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2009 Draftee Report Card, Part Five: Harvil-Worthington

I don't really feel like rehashing the intro from part four, so umm... this is a continuation of our look at the pitchers (Harvil-Z) taken in the 2009 draft. For a proper intro, go back and read the intro to part four. We'll wait until you do that. Done yet? Good. With out further ado, here is our final article on the players taken in the 2009 draft.

Round 2, Pick 60 - Eric Smith
Born: October 15, 1988 in Milford, Connecticut School: University of Rhode Island, R.I. Height: 6'3''  Weight: 215 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right
Rookie-level Missoula: 0-3 25.2 IP ERA: 4.21 FIP:  4.17 BABIP: .290 WHIP: 1.48 K:BB 21:16  GO/AO 2.60
Mid-A South Bend: 0-0, 16.1IP ERA: 2.76 FIP: 5.04 BABIP: .280 WHIP: 1.35 K:BB: 10:6  GO/AO: 1.47

Zephon: I'm not too high on this guy, especially seeing that the disparity between his ERA and FIP in South Bend is so great. It's not like he has that bad of numbers, especially in South Bend, but once you look at the more advanced statistics, it's clear that he actually pitched worse than his ERA suggests. Then you look at his numbers in Missoula, an easier level, and you can see that he pretty much got shelled and struggled with his control. I'm willing to stay optimistic considering his high draft position, but I'm weary due to his FIP and his lousy 3:2 K:BB ratio combined at both levels. Grade: C+ (Short-Term: C+ Long-Term: C+)

IHSB:  It's the stuff like this that just confuses you about prospects...  A guy gets shelled for all practical purposes and expectations in Rookie-ball, to the tune of a 4.21 ERA and 16 BB in 25.2 IP, but the organization just took him in the second round and is high on him, so they up him to Mid-A, and suddenly he only walks 6 in 16.1 innings and becomes a machine with a 2.76 ERA. Regardless of the details, that's a good number for a 21-year-old in his first professional season, and bodes well for this kid's future.  The only thing stopping this kid from having a flawless first year was the Missoula numbers, and I tend to believe that the numbers against the highest level of competition are the ones you need to look at the most (despite having a few more innings pitched at Missoula).  Grade: B (Short-term: B+ Long-term: B-)


Round 13, Pick 396 - Patrick Schuster
Born: 10/30/1990 in Holiday, FL School: J.W. Mitchell HS Height: 6'2''  Weight: 165 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Left
Rookie-level Missoula: 5IP ERA: 3.60 FIP: 3.20 BABIP: .331 WHIP: K:BB 6:4 GO/AO: 3.50

Zephon: Schuster, he of four consecutive no-hitter fame, was thought to be a possible high-round pick, but he slid, in part because of concerns of whether he would sign away from his commitment to Florida. Schuster is one of the two high school pitchers drafted by the Diamondbacks. The front office really likes Schuster, they were in fact planning on possibly drafting him with one of their extra picks, but once he fell, they nabbed him all the way down in the 13th round. Though it’s not the best of comparisons these days, the Diamondbacks see some Dontrelle Willis in him: He’s got a funky delivery, a fastball in the 88-90 range that can touch 93 from a lower arm slot that looks harder because of his deceptive delivery. Since the draft, the awards have poured on for Schuster, as he has been chosen as Florida's Mr. Baseball, has been one of 85 players named to the Louisville Slugger High School All-America team, and has been named the National High School Coaches Association's 2009 Senior Athlete of the Year for baseball. Unfortunately, Schuster only pitched 5 innings for Missoula, so I can't give him a grade. However, based on his scouting report, and college career, I think he's a promising draft pick. Personally, I think he's a definite sleeper candidate going into next seasonGrade: A (Short-Term: Incomplete, Long-Term: A-)

IHSB: Perhaps my favorite thing about the Schuster pick was the fact that the D-Backs showed a little bit of balls in picking an arm, despite their normal timidity in picking a bunch of "safe" college arms that don't typically have the upside that high schoolers have.  But, with Schuster, we got a strikingly high-upside guy who was thought to be close to un-signable, and is a talent that belongs in one of the top-3 rounds.  Granted, there wasn't all that much risk, as Schuster was a thirteenth round pick, but a baby step is better than nothing, right?  The production is obviously irrelevant, since it's 5 innings and there aren't any extremely disturbing trends to be found, but the grade I give the D-Backs here is for their draft philosophy more than anything.  A great gamble and a guy who will surprise people.  Grade: A (Short-term: N/A Long-term: A)

Round 16, Round 486 - Ryan Robowski
 Born: 02/03/1988 in Uniontown, PA School: Ohio Dominican U Height: 6'0'' Weight: 185 Position: Pitcher Bats: Left Throws: Left
Rookie-level Missoula: 3-3 30.0IP 6SV ERA4.20 FIP: 3.33 BABIP: .342 WHIP: 1.33 K:BB 23:6 GO/AO: 3.47

Zephon: Another one of the 'owskis drafted by the DBacks who I'm rooting for to make it.  This guy actually had a pretty decent season, considering his draft position. While the ERA isn't other-worldly, it's still pretty solid. Once you look at his 3.33 FIP and .342 BABIP you can see that he was a victim of not only bad luck, but especially bad defense. Missoula's defense was pretty awful and he had guys making 10-20 errors behind him apiece. Some other bright spots are the almost 4:1 K:BB ratio, and the otherworldly 3.47 groundball to flyball ratio. Bonus points for being a left hander as well.  Probably doesn't have a future as a starter, but I can see a future where he's a solid left bullpen option who gets lots of ground outs. Hopefully he can maintain that high level of ground outs. Grade: B (Short-Term: B+ Long-term: C+)

IHSB:
  Got a few save opportunities, and has some pretty darned good numbers to back up the claim that Robowski got a little shafted.  3.47 GO/AO is spectacular.  And the K:BB ratio is good, although you'd hope that he could up the K's per inning while being able to keep the walks down, as 23 in 30 innings isn't great.  Then again, if the guy can keep up that 3.47, it won't matter all that much if he can't increase those K's.  Could be a good get, especially since our system is almost completely devoid of left-handed pitching, both starters and relievers.  Grade: B (Short-term: B-, Long-term: B)

Round 17, Pick 516 - Andrew Wolcott 
Born: 09/08/1987 in Grayslake, IL School: Duke University Height: 6'5'' Weight: 245 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right
Low-A Yakima: 3-5 64.2IP ERA: 4.87 FIP: 4.48 BABIP: .316 WHIP1.47  K:BB 29:14 GO/AO: 1.65

Zephon: Decent numbers, I guess, for the big right hander out of Duke. His FIP is pretty much right in line with his ERA, and his BABIP is right around where it should be. This guy probably doesn't have much of a future as a starter, and his best bet at making the major leagues would be as a reliever. I think this analysis generally applies to all pitchers, but when you're a starter, you have to hold back on your velocity and stuff, so you can go deeper into the game. If you're a reliever, you don't need to hold back on your stuff, and you can go all out for one inning. Grade: C- (Short-term: C, Long-term: C-)

IHSB:  
Kind of an awful debut to be honest, particularly with 29 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.  I don't see how a guy with that poor of a K-Rate makes any sort of career for himself.  I honestly look at these numbers and have no idea how it worked.  Either Wolcott is the most clutch pitcher in human history, or he's luckier than his FIP/ERA split would ever lead you to believe.  Interesting, to say the least, but a move to the 'pen is probably his only hope, and by "only hope," I mean "his only chance to have anything approaching acceptable metrics, which he's going to need when he moves beyond Low-A."  Grade D+ (Short-term: C, Long-term: D)

Round 20, Pick 606 - Adam Worthington
Born: 08/20/1987 in Gurnee, IL School: University of Illinois Height: 5'10'' Weight: 190 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right
Rookie-level Missoula: 5-4 29.2IP ERA:1.82 FIP: 2.59 BABIP: .326 WHIP 0.98  K:BB 36:3 GO/AO: 1.04

Zephon: This guy was lights out for Missoula, and his ERA, WHIP, and strike out to walk ratio are absolutely ridiculous. However, Worthington is a bit old for the level, and he seems to have an undersized frame. I can't find any scouting report on Worthington, so I'm curious to know what kind of stuff he has. If this guy pitches like this at higher level next year, he should be on the radar of some prospect lists. Grade: B- (Short-Term B, Long-term C+)

IHSB:  
A first quick glance at the metrics and personals screamed one thing to me: "minor-league closer."  Hypothetical fan: "I mean, bejeezus, look at those metrics!  How could this guy have not been picked so much higher?"  Well, it's because he's 5'10''.  He just did that in Missoula at 22, also, and doesn't have the size/quite as good of metrics as a guy like Cantwell.  There are two scenarios for this guy.  First is he pulls major-league stuff, a la 90 mph fastballs, out of that frame, which all but destines him for the DL.  Second is that he is a soft-tosser who gets by on guile and better off-speed stuff than anybody in the Rookie-league is used to, in which case he'll find himself amongst rough company when he starts climbing to higher levels.  Then again, there's always this, so you never really know...  Grade: C (Short-term: B, Long-term: C-)

Round 21, Pick 636 - Daniel Taylor
Born: 07/25/87 School: Central Michigan University Height: 6'0'' Weight: 205 Position: Starting Pitcher Bats: Left Throws: Left
Low-A Yakima: 5-1 in 17 games, 9 GS63.2 IP ERA: 3.53 FIP: 3.03 BABIP: .332 WHIP: 1.19 K/BB: 70:20 GO/AO:1.24

Zephon: I'm going to mostly defer to IHSB on this one, since he seems to know more about the guy than me. The ERA is pretty nice, the WHIP is very good, and the K/BB ratio is insane. It appears that Taylor was a bit unlucky with his ERA as his FIP is a full half run lower. I do agree with IHSB on this one, if this guy stays healthy and stays on track, he'll end up being a steal. Grade B+ (Short-Term: B+, Long-term: B+)

IHSB:  There's actually some excitement to be had about Taylor, despite his low draft position in the 21st round. The guy was absolutely lights-out for Yakima down the stretch, and earned Northwest League Pitcher of the Week honors for the week ending August 16 with two wins in two starts, in the first of which Taylor went seven shutout innings with ten strikeouts and only two hits and a walk, and in the other of which he went six innings, giving up six hits, a walk, and only one run on a solo home run, while striking out eight. That adds up to one run in 13 innings, 18 strikeouts, two walks, and eight hits. He also throws left-handed, which is a plus. The frame is worrisome, as 6'0'' isn't exactly ideal size for a pitcher (one of the biggest conerns for Jarrod Parker was that his slight 6'1'' frame might lead to breakdown concerns...), and probably partially explains his draft position slide, but it's not completely unfeasible that he has major-league success. All of the in-depth numbers (WHIP, K/BB) are immensly in Taylor's favor, and we may have found ourselves an absolute steal - probably depending on whether or not he stays intact. Still one of my favorite picks of our entire draft, though.  Grade: A+ (Short-term: A+, Long-term: A)

Round 23, Pick 696 - Christopher Odegaard
Born: 04/17/1987 in Glencoe, MN School: Minnesota State University - Mankato Height: 6'3'' Weight: 215 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right
Low-A Yakima: 2-8 79IP ERA: 4.10 FIP: 4.25 BABIP: .289 WHIP 1.41 K:BB 46:35 GO/AO 2.14 


Zephon: Not bad numbers for a guy who lead Yakima in innings pitched by a margin of 15 innings, and started more games (15) than any other player. The ERA, while not setting the world on fire, is a pretty solid 4.10. The K:BB is respectable, although there are just a few too many walks. The GA/AO ratio however is soild, and it's clear he's getting lots of groundouts. The BABIP is a bit a low but not extremely low, so I would expect a little regression next year. This guy probably doesn't have that high of a ceiling, probably at best a league average 4th or 5th starter. Grade: C+ (Short-Term C+, Long-Term C-)

IHSB:  Old and didn't do much at Low-A.  Not that you really expected much of anything from Odegaard with his draft position, but despite his sink, his pathetic K-Rate and excessive BB-Rate make him essentially a non-factor in the system.  He'll eat minor-league innings, which is always nice to take the stress off of some of the younger bullpen arms who often have to save their starters' rears with a lot of work when they can't last all that long into a game, but I don't see any other value aside from that.  But if you're looking for value beyond that, you ought to look beyond Odegaard.  Grade: C- (Short-term: C, Long-term: D+)

Round 32, Pick 966 - Will Harvil 
Born: 06/17/1987 in Smyrna, GA School: University of Georgia Height: 6'5'' Weight: 220 Position: Pitcher Bats: Left Throws: Right
Low-A Yakima: 2-2 32.1IP ERA: 3.34 FIP: 5.09 BABIP: .228 WHIP: 1.42 K:BB: 25:19 GO/AO: 1.54

Zephon: Another late round pick that at first glance put up respectable numbers. Harvill's ERA is decent, but the rest of his periphal stats paint a different picture. He's got an ugly K:BB ratio of 1.32, a FIP over 5, and an extremely low unsustainable BABIP that suggests that he had a lot of luck on his side. More than likely Harvill will regress next year and put up an ERA that falls in line with the rest of his stats. He does have a few bright spots though, as a 0.84 HR/9 shows that he doesn't give up many HRs. Grade: C- (Short-term: C-, Long-term C)

IHSB
Here's a guy whose metrics really tell the story.  Didn't strike out enough guys, and walked too many.  Doesn't appear to induce a whole lot of ground balls.  The only real hope this guy has is that his frame, which is large, will support some significant growth and allow him to add velocity to become relevant, but for now you have nothing here.  Grade: C- (Short-term: C-, Long-term: C)

Round 33, Pick 996 - Brad Wilson 
Born: 05/26/1987 in Garden Grove, CA School: Cal Poly Pomona Height: 6'1'' Weight: 185 Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right
Mid-A South Bend: 4.1 IP ERA: 0.00 WHIP: O.69 K:BB 1:1 GO/AO: 0.83

Zephon:    I really can't make much of an analysis here with only 4 IP. I wouldn't have too high of expectations for Wilson, as he's a late round pick, and will probably end up being organizational filler. Grade: Incomplete and most likely irrelevant. 

IHSB:  Ditto.  :-P  Anti-climactic ending, eh?  Grade: Not going to matter.



Since the Diamondbacks' inception, the front office's drafting philosophy, when comes to pitchers, has been to draft almost exclusively college arms, especially in the higher rounds. From Bryan Augenstein to Brandon Webb to Clay Zavada, most, if not all of the pitchers that have come up through the Diamondbacks farm system in their short history have been drafted out of college.  In this draft they continued that trend, with 16 out of the 18 pitchers drafted coming out of college. Very rarely do they make an exception to this draft philosophy, breaking the rule only for the highest caliber of high school pitchers, and/or later on in the draft.  Big examples of the former would be Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson, and both of those worked out pretty darned well, wouldn't you say? This year's exceptions are Patrick Schuster and Scott Allen. Patrick Schuster fits the former, having a superb high school career. 

 

The debut seasons of the pitchers drafted in 2009 have been quite remarkable, with the majority of the pitchers posting ERAs or FIPs under 4. The team had a number of players put up some extremely impressive debut seasons: Michael Belfiore, Chase Anderson, Scott Allen, Charles Brewer, Adam Worthington, Brian Budrow, and Eric Smith all posted ERAs under 3. A number of pitchers were victims of bad luck, one example being Keith Cantwell (1.74 FIP, 44:5 K:BB ratio but had a 4.11 ERA due to a .390 BABIP). The defense in the lower levels of the minors was especially atrocious with multiple players with 10+ errors playing behind them, and some with as many as 20 errors. This lead to many of the players posting a better FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) than their ERA.

 

Looking back at totality of this draft, the players taken in it, and their debut seasons, the Diamondbacks had an excellent draft in 2009. They added a significant amount of depth and possibly high upside talent to the infield with players like Bobby Borchering, Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, David Nick, Brent Greer, Ryan Wheeler, and Paul Goldschmidt. They added some nice outfield talent with the additions of A.J. Pollock, Marc Krauss, and the high upside Keon Broxton. In addition, they added a ton of pitching depth to their system by spending nearly half of their draft picks on pitchers. In mine, IHSB, and several expert's opinions, this was one of the best, if not the best, drafts of 2009. I think in time, this may end up being the best draft in the Diamondbacks short 12 year history.


Before I close, I'd just like to say a few things. The adventure that has been writing these articles with IHSB has been long and arduous, having started when the season ended all the way until two days before Christmas. I have to say that it's definitely been one of the most enjoyable things I've done in my time on the Snakepit. I know that this project couldn't have been done without IHSB. I've had a great time working with him, arguing with him, and discussing all things prospect-related with him in the process of writing these articles. I'd also like to thank my lovely fiancée for her input, support and patience with me while writing these articles over the last two months. I'd like to thank Nick Piecoro for providing some very helpful information when we started writing these articles. In addition, I'd like to thank the folks over at the DBBP. The Bullpen proved its utility to me in the creation of these articles, providing the list of signed draftees, along with a multitude of scouting reports, signing bonus figures, et cetera. In addition, they've been very kind and appreciative of the articles, and provided some very helpful constructive criticism. I'd also like to thank all of you here on the Snakepit for your helpful comments and constructive criticism. Without the audience that the Snakepit provides, there wouldn't be a reason or a place for these articles. And finally, if I forgot anyone (which I'm sure I did), thank you.