Commentor Gruntosaurus made a comment yesterday indicating interest in hearing more about Ryan Copeland, the lefty who has been tearing up the Midwest league. Ask, Gruntoaurus and you shall receive.
Ryan Copeland was drafted in the 32nd round of the 2010 MLB draft as a 4th year senior out of Illinois State University. He was converted from a starter to a reliever for his senior year. He’s a command/control guy, who’s career 1.29 BB/9 in college has carried over to his professional career (1.1 BB/9).
His numbers are fantastic over his first two seasons. His strikeout rate of 8.1 K/9 last year was good, but has improved it by a whole strikeout and a half to 9.6 K/9, which paired with his walk numbers are downright gaudy. This year he has struck out 62 and walked just 7 (7!) in 58 innings. He has a quality, but not otherworldly GB rate at 48%.
He is getting a little bit lucky with a .278 BABIP and 68.8% LOB%, which should regress his numbers to the mean a bit, but that will not largely affect his numbers overall.
However, that all having been said, Copeland is a good solid lefty with great number, but a non-prospect right now because of his age. He was severely old at Johnson City last year at 22 and skipped Batavia, but is still very old for the Midwest league right now at 23. At that age, to be considered a quality prospect, he would have to be at least in Springfield in AA. I will be happy to come back to Copeland later as he continues to rise in the minor leagues, but right now he is dominating as a Senior pitching to a Freshman with the numbers to show for it.