5. Sean West - RHP - 6'8 - 200lbs
(last year: 9)
The Marlins selected Sean West in the supplemental first round of the 2005 draft. The Shreveport native was signed to a $775,000 bonus. It didn’t take him long to prove to the Marlins he was worth the pick. In 38.1 innings in the Gulf Coast League as a 19 year old, West went 2-3 with a 2.35era and a 1.04whip. He was striking out more than a batter an inning and only walked 7. In his first start of 2006 in low-A Greensboro, Sean threw 6 shutout innings. He would then be put on the shelf for a month with nagging shoulder pain. He would come back to finish his season at 8-5 with a 3.74era and a 1.29whip.
West came into the 2007 season rated in the top 3 Marlins prospects by many of the prospect pundits and was rated in a few of the top 100 overall prospects. This was short-lived as he tore his labrum in his first big league camp and missed the entire 2007 season. So now his timetable was set back a year, as opposed to his 2005 draftees who are all on their way to High-A Jupiter. At 6′8 and throwing out of a three-quarters arm slot, West has drawn comparisons to Randy Johnson and Andy Sisco. The big lefty throws a 90-93mph fastball that touches 95 with exceptional late life to it. He gets many of his strikeouts because of the movement on his fastball. As he grows, his velocity should spike up a bit more as well. He has two sliders, one tight and one with a larger break to it. The second one has been confused with a curveball at times. His changeup has plus potential. He has little trouble repeating his delivery and that allowed him to have pretty good command before the labrum injury.
Sean spent the 2008 season in Jupiter where he made a big comeback after his injury. In 100.2 innings of work, he went 6-5 with a 2.41era and a .224baa. His walks were up to nearly 5 per 9 but this was to be expected after not pitching an entire season. By all accounts, his velocity is totally back and while he is still a year behind in his maturation, he made big strides last season. He’s an emotional pitcher and has been labeled immature in the past because of how he acts on the mound. He added more lower body strength during his rehab sessions. West has as much, if not more, talent than any pitcher in the organization. If he can find the command of his secondary pitches in Double A Jacksonville this year, he could be fighting for a rotation spot in the Spring of 2009. If not, the whispers of him going to the bullpen will become louder.