Looking to turn around a disastrous 2016 season, the Minnesota Twins have made a flurry of roster moves in the last few days. One of them was the promotion of pitching prospect Pat Dean to the big league roster. Dean isn't a household name as a prospect so let's explore his background and his possible future.
Dean was drafted in the third round back in 2010 from Boston College. At the time he was considered to be a polished prospect who could reach the majors quickly, albeit with the upside of a number four starter. He posted a stellar 32/1 K/BB in 24 innings in rookie ball but found the going much rougher after being promoted to High-A in 2011, giving up a 6.67 ERA in 11 starts for Fort Myers with an ugly 83 hits in 58 innings. He gave up another 177 hits in 153 innings in High-A in 2012 but walked just 33 and had a 3.99 ERA.
2013, 2014, and 2015 saw Dean in the high minors, starting regularly for New Britain and Rochester. His '15 season was the best of the lot at 2.82 in 179 innings, with a 98/36 K/BB and 170 hits allowed. He's been solid again in '16 (3.00 in six starts, 20/7 K/BB in 36 innings, 33 hits) and here he is in the majors.
Dean is 26 years old, listed at 6-1, 195. With this profile you'd assume he is a finesse pitcher and that assumption would be correct. His fastball tops at 91 and usually sits in the upper 80s. He will mix in a slider, a curve, and a change-up, with the off-speed stuff generally of better quality than the harder offerings. His margin for error is quite small and he doesn't miss many bats. If you like strikeouts, Dean isn't your man, but he avoids walks, can make adjustments, and usually doesn't beat himself.
Dean fits into the long tradition of Minnesota finesse lefties with fifth starter profiles. Sometimes a guy like this has a good year (Scott Diamond) but it is tough to maintain for more than a short period given the very limited room for mistakes that pitchers like this must contend with.
Here's an ironic strikeout on an off-speed breaking ball courtesy of Milb.com