Cody Eppley, RHP, Texas Rangers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-5 WT: 205 DOB: October 8, 1985
Eppley was a 43rd round pick back in 2008, from Virginia Commonwealth. He's never been considered a hot prospect because he doesn't have terrific velocity, but he picks up grounders like crazy, posting a 3.59 GO/AO last year. He throws strikes and can be very tough on right-handers due to his lowered arm angle, although lefties see him and hit him more effectively. Unless he comes up with another weapon against them, he'll be confined to a ROOGY role at the major league level. But hey, being a ROOGY is a pretty good outcome for a 43rd round pick. Grade C.
UPDATE: Eppley began 2011 with Triple-A Round Rock, picking up three saves, with a 9/3 K/BB in 8.1 innings and six hits allowed. He threw two shutout innings in his major league debut. In 173 career minor league innings, he now has a 2.39 ERA with a 204/37 K/BB and 145 hits allowed, an outstanding set of ratios. His problems against left-handed hitters (all six hits he gave up for Round Rock this year were by lefties) likely preclude a career as a Dan Quisenberry-style closer, but as I wrote in the book, I can see him becoming a very useful ROOGY and middle man.