Wednesday, May 21, 2008

As Big Club Falters, Minors Prosper

The big club in the Bronx may look like the Bad News Bears recently, but the Yankees minor leaguers are giving fans something to smile about.

With Joba Chamberlain's meteoric rise through the minors a well-chronicled journey last year, fans will be much more inclined to keep their ears open for the next young fireballer. Hopefully some of my thoughts will contribute toward your overall prospect knowledge in some capacity.

Periodically throughout every week I will recap the most noteworthy goings-on in the baby bombers arena. Today the focus will be on rising pitching prospects who all took the mound on Tuesday night.
Zach McAllister continues to dominate Sally league:

Last night - 8 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned run, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts.

Over his past two starts McAllister [pictured above] has thrown 15 innings, struck out 17, walked zero and allowed one earned run. That's domination. Over nine starts this season McAllister has had exactly one outing which was not very good.
Mark Melancon's progression has been superaltive:

Last night - 3 hitless and scoreless innings, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 groundball outs to zero in the air. [Melancon entered the game in a 0-0 tie and held off Reading until his team scored three runs in the top of the 10th before closing it out with a 1-2-3 inning]

Once again, that's domination. If you had never heard his name before and went to see him pitch now, you would assume Melancon had been making his way through the minor league ranks for at least a couple years before arriving in Trenton. [Try 37 career minor league innings] His mound demeanor and stuff continue to soar off scouting charts.
JB Cox knocking on the door:

Last night - 1.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 earned runs, 1 walk

His last professional season - which was at AA Trenton - was a dominant campaign for the former Texas University closer. Since returning from elbow surgery this year, Cox has pitched 16.1 innings with a 1.65 ERA and 2.38 GO/AO rate. Safe to say the sinker/slider repertoire remained intact for Cox. Should JB continue to pitch this well at AAA - for say a month or so - he could soon bolster a Joba-less bullpen.
Scott Patterson recovers from early woes:

Last night - 1 inning, 0 hits/runs/walks/strikeouts

In his last nine appearances, Patterson has not allowed an earned run. Over those 9.1 innings the funky righthander allowed 6 hits, 2 walks to go with 9 strikeouts. On the year Patterson has now tossed 20 innings, giving up 17 hits while striking out 19 to just 5 walks and posting a solid 2.70 ERA. It would seem Patterson has fully returned after a poor start to his 2008 season.
Ivan Nova looking to get on track:

Last night - 8 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk

In by far his best start of the season, Nova looked like the dominating pitcher many Yankee fans hope he can develop into. Though this season - and somewhat his career - has been extremely inconsistent, the 21 year-old still has a great deal of promise, evidenced by last night's performance. There had been rumors this April that Nova had lost some of the velocity off his plus fastball [which averaged 93mph last year], but building on his last start would help to quiet his critics.

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