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bravesheart-top-40-prospects-15-11 | December | 2009 Articles

2009 Archives

BravesHeart Top 40 Prospects: #15-11

Written by Joe Lucia on .

So close to the top 10...here are some of the guys that were so close, yet so far. 15. Brett DeVall The issue with DeVall isn’t talent or stuff, its health. Since being drafted in the supplemental round in 2008, DeVall has thrown 63 1/3 innings in 13 starts. That’s erm, really not good. There were rumors floating around when he got hurt this season that he was going to have Tommy John and miss most of 2010, but those rumors were proven false throughout the grapevine, and he should be good to go in the spring. Personally, I think DeVall was injured before he was shut down for the year, as in his final 2 starts of the season, He allowed 11 runs in 11 innings and allowed all 3 of his homers on the season. I don’t think the Braves will move DeVall up to Myrtle Beach at the start of 2010, because of his injury concerns, but there is always a possibility with the potential loaded Rome pitching staff. 14. Cole Rohrbough Rohrbough had a mess of a year, but I can’t justify dropping him so far down the prospect list based on that season, mostly due to the obscenely high .280 BAA. Rohrbough actually slightly cut his walk rate in 2009, but his strikeout rate also decreased, by more than a slight margin. He actually struck out fewer batters in 2009 than 2008 despite pitching in 27 more innings. Not good. Things are trending down for Cole, but I’m not ready to give up on him quite yet. The game started getting to him as he struggled, and he had a mini breakdown…if he can keep his head on straight, I think he can overcome his issues. 13. Craig Kimbrel I’m pretty sure this is the lowest anyone has had Kimbrel on a prospect list, but let me explain. Kimbrel was awesome last season, walking 3.82 per 9 while striking out 14.26. He only allowed 2 runs on the season too. Real good. This season…was interesting. Kimbrel’s control absolutely fell off the wagon, with a walk rate that increased all the way up to 6.75. The strikeout rate went up too, to 15.45. You’re gonna get love striking out that many batters, but the walk rate…I can’t put him any higher with any good faith due to that. But everything else…man. He only allowed 2 homers and 30 hits in 60 innings this year. That’s insane. Kimbrel had a horrible time in the AFL, which also contributed to my low ranking…16 walks in 10 1/3 innings is just inexcusable, but the 18 strikeouts is a nice perk. If he can get his wildness back to the level that it was at in his debut year of 2008…man, this kid could be special. 12. Randall Delgado Another guy I ranked pretty low compared to the rest of the net. Randall pitched this season as a 19 year old in Rome, and was pretty great, striking out 10.23 batters per 9 as a starter. Delgado had control problems early in the year, finishing with a walk rate of 3.55 per 9, but he finished the year strong, walking only 4 in his final 35 innings. He struck out 45 over that span as well, and did not allow a home run. The future for this guy is real bright, but the early season control problems have me thinking a little. I’d like to see Delgado put it together for a whole, full season. 11. Brett Oberholtzer Finally, the man I believe was the true ace of the Danville staff last year, Brett Oberholtzer. After a perfectly average debut last season in the GCL, Oberholtzer stepped up big time this summer, walking only 0.81 batters per 9 while striking out 7.52 per 9 over his season. What else do I like about Oberholtzer? He only allowed one homer, and it was in his worst start of the year. He keeps the ball on the ground, with a 1.21 GB:FB ratio. And finally, he was straight unhittable, allowing a BAA of .191. 4 of his first 6 walks came in the first 3 starts of his year. That’s just insane. Over his last 9 starts, he had a 41:2 K:BB ratio. 41 to 2. That’s…incredible. Have a good weekend everyone, I'll make sure to get a post up if theres any major breaking news in Bravesland this weekend.

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