Checking in on Our Favorite Minor League SPs

Throughout the season, I’ve talked about (or mentioned in passing) a few of my favorite minor league starting pitchers. With the season two months old, let’s take a look at some of these guys and try and decipher how much value each should have this year. We’ve already seen Philip Hughes, Tim Lincecum, and Homer Bailey get the call, so we’ll look at some of the remaining options.

Adam Miller – Cleveland Indians

About a week ago, Miller was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger. The recovery time is said to be at least 3 to 4 weeks. If we figure he’ll pitch at least 2 more weeks in the minors before being recalled (and it’s likely to be longer), we probably won’t be seeing Miller until the middle-to-end of July at the earliest. Hopefully the Indians will realize by then that Miller could be their #2 SP down the stretch. His numbers have declined a little with the jump to AAA, and they should decline a little more in the majors. His high ground ball rate will keep him afloat and ensure he’ll have some good value assuming his K/BB remains above 2.00 in the majors, which it probably will.
Minor League Stats
2006 AA Akron – 154 IP | 9.18 K/9 | 2.51 BB/9 | 55% GB
2007 AAA Buffalo – 42 IP | 8.36 K/9 | 3.00 BB/9 | 59.3% GB

Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers

Gallardo has been nothing short of dominant, even with the jump to Triple A. His K rate has gone up; his BB rate has gone down. His ground ball isn’t as good as we’d like, but if he can strike out 8 batters per game and walk a little over 3 in the majors, he should be a fine addition to any pitching staff. If you have first priority on your waiver wire, saving it for Gallardo might be a smart idea.
Minor League Stats
2005 A West Virginia – 117.7 IP | 7.95 K/9 | 3.90 BB/9 | 51.3% GB
2006 A+ Brevard County – 78 IP | 11.88 K/9 | 2.65 BB/9 | 57.3% GB
2006 AA Huntsville – 77.3 IP | 9.89 K/9 | 3.26 BB/9 | 42% GB
2007 AAA Nashville – 66.3 IP | 12.89 K/9 | 2.85 BB/9 | 42.4% GB

Clay Buchholz – Boston Red Sox

I haven’t talked much about Buchholz before, but he has been fantastic thus far. He’s only at Double A now, but the Red Sox will consider calling him up in the second half of the year. His numbers speak for themselves. I would assume he’ll see a promotion to Triple A anytime now. If he does get the call to the big leagues, he seems like he would be a very good option. That should be at least a month of two away though, so we’ll continue monitoring him.
Minor League Stats
2005 R Lowell – 41.3 IP | 9.80 K/9 | 1.96 BB/9 | 51.4% GB
2006 A Greenville – 102.7 IP | 10.26 K/9 | 2.54 BB/9 | 45.5% GB
2007 AA Portland – 57 IP | 12.63 K/9 | 2.05 BB/9 | 44.6% GB

Jason Windsor – Oakland A’s

I talked about Windsor in the beginning of the year as an under-the-radar guy for deeper leagues. His 2006 numbers looked great across two levels (one of which was Triple A), but so far this year he has been terrible. His Strikeout, Walk, and Ground ball rates have all declined. At this rate, I don’t see Windsor getting the call to majors this year. If he does, he doesn’t figure to be very good unless he can figure out what is going wrong. We’ll keep a close eye on his starts from here on out to see if anything changes.
Minor League Stats
2006 AA Midland – 33.3 IP | 9.45 K/9 | 2.70 BB/9 | 48.2% GB
2006 AAA Sacramento – 118 IP | 9.38 K/9 | 2.44 BB/9 | 46.1% GB
2007 AAA Sacramento – 54 IP | 6.83 K/9 | 4.17 BB/9 | 44.3% GB

I’ll take a look at a few more minor league starters who could have an impact later this week or next week.

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