Tuesday, November 25, 2008

41. Curtis Petersen

41. Curtis Petersen -RHP - 6'4 - 180lbs
(last year: NR)

When the Marlins drafted right hander Curtis Petersen in the 4th round of the 2008 draft, there was a strong chance he would end up going to Nebraska instead of him signing with the Fish. This all changed once the Marlins offered him a $350,000 signing bonus. As a senior at Ryan High School, Petersen went 12-2 with a 1.03era and struck out 127 batters.

Scouts love the 6’4 right hander’s projectability and believe as he matures, his velocity should increase as well. Right now he works in the high 80s but can hit 92mph with his fastball. He has an above average fastball for an 18 year old and his changeup has the makings of a plus pitch as well. Petersen has a clean, repeatable delivery which should allow him to continue to throw his secondary pitches for strikes.

Petersen got knocked around, albeit in just 14 innings with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. The rest of the time he spent in extended spring training. Just 19, he’ll probably spend more time in the GCL next year, while also seeing time in Jamestown.

Monday, November 24, 2008

42. Tom Koehler

42. Tom Koehler -RHP - 6'3 - 235lbs
(last year: NR)

The Marlins drafted right handed pitcher Tom Koehler in the 18th round of the 2008 draft. If not for his weight issues that he’s previously dealt with, the SUNY Stony Brook product would have been taken much higher. He lost nearly 40 pounds to trim down to his current 235 state. He’s since been able to keep the weight off and the Marlins believe they may have an absolute steal on their hands. In Koehler’s senior season, he had a 4.15era, 1.43whip in 93.1 innings of work. He struck out 111 and walked 45.

Koehler has excellent stuff, working his fastball in the 92-94 range with good sink to it. His slider has shown to be a plus pitch at times, and his changeup has the potential to be good as well. He even throws an overhand curveball but that is the weakest of his four pitches right now. He has a bit of a funky arm action, with an interesting wrap in the back that has affected his command in the past.

Tom is a starting pitcher right now and may very well end up that way but some scouts see him as a workhorse out of the bullpen. He’ll begin the year in Greensboro and will try to keep the ball in the park in the hitter friendly South Atlantic League.

Friday, November 21, 2008

43. Alejandro Sanabia

43. Alejandro Sanabia -RHP - 6'1 - 165lbs
(last year: 42)

The Marlins drafted Alejandro Sanabia in the 32nd round of the 2006 draft. The San Diego, native spent the 2005 season as part of the rookie league Gulf Coast Marlins pitching staff, going 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 appearances. Opponents hit just .169 off him while with the GCL Marlins. He shows a sinking fastball at 88-92mph that tops out at 93. He has a big slurve-like breaking ball and is working on a changeup. The changeup improved greatly from 2007 to 2008.

Stepping up from Jamestown to Greensboro was a big challenge for the 19 year old. In Jamestown, he was able to hold right-handed batters to a .212 average while walking just 9 and striking out 42. Obviously this meant that lefties killed him, which they did to a tune of .347. Pitching in Jamestown as an 18 year old, the late round pick certainly opened up some eyes in a much older league. Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming just raves about him, especially with his bounce back in the second half of the 2007 season after being hit hard in Jamestown early. He had a 5.80era before the break, and posted a 3.74era after, while batters hit just .224 off of him.

Sanabia took another step forward in his development in 2008. He held his own in the South Atlantic League, posting a 4.93era, .273baa and a 1.36whip in 96.2 innings. It seems as if he turned a corner late, as in his final 10 games he went 3-2 with a 3.78era. In those 52.1 innings of work, he gave up just 53 hits, walked 11 and struck out 41.

Still very young and quite raw, Sanabia should get a shot in high-A Jupiter where hopefully his secondary pitches keep on improving. With his stuff, he’s definitely a big time sleeper in this system.

44. Brett Hayes

44. Brett Hayes - Catcher - 6'1 - 200lbs - Throws: Right - Bats: Right
(last year: 34)

One of my favorite prospects when the Marlins originally drafted him, Brett Hayes’ prospect status has been stagnant over the last few seasons. 2008 was a mixed bag for the former University of Nevada catcher. He was terrible with the bat in Carolina, sporting a .650 OPS but as usual he helped mentor the young pitchers at that level and was excellent behind the plate. He saw a promotion to Albuquerque for the final 37 games of the season. Like one would expect, his offense improved all across the board as he got his OPS up to .796.

Coming off a weak hitting season in Greensboro in 2006, Hayes opened up some eyes when he hit .338/.413/.462 out of the gate in Jupiter in 2007. This earned him a promotion to Carolina where he was outclassed by a mile. Southern League pitchers feasted on him bailing out early on breaking balls, as he hit just .234. When he did make contact, there certainly was not much power there as he only had 19 extra base hits in nearly 300 at bats.

The question coming into 2007 was not whether or not he could hit enough, but whether he could stay healthy enough. He missed nearly 2 months back in 2006 with a broken hamate bone, and hasn’t shown great durability throughout his short career. Now it looks like health won’t be a problem but can he hit enough to be an everyday starter.

Drafted in the second round of the 2005 draft, Hayes has always been known as a great athlete and it shows behind the plate. He has great mobility to go with a very good arm back there. At one point in college, he played some shortstop, so that should give you an example at just how athletic he is. He is also known as a very good game caller too.

So now Brett comes into 2009 with the same hitting issues he has had in the three seasons prior to this. His defense is major league ready, but if he can’t grasp hitting the ball, he’ll never get a serious look. He’ll more than likely begin the season in New Orleans and be the primary backstop down there. He could possibly see some time as a backup to John Baker this season, depending on what the Marlins organization does with the likes of Matt Treanor and Paul Hoover.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

45. Tim Wood

45. Tim Wood -RHP - 6'1 - 185lbs
(last year: NR)

The Marlins drafted Tim Wood in the 44th round (1310th overall) of the 2002 draft. Early on, the Pima Community College pitcher of the year did not have any success in the professional ranks. His first three years in pro ball, he threw 123.1 innings, gave up 86 earned runs on 138 hits and 68 walks while striking out just 94 batters. Things started to turn for him in 2007, his second season in Jupiter. It was then that he was turned into a reliever full time. He made 17 appearances, throwing 26 innings. In that time span, he gave up 24 hits, 11 earned runs, just 1 homerun, walked 8 and struck out 26.

Even though he pitched well in 2007, the organization sent him back to Jupiter to begin the 2008 season. He would build off the season prior as he threw 40 innings and gave up just 25 hits and 1 homerun. He would see a late promotion to Carolina. Wood began to struggle in a much better league as he gave up nearly a hit per inning, although his walk rate and strikeout rate would improve.

Blessed with a 94-95mph fastball and a ridiculously nasty 86-88mph slider, Wood has all the tools to be a typical power-reliever. He’s been pitching in the pen out in the Arizona Fall League, trying to improve his command and its working as he has 0 walks in 11 innings of work. He’s battled injuries throughout his entire career but he could have a chance to crack the Marlins bullpen in spring training this season. If not, he’ll be in AAA New Orleans and could be on quickly if a bullpen spot arises early on in the season.