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2012 Top 50 Pitching Prospects in Review, Part One

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Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Here is a review of my Top 50 PRE-SEASON Pitching Prospects list (slots 1-25), as published in the 2012 Baseball Prospect Book last January. Part Two will follow shortly. Remember, this is a PRE-SEASON list. I am working on a new list.

Top 50 Pitching Prospects for 2012 (Review)

1) Matt Moore, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays , Grade A: 11-11 in 31 major league starts, 3.81 ERA, 175/81 K/BB in 177 innings, 158 hits in the majors. Some command issues to work through, but I still believe in him.

2) Shelby Miller, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade A:
11-10, 4.74 ERA in 27 Triple-A starts, 160/50 K/BB in 137 innings, 138 hits. Pitched much better in the second half, posted 16/4 K/BB in 14 major league innings. Still an elite prospect.

3) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, Grade A: Went 12-2, 2.42 with 157/61 K/BB in 130 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 107 hits. Got knocked around with control issues in 16 major league innings, posting 17/13 K/BB. Still an elite prospect.

4) Julio Teheran, RHP, Atlanta Braves, Grade A: Frustrating season, 5.08 ERA with 97/43 K/BB in 131 innings in Triple-A, allowed four runs in 6.1 major league innings. Velocity down a tick and secondary stuff didn't compensate. Age 22 entering 2013, so not a lost cause but stock is down.

5) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates, Grade A: Went 9-7 in 26 starts between three levels, 2.80 ERA with 136/45 K/BB in 132 innings, 113 hits. No complaints here, still an elite prospect.

6) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners, Grade A-: Went 7-10, 4.69 in 25 starts in Double-A, 118/50 K/BB in 127 innings, 124 hits. Skipped High-A and it showed, stuff remains strong but needs more experience. Still an elite prospect.

7) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates, Grade A-: 9-8 in 26 starts between High-A and Double-A, 3.55 ERA, 116/38 K/BB in 142 innings, 120 hits. Did his best pitching of the year in Double-A with an 18/1 K/BB in 17 innings. Progress continues, still an elite prospect.

8) Jacob Turner, RHP, Detroit Tigers, Grade A-: Traded to Marlins, went 7-4, 2.58 in 19 starts in three different leagues, 73/43 K/BB in 112 innings, 96 hits. In the majors, went 2-5 in 10 starts with a 4.42 ERA and a 36/16 K/BB in 55 innings, 50 hits. The Tigers were very aggressive with him. At this point I see him more as a mid-rotation guy than a genuine ace.

9) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles, Grade A-: Unhittable early in Low-A, finished 9-3, 2.08 with a 119/28 K/BB in 104 innings at three levels, 67 hits. Outstanding performance in all respects, now the top pitching prospect in the minors.

10) Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Colorado Rockies, Grade A-: 2.31 ERA with 50/21 K/BB in 51 innings in Double-A/Triple-A. In the majors, went 2-9, 4.93 in 22 starts with an 83/46 K/BB in 97 innings, 97 hits. I think he will improve.

11) Jarrod Parker, RHP, Oakland Athletics, Grade A-: Terrific debut, 13-8, 3.47 ERA with 140/63 K/BB in 181 innings for Oakland, 166 hits. Can't complain about this, did everything expected of him.

12) Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, Grade A-:
Went 9-6, 2.87 in 22 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, 116/37 K/BB in 122 innings, 112 hits. Went 1-3, 5.83 in six starts for Arizona, with 21/13 K/BB in 29 innings, 30 hits. As with Pomeranz, I think Skaggs will improve.

13) Archie Bradley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks, Grade A-: Went 12-6, 3.84 ERA with 152/84 K/BB in 136 innings for Low-A South Bend, 87 hits allowed. Outstanding K/IP ratio and few hits, but needs sharper command. Plenty of stuff, still an elite guy.

14) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners, Grade A-: Enigma, command collapsed, went 8-3, 1.19 in 13 starts in Double-A, but with 79/32 K/BB, then went 1-4, 5.92 with 57/43 K/BB in 49 innings in Triple-A. Stuff seems fine but lost the strike zone.

15) James Paxton, LHP, Seattle Mariners, Grade B+: Went 9-4, 3.05 in 21 starts in Double-A, 110/54 K/BB in 106 innings, 96 hits. Lost time to knee injury but was pitching great late in the year.

16) Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Atlanta Braves, Grade B+: Lost season to Tommy John surgery, then traded to Cubs.

17) Carlos Martinez, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals, Grade B+: Went 6-5, 2.93 ERA with 92/32 K/BB in 104 innings, 91 hits, 1.86 GO/AO between High-A and Double-A. Plenty of stuff, just needs to stay healthy.

18) Matt Harvey, RHP, New York Mets, Grade B+:
7-5, 3.68 ERA with 112/48 K/BB in 20 Triple-A starts, 110 innings, 97 hits. Promoted to majors and thrived, with 2.73 ERA in 10 starts, 70/26 K/BB in 59 innings, just 42 hits. Not a fluke.

19) Zack Wheeler, RHP, New York Mets, Grade B+:
Went 12-8, 3.26 in 25 starts with a 148/59 K/BB ratio in 149 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A, 115 hits allowed. Command has a few wobbles but overall a very successful campaign.

20) Trevor May, RHP, Philadelphia Phillies, Grade B+:
10-13, 4.87 with a 151/78 K/BB in 150 innings in Double-A, 139 hits. Good strikeout rate, but command troubles prevented consistent success.

21) Randall Delgado, RHP, Atlanta Braves, Grade B+: 4.06 ERA with 51/21 K/BB in 44 innings in Triple-A, went 4-9, 4.37 in 17 major league starts with a 76/42 K/BB in 93 innings, 89 hits. I expect improvement assuming good health, etc.

22) Addison Reed, RHP, Chicago White Sox, Grade B+:
4.75 ERA, 54/18 K/BB in 55 major league innings, 57 hits, saved 29 games. Dominant at times but also had rough stretches. Should have a long career.

23) A.J. Cole, RHP, Oakland Athletics, Grade B+:
Got killed early (0-7 in eight starts, 7.82 ERA) in High-A. Sent back to Low-A and salvaged the season, posting 2.07 ERA with 102/19 K/BB in 96 innings, just 78 hits. Will try again in High-A in 2013, turns 21 in January so he's still young.

24) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Grade B+: 2.60 ERA in 104 innings in Low-A, 122/31 K/BB, 81 hits, 2.16 GO/AO. No complaints here, gets grounders and strikeouts, throws strikes.

25) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays, Grade B+: 2.46 ERA with 119/21 K/BB in 124 innings in Low-A, 112 hits. Superior polish, great combo with Nicolino as they move up the ladder.