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prospect-spotlight-cole-rohrbough | August | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

Prospect Spotlight: Cole Rohrbough

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Update: According to Baseball America, Rohrbough was just promoted to Low-A Rome last night. It was quite obvious that he was well above his competition with Danville. I am a bit surprised but not too much that Rohrbough got promoted. Both Jamie Richmond and Tommy Hanson who dominated rookie ball at right around the same age were kept there for an entire season and the organization is very cautious with its young pitchers. This will be a much better gauge of him than his Danville stats. The 22nd round has been kind to the Braves recently. Tommy Hanson signed as a draft-and-follow after being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2005 MLB Draft and Cole Rohrbough, a high profile draft-and-follow signing, was drafted in the 22nd round a year later. Hanson already is enjoying a climb to the top of prospect lists and the left-handed Rohrbough is doing his best in his first season to do exactly the same. Rohrbough, who stands at 6'3" 205 lbs was not only one of the highest profile draft-and-follows of this past year, but the last one the Braves will ever sign since the new rules regarding the draft have disallowed the practice. Rohrbough, who led Western Nevada Community College to the Junior College World Series opted to sign with the Braves for $728,000 instead of honoring his commitment to Arizona State. Despite a fairly mundane 3-2 record for Danville, the 20-year old southpaw has been nothing short of spectacular on the mound. In his eight games (seven starts), Rohrbough has an ERA of 1.08 with a 58/8 K/BB and only 20 hits over his 33.1 innings of work. Add onto that his 1.69 ground-outs for every fly ball out and you understand just how dominating this guy has been. Moving him up to Rome at some point is a possibility but the Braves left Tommy Hanson at Danville for the entirety of his season and as a prospect, he is very similar to Rohrbough. For those of you who are not farmiliar with Rohrbough, which I assume is most of you, here is a scouting report. Rohrbough has a three pitch mix that he works with on the mound. The left-hander throws a fastball with good movement (expected from left-handers) that he works with in the low-90's and has been clocked up to 94 mph. To go along with his fastball, Rohrbough has an above-average change, and a power spike curve (also called a knuckle curve), which is easily his best pitch. As his numbers show, his command is good and he can throw all three pitches for strikes and is not afraid to throw any of his pitches in any situation. On the mound, he has a great presence. He shows almost no emotion and doesn't get flustered even when he is in trouble. What should we expect from this young lefty, who is drawing so much attention from scouts and minor league fans all over the place? Normally I like to wait until I see full-season numbers from a player instead of rookie-ball short-season stats and that goes doubly for Rohrbough. He is playing against a lot of players straight out of high school and the rawest of players drafted out of the college ranks with Danville. Because of the rarity of the spike curve, 95% of these guys haven't ever seen even a mediocre one, much less one at the caliber of Rohrbough's. He is very consistent with the pitch so bascially any two-strike count is a strikeout since no one in his league really has a chance against the pitch. I'm very interested to see what he can do next year against a bit more advanced competition, who might have a better chance against the pitch. He is one of those guys, who is probably not yet among the Braves' top prospects due to the low level of competition he is facing.
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