39. Steven Cishek -RHP - 6'6 - 200lbs
(last year: 33)
The Marlins selected Steven Cishek in the 5th round of the 2007 draft out of Carson-Newman College, a small school in Tennessee. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen with CNC. In 43 innings, Cishek struck out 43 against 10 walks, posted a 3.14 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .228 batting average. The 6'6 righty really impressed after being drafted and making 25 appearances in short-season Jamestown. He absolutely dominated the New York-Penn League, giving up just 20 hits in 32.1 innings. He struck out nearly 1 per inning, and walked 19. The walks are a bit of a concern, but some believe he is just "effectively wild". Opposing batters hit just .175 off of him.
While his era was high in Greensboro, the rest of his peripheral numbers were pretty good. He struck out just under one batter per inning and gave up fewer hits than innings pitched. The walks are still high but it’s an improvement over his walk rate from a season ago.
When scouts looked at him as a senior in high school, he was throwing in the low 80s but as he has gotten stronger over the past 3 seasons, he now hits in the low 90s, but has been clocked at 95mph. His slider is still average at this point but it made great strides last year, while his changeup has all the makings of a plus pitch. His college coach suggested that if he was at a bigger school, he would have been a 1st rounder.
Cishek should take on Jupiter this year; with a chance at a promotion to Carolina if the situation warrants. The continued development of his slider should help him climb the relief pitcher prospect ladder in this organization.