2010 Player Preview: Mike Minor
Final projection: #1 or 2 starter throughout the low minors, finishing the year in either Mississippi or Gwinnett.
Continuing my stroll down the list I posted last week with Mike Minor, who will not be in Atlanta in 2010. But what the hell, right?
Minor was the Braves first round pick in 2009 at #7 overall. To say I was displeased was a mild understatement, career readers of this blog will tell you. But he proved me wrong, and impressed in his 4 starts in Rome, pitching in 14 walkless innings while striking out 17 and allowing only 1 run. Pretty decent for a college kid in his first professional experience.
He proceeded onto Arizona in the fall, and pitched pretty well up until his final start of the year. Before that start, Mike had only allowed 5 earned in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 10 and uncharacteristically walking 6. It hit the fan in that final start, as he allowed 3 homers and 7 hits in 2 1/3.
Looking at Minor's college stats from the 2009 season gives you more of a look at what type of a pitcher he is, since he's got a teeny tiny sample size as a professional. In 110 2/3 innings as a Commodore last year (which by the way, was 20% of the team's innings pitched), Minor posted a 3.90 ERA with 37 walks, 110 strikeouts, and 10 homers allowed. Not great...not horrible...just above average in the tough SEC. Its worth noting that he had some pretty bad defense behind him as the team posted a fielding percentage (AAAAAAAAAHHHH, DON'T KILL ME FOR QUOTING FIELDING PERCENTAGE!!!!!) of .972, which would explain his near-4.00 ERA.
So what the hell are the Braves getting out of Minor in 2010. I'd expect a performance a little better than his college career, with an ERA probably in the 3.00-3.30 range...lower that number a little if he's starting in the pitcher friendly park down in Myrtle Beach. If Minor is able to have a good spring, I wouldn't be shocked to see him start the year in Mississippi. If he doesn't impress, I also wouldn't be surprised to see him start the year in Rome. Regardless, he'll move quickly through the system, and I'll put his ETA at 2012 at the absolute latest.