May 24, 2013
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Monday, June 21, 2004
Last week, I got an email from a reader named Josh Orenstein telling me about a minor leaguer I'd never heard of -- Yusmerio Petit. My guess is not many of you have heard of Petit either. Well, the guy is good.
Petit is a 19-year-old Venezuelan-born RHP in the Mets system. At Single-A Capital City this year, he's 8-1 in 13 starts, with a 2.14 ERA, 101 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 71.1 innings. He's not just a one-year wonder, either. In 2002-2003, Petit made 25 starts, with a 2.35 ERA, 147 strikeouts, and 26 walks in 130 innings.
Petit appears to be a stats-versus-scouts kind of guy. In the Baseball Prospect Book this year, John Sickels said of Petit, "Scouts aren't sold on him... His fastball is average, and given his small size [6'0", 185], it doesn't look like he will pick up a lot of additional velocity. He knows how to pitch, though, and I expect he'll have no major problems in full-season ball."
He hasn't. The only weird thing is Sickels' last comment: "If he passes the Double-A test, he could emerge as a Nelson Figueroa type."
What the hell? What is a "Nelson Figueroa type"? Nelson Figueroa has a 4.52 ERA in 233 career MLB innings, with just 5.48 strikeouts per 9 innings. How is that remotely comparable to Petit? I mean, I could see that as a downside or something, but Sickels makes it seem like this is a good thing.
Anyway, Petit has yet to struggle in pro baseball. He's now pitched 201.1 pro innings, and has a 2.28 ERA and a 248-46 K-BB ratio. That's 11 strikeouts per 9 innings. Petit has also given up just 9 homers in his career. Statistically, he has yet to show a weakness. It's early, but keep an eye on him.
Yesterday, Matthew lamented the Padres' demotion of Knott, pointing out that they didn't even give him a chance (14 AB). I watch nearly every Padre game, and I have been wondering why Bruce Bochy would not use him more. He has consistently shown a preference for Kerry Robinson, Jeff Cirillo and Miguel Ojeda off the bench, even in relatively low-leverage situations. But given that Bochy would not use Knott, he's better off playing every day and mashing at AAA Portland than glued to the bench in San Diego.
The move wasn't really Knott-for-Stone, though. The previous day, the Padres demoted Dennis Tankersley and activated Ramon Vazquez from the DL. The moves make more sense if you look at them as Tankersley/Stone and Knott/Vazquez. The Padres decided to skip Tankersley's spot in the rotation with their June 24 off-day and instead start him at Portland. When he comes back up for his June 29 start, they'll probably send down Brian Sweeney or Blaine Neal. And the team really needs Vazquez on the big-league roster, as currently there is no backup middle infielder (unless you count Jeff Cirillo).