Great chat with Luhnow today at the official site of the Cardinals, I love the access the front office has given the fans this year. Hopefully there will be more of these in the future. The whole transcript is worth your time, but I wanted to share a couple of interesting bits regarding two sleepers:
Q: Thanks for the chat, Jeff! What can you tell me about the velocity/repertoire of Venezuelan southpaw sensation Moises Colorado?
Luhnow: I just saw him pitch the other day in Jupiter, and I saw him in Venezuela earlier in the year. He’s a tall pitcher with long arms. His fastball is 88-89 but he still could throw harder and he’s a left-hander. He has a curveball and a changeup, both of which are improving. I’m looking forward to seeing him in the US next year.
Q: Can you name a few hidden gems, future prospects we may not have heard much from yet?
Luhnow: Sam Freeman. Left handed pitcher up to 94 with good secondary pitches, and one of the best athletes we have in our system. Watch out for him! Good timing, too, as we certainly aren’t going to turn away any good lefties. Also, Ryde Rodriguez is really coming on. He was finally recognized as an All-Star in the GCL. He has matured as a hitter and has big league tools, as well as big league makeup.
He later says the system is lacking in the left-handed pitching department, but hopefully these two will prove to be useful down as they move up the ladder.
Sean Chone Smith released his 2008 MLE’s. David Freese had the best line I could find, with a .276/.321/.467 translation. I’m not sure how sold the Twins are on Brian Buscher; I wonder if Freese would interest them. I dunno, maybe Boof Bonser for Freese? I know Bonser has struggled with a 5.86 ERA and is now in their bullpen, but his peripheral stats haven’t really changed from year to year; his 4.21 FIP tells the real story. They have five young, cost-controlled pitchers right now and a couple of more on the cusp in Mulvey and Humber, so they could be more then willing to part with the Boofster for some offense/glove at 3B.
Speaking of the Twins, watching them come back on the White Sox last night was pretty impressive. I’ve always begrudged the Twins over ’87, and what the Northstars did to the Blues in ’91 furthered my hatred towards Minnesota sports teams. Yet somehow, I found myself pulling for them last night. It must be my appreciation for prospects, that team is packed with young, homegrown talent. They definitely know what they are doing with that farm system.’
And speaking of beefy pitchers (Boof), Goldstein starts an interesting conversation by looking at different pitcher body types in trying to determine if size matters when it comes to results and durability.
Tanner Scheppers, who the Pirates were unwilling to sign do to his shoulder issues and asking price, signed with the independent league St. Paul Saints. That makes two top draft picks in the American Assocation, with Aaron Crow playing for the Ft. Worth Cats being the other.