Minor League Notes, April 18, 2012
**Double-A Tulsa southpaw Edwar Cabrera retired 24 batters in a row last night, falling just short of a perfect game by allowing a single in the ninth inning against Corpus Christi.
The Rockies prospect has thrown 20 innings over three starts, with a 1.35 ERA and a 16/2 K/BB thus far, allowing just nine hits. Cabrera posted an amazing 217/41 K/BB ratio in 167 innings of A-ball last year, but most scouts didn't rank him as a top prospect. His breaking ball is mediocre, and the 24-year-old lefty relies mainly on his 88-91 MPH fastball and stellar changeup. There were questions about if this would work against advanced hitters, but so far it has. If he continues on like this, he could see Coors Field later this year.
**Meanwhile, Baltimore Orioles phenom Dylan Bundy continues to make short work (in small doses) of the South Atlantic League, throwing three more shutout innings last night for Low-A Delmarva against Hagerstown. He now has a 15/1 K/BB and zero hits or runs allowed in nine innings. His combination of stuff and command is truly special. Not many pitchers hit 99 MPH and fewer still throw quality strikes with it. The Orioles know what they have here and are being hyper-cautious with his pitch counts and workload. Are they perhaps being a bit too cautious? Right now I would say no, but they'll have to start stretching him out at some point.
**The Arizona Diamonbacks are being a bit more aggressive with Archie Bradley, Bundy's fellow first round pick and competitor from the Oklahoma high school ranks last spring. Bradley has pitched 16 innings for Low-A South Bend in the Midwest League, allowing just two runs on a mere six hits, walking six but fanning 22 already with a 3.50 GO/AO. He's not quite as polished with his command as Bundy, but Bradley isn't just a brute thrower; he's got pitching instincts to go with great stuff. Both pitchers have number one starter upside and both have blown through A-ball competition in the early going.
**Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Chris Reed has posted mixed results in his first three starts for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League. He's pitched 15 innings, allowing nine hits and nine runs (5.40 ERA), walking eight but fanning 17. He also has a 2.13 GO/AO ratio, which serves as statistical confirmation of scouting reports regarding an impressive sinker. His slider and changeup are a bit erratic and he needs some command sharpening, but an adjustment period is understandable. He was a closer in college at Stanford, but the Dodgers drafted him in the first round last June with the idea that he would start in pro ball.
**In case you missed it, San Diego Padres top prospect Casey Kelly had to have an MRI on his sore elbow. Results indicate no structural damage, but he'll be sidelined awhile as the inflammation subsides. It will be interesting to see if his spring velocity boost remains in place once he gets back on the mound.