting his arm again. Retired in 2002. Minor league record: 3.81 ERA, 566/214 K/BB in 657 innings.
Mike Bynum: Drafted in the supplemental first round by the San Diego Padres in 1999, 49th overall. Successful in A-ball, but he hurt his arm in Double-A in 2001 and was never the same. Pitched 64 major league innings for the Padres, 7.74 ERA, 52/33 K/BB, 78 hits, 6.56 FIP, WAR -1.1.
Kyle Snyder: Drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Royals in 1999, seventh overall. Huge pitcher, suffered through persistent problems with health and command. Career 8-17, 5.57 ERA, 157/85 K/BB in 238 innings, 283 hits, 4.96 FIP, WAR +2.0.
Ryan Snare: Drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds in 2000. Finesse type, was a solid pitcher through Double-A, but his stuff came up short in Triple-A. Saw three innings of work for the Rangers in 2004. Career minor league record, 49-36, 4.15, 542/243 K/BB in 703 innings, 740 hits.
Eric Henderson: Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth round in 2000. Immediately got hurt, missed all of 2001, and was never the same, career ended in A-ball in 2004. 5.82 ERA, 114/86 K/BB in 190 innings, 227 hits.
Ryan Earey: Drafted in the sixth round in 2000 by the San Diego Padres. Effective college reliever and effective in A-ball, posted a 2.94 ERA for example for Fort Wayne in 2002 with a good K/BB ratio, but never pitched again. I'm not sure what happened to him but he was never given an opportunity beyond Low-A.
Daniel Moore: Drafted in the second round, 41st overall, in 2003. Hurt his arm early in 2004 and never pitched again.
Daniel Bard: Drafted in the first round by the Boston Red Sox in 2006, 28th overall. Hard-thrower, successful in college as a starter but was hit hard in the minors in that role in '07 due to severe command troubles. Converted to relief in '08 and has been much more successful. Career 2.61 ERA, 139/52 K/BB in 124 innings, 86 hits, 3.38 FIP, WAR +2.3.
Andrew Miller: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round in 2006, sixth overall. A terrific college pitcher, he performed well in the minors and reached Detroit in 2007 but struggled. Traded to Florida. His command has gone backwards and he's been a major disappointment. The command issue and possible confidence problems make me think he was rushed too quickly. 15-26, 5.84 ERA, 238/174 K/BB in 294 innings, 337 hits, 4.70 FIP, WAR +2.6.
Luke Putkonen: Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the third round in 2007. Has been an effective inning-eater in A-ball with good control of mediocre stuff, but K-rate dropped off last year and success at higher levels is not assured. 18-17, 3.32 ERA in the minors, 228/99 K/BB in 335 innings, 324 hits.
Andrew Carignan: Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the fifth round in 2007. Had a good year in Double-A in 2008, got hurt and missed all of '09, then struggled with horrible command problems in 2010 (34 walks in 33 innings in High-A). 3.32 minor league ERA overall, 149/92 K/BB in 111 innings, 76 hits, 32 saves. Still interesting if he can get his control back.
Alex White: First round pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2009. Very good last year and is one of the top RHP prospects in the game. 2.45 ERA, 117/46 K/BB in 151 innings, 123 hits so far.
Adam Warren: Drafted by the New York Yankees in the fourth round in 2009. Very effective so far and looks like a future fourth starter. 2.25 ERA, 176/43 K/BB in 192 innings, 170 hits.
Matt Harvey: Drafted by the New York Mets in the first round last year, seventh overall. Obviously we don't know how this will turn out yet.
So far the most successful North Carolina products are a pair of relievers, Shuey and Bard. Andrew Miller has been a big disappointment, although his FIP is a full run better than his ERA and he's actually been positive overall in WAR terms. White, Warren, and Harvey all look like candidates to do better than their predecessors.
Again, the sample is small and we need to do a much broader study of all pitchers, but it does serve as a reminder exactly how fragile this all can be. Next up: Wichita State and LSU.