The following is a review of a list that was compiled way back in March of 2012. "2012 Outlooks" are based on a summation of scouting reports (entering the 2012 MLB season) of each player condensed into a sentence or two for easier reading.
65. Chris Archer--SP--Tampa Rays
- 2012 Outlook: "Command issues, but still has high ceiling."
- 2012 Achievements: #1 Prospect and Best Slider in Tampa Rays' system. #3 International League Prospect; Made 6 pitching appearances for Tampa Rays.
- Conclusion: Archer has the potential to strike out batters in bunches. He also has done a great job in limiting hitters' contact rate against him, in both Major and Minor Leagues--also averaged a 1.24 WHIP in both leagues. His main issue is his control, which, along with high strikeout rate, followed him to the Majors. Despite the major overhaul in the Rays' pitching rotation, it is still unclear where Archer will fit with the Rays in 2013.
64. Dellin Betances--P--New York Yankees
- 2012 Outlook: "Hard-throwing, 'strikeout artist.' Top of rotation stuff, but has control issues."
- 2012 Achievements: Participated in Arizona Fall League.
- Conclusion: Betances is a big fellow at 6'8", 260lbs so he might need a little more time to develop if you believe in the theory that big pitchers need more time in doing so. As promised, he did post a high strikeout rate in the Minors, but also posted a high WHIP, BB/9, and H/9. In his defense, Betances was placed on the 60-day Disabled List because of a shoulder injury in September so perhaps those numbers were affected by that.
63. Johnny Hellweg--SP--Milwaukee Brewers
- 2012 Outlook: "Needs to keep control in check. High 90s fastball makes him future ace."
- 2012 Achievements: Participated in AFL, used mostly as a Relief Pitcher; #15 Prospect in Texas League.
- Conclusion: Hellweg was traded to the Brewers, along with Jean Segura, in the Zack Greinke trade that sent him to the Angels. He stands at 6'9", 210 lbs. It can be argued that his size, along with his hard stuff, might account for his high amount of groundballs (3.13 groundball/flyball in Double-A Huntsville (Brewers)). However, while with Double-A Arkansas (Angels), he had a mediocre K/9 and high BB/9 of 4.5). Once acquired by the Brewers, they had him coming out of the bullpen most of the time at Huntsville. Because lack of control, he won't be making the Big League club anytime soon unless they are desperate for bullpen help.
62. Tyler Skaggs--SP--Arizona Diamondbacks
- 2012 Outlook: "Should make the Big League team by 2013. Ace pitching prospect in most farm systems."
- 2012 Achievements: Started 6 games for the Diamondbacks; #3 and #4 in both Southern and Pacific Coast Leagues, respectively; Best Breaking Pitch in both leagues.
- Conclusion: Despite making starts for the D'backs, reports showed he had decreased velocity on his pitches, which may have something to do with the mediocre stats he posted in the Majors. He did display good control in the Minors in 2012 (K:BB 3.14). Nevertheless, Arizona was so impressed by Skaggs' progress, that they went ahead and traded away #1 pitching prospect Trevor Bauer. The D'backs have a loaded starting rotation, but despite of the depth, and Skaggs' age (21), he will compete for a rotation spot in 2013.
61. Jarrod Parker--SP--Oakland A's
- 2012 Outlook: "Most promising of the A's pitchers. Already underwent Tommy John Surgery."
- 2012 Achievements: Started 29 games (20 Quality Starts) for Oakland A's.
- Conclusion: After only 4 starts in Triple-A, Parker was called up by the big club performing outstandingly well for the surging A's. He still has issues with command and might be a "pitch to contact" pitcher, but there's no denying his skill. He might leave too many balls in the air, but clearly, he's in the perfect situation in Oakland.