BravesHeart Top 40 Prospects: #35-31
35. David Hale
Hale is the Braves third round pick from this past draft out of Princeton, but he grew up in Marietta…hey look, another local kid! He spent his abbreviated season in Danville, where he was advanced for the league. In his 16 innings, Hale struck out 12 while walking 5 and only allowing 7 hits. He also showed a fantastic tendency to keep the ball on the ground, with a 2.27 GB:FB ratio. The future looks bright for Hale, but the reason I have him so low on the list is because of how old he was for the league. I expect him to start the year in Rome, or possibly Myrtle Beach. There is no reason for him to waste away at the lower levels of the minors as a 22 year old when the season begins.
34. Cory Rasmus
Cory Rasmus oozes potential. He was the Braves first round supplemental pick in 2006 out of high school, and before this year, he had only pitched 13 professional innings due to Tommy John surgery. Rasmus played in Danville this year, and had an up and down season. He had 3 starts in which he combined to allow 12 runs, 15 hits, and 10 walks in 10 innings. He also threw a no hitter and 3 1 hit shutout innings over that span. Rasmus’s control is still a little rough, at 4.52 walks per 9. He also struck out 9.93 per 9, and allowed 1 homer in 51 2/3 innings giving him a FIP in the neighborhood of 2.75. Rasmus was only 21 during the season, and is finally back to the form the Braves expected when he was drafted so highly 3 years ago. Keep an eye on him.
33. Tyrelle Harris
If Tyrelle Harris didn’t get hurt at the end of July, he would have ranked a lot higher on this list. Harris is a 2009 draftee out of the University of Tennessee, and his polish showed. Harris started the year off in Danville, where he showed he didn’t belong after only 5 2/3 innings when he struck out 9 without a walk. He was promoted to Rome at the beginning of July, and kept his hot streak going, striking out 15 in 11 2/3 with 5 walks. He also only allowed 5 hits in Rome, which is just stupid. For his short 17 1/3 inning season, Harris allowed 2 runs and struck out 24, while walking only 5. Also, he only allowed 10 hits. I love Tyrelle Harris, and you should too. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start the year at Myrtle Beach.
32. Matt Crim
Lets get one thing out of the way: Matt Crim was the 2009 Appy League pitcher of the year, and it probably wasn’t deserved. The only reason I believe he won the award is because of his 10-2 record. That being said, he wasn’t a bad pitcher by any stretch of the imagination. Crim looked…I dunno, adequate would be a good work. He showed great control, walking just 10 in 68 innings. He was hittable though, allowing 70 base knocks over that same time. He doesn’t show the ability to blow away hitters with only 48 strikeouts. The 5 homers he allowed is an encouraging sign, though. Crim was decent this year in Danville, not great like two of his teammates I’ll be touching on a little later. I expect him to spend time in Rome this year, with a possible promotion to Myrtle Beach coming with his college experience at The Citadel.
31. Jeff Lyman
Ah yes, Jeff Lyman. I’ll give him some credit, he’s shown me something about his toughness this year, pitching in 111 2/3 innings despite only starting 12 games over his time in Mississippi, Gwinnett and the AFL. Lyman’s got control issues, walking 4.47 per 9 in Mississippi. We’ll overlook his Gwinnett stats for now since it was for a cup of coffee near the end of the year. Lyman has shown a good ability to strike guys out with a K rate of 7.76 per 9 this year in Pearl. I don’t really see him as an elite bullpen arm. Maybe somewhere in the range of a Jeff Bennett or Buddy Carlyle. In other words, an adequate innings eater that really won’t kill you unless you throw him into the fire.
Lets take a look at numbers 35 through 31...you like college pitchers? Heres a whole bunch of them.