2004 Trenton Thunder Pitching Prospect Review

Ramon Ramirez Had Good Peripherals

PinstripesPlus looks at the peripherals stats of the Trenton Thunder pitchers to project development. We will look at the guys who pitched a minimum of 40 innings for Trenton and did not accrue 40 or more innings at Columbus. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)</b>

Tim Adkins - LHP

The Yankees signed Adkins as a six-year free agent out of the Blue Jays' organization back in 2000 after being Toronto's 9th round pick in the 1992 draft out of Wayne High School in West Virginia. After spending a couple of seasons in the Tigers and Reds' organizations, Adkins found his way back to the Yankees' family in 2003. Adkins made 52 appearances for the Thunder in 2004 (one start) and was not very effective as his peripheral stats show. He was quite adept at keeping the ball in the ballpark. However, that's about the only decent stat that jumps out at you. A free agent again this fall, Adkins will not likely be re-signed by the Yankees.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

4.63

56.1

1.63

4.31

7.03

0.16

.280



Rik Currier - RHP

Drafted by the Yankees in the 6th round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Southern California, Currier had been a steady pitcher during his time as a Yankee farmhand until this past season with Trenton. Hardly ever allowing more hits than innings pitched prior to this season, he got smacked around by opposing Eastern League batters to the tune of a .284 average while serving up more than one home run per nine innings. Currier's 6.06 ERA was the highest on the staff among pitchers logging at least 40 innings. At 26 years old, Currier probably earned the dreaded "NP" label with his 2004 campaign: "not a prospect". He could return to Trenton next season for some more seasoning.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

6.06

81.2

1.74

5.62

8.16

1.21

.284



Sean Henn - LHP

The good news with Henn is that despite somewhat pedestrian numbers in 2004 he was able to remain healthy the entire season, pitching a team-high 163 innings and making 27 starts for the Thunder. His numbers were solid across the board but is going to have to make a few more batters miss to realize the potential he had prior to his surgery three years ago. Henn is still only 23 years old (he turns 24 in April) and has a good chance to make that leap into a good pitching prospect. The hard part is out of the way...he has shown he's at least fully healed. Henn should be back in the Trenton rotation and will be aided by the likes of Steven White and Jeff Karstens surrounding him on the staff.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

4.41

163.1

1.44

3.47

6.50

0.61

.280



Justin Pope - RHP

Pope is a wildcard among the Yankees' pitching prospects. Originally drafted in the 1st round of the 2001 draft out of the University of Central Florida by the St. Louis Cardinals, Pope had a very solid 2004 in two stops between Tampa and Trenton. As his peripheral stats show, he's a control pitcher that is not willing to give up the walk. In fact, he gave up as many walks (7) as home runs (7) during his 13 appearances for Tampa this past season. Time is running out for Pope who just turned 25 but with just 403 professional innings, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. It will be interesting to see if Pope begins the 2005 season in Trenton or if the Yankees challenge him right away and send him to AAA-Columbus.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

4.06

75.1

1.27

2.15

6.33

1.43

.270

A

Tampa

3.80

66.1

1.10

0.95

5.97

0.95

.270



Ramon Ramirez - RHP

Ramirez has great stuff and some people might get down when looking at his overall numbers for the Trenton Thunder in 2004 (4-6, 4.62 ERA) after garnering a lot of attention in 2003. A closer look at his peripheral stats show a different story. Ramirez posted an excellent 4 to 1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and held opposing AA batters to just a .239 average. He still gives up too many home runs to be truly effective but his overall peripherals suggest that he's a better pitcher than his overall results. Despite a horrific four starts with the Clippers this past season, Ramirez should being 2005 in AAA-Columbus where he'll need to put it all together to regain his once, top prospect form.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AAA

Columbus

8.50

18.0

1.83

4.00

8.50

1.50

.329

AA

Trenton

4.62

115.0

1.29

2.50

10.0

0.86

.239



Carlos Reyes - RHP

Reyes originally began his professional career as an undrafted free agent signing by the Braves back in 1991. Since that time, Reyes has pitched for seven different organizations, including two stints in the Yankees' farm system. At 35 years old, Reyes was more like a player/coach for the Trenton Thunder in 2004. A free agent this offseason, Reyes is likely to retire as a player and begin his career as a coach.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AAA

Columbus

5.88

26.0

2.04

3.46

4.15

1.04

.391

AA

Trenton

5.56

77.2

1.53

1.74

6.95

1.04

.321



David Shepard - RHP

Shepard was one of the more reliable pitchers for a struggling Thunder pitching staff in 2004. He went 4-7 with 20 saves and a 3.54 ERA in 51 relief appearances for Trenton this past season. His numbers were solid across the board, holding opposing batters to a .221 average. Originally drafted by the Reds in the 3rd round of the 1996 draft of out Clemson University, he walks a few too many batters for a closer but does manage to keep hitters off balance. Shepard, who turns 31 in February, is a minor league free agent this offseason and it remains to be seen if he'll be back in the Yankees' organization in 2005.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

3.54

68.2

1.25

3.67

6.82

0.39

.221



Matt Smith - LHP

A free agent signing by the Yankees back in 2000, Smith just completed his second straight sub-par season in the Yankees' farm system after missing the entire 2003 season with an injury. He allows too many base runners to be effective and at 25 years old, he has the look of a career minor leaguer.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

4.96

61.2

1.59

4.52

8.17

0.73

.285



Francisco Villegas - RHP

It was a weird year for Villegas in 2004. Despite walking the park for Tampa, he managed to notch two saves and post a respectable 3.09 ERA. Upon his promotion to AA-Trenton, Villegas' control got much better as his 4.47 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Thunder indicates. But even with the improved control, he had much less success despite posting a career high strikeout and a career low walk rate. Perhaps he should go back to walking more batters! Villegas should be back in Trenton next season for some more seasoning and hopefully his peripherals indicate better success.

Level

Team

ERA

IP

WHIP

BB/9

K/9

HR/9

Avg.

AA

Trenton

5.94

50.0

1.58

2.70

12.1

0.36

.311

A

Tampa

3.09

23.1

1.54

6.94

9.26

0.77

.204



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