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Diamondback Minor League Review: Missoula Starting Pitchers

Considering Missoula won the Pioneer League championship, one might figure there are some decent pitching prospects on the team with bright futures. However, on closer review that just isn't the case. What they did do well is run the same starting rotation out there night after night using basically six starters all year. And even though none of them were very special they all had their moments and did enough to provide opportunities for the offense to shine.

It's not often that you see minor league teams go through an entire season with basically the same 5-man rotation all year. But that's essentially what Missoula did with the exception of one spot change down the stretch. Interestingly, the lot of them produced nearly identical statistics with the exceptions of Jared Ray who was probably the most consistent member of the rotation, and late-season insertion Chris Thomas who looked pitching in relief and as a starter.

RHP Jared Ray, 23
63 IP, 4.10 ERA, 58 K, 22 BB
Acquired: 2012 Draft - 34th Round
Jared Ray held his own as perhaps the best pitcher for Missoula over the course of the season. He's plenty old for the level at 23 so that was somewhat to be expected. There's nothing special about Ray but he throws strikes and doesn't beat himself. He'll be a solid organizational pitcher but his ceiling is limited.
2013 Projection: Low A South Bend
Ceiling: AA

RHP Yoimer Camacho, 22
62 IP, 4.91 ERA, 61K, 25 BB
Acquired: 2008 Venezuelan Free Agent
Camacho has been in the system for quite a while having spent a couple of years in the DSL and last year split between the AZL and Yakima. He's been okay but not good enough to work his way out of rookie ball, and in another season at a low level he was just okay again. There's no magic future for Camacho. He'll continue to be low-level fodder, but he at least did enough to keep his professional job another season.
2013 Projection: Short Season A Yakima
Ceiling: Low A

RHP Chris Pack, 25
76 IP, 5.42 ERA, 55 K, 29 BB
Acquired: 2012 Undrafted Free Agent
Pack might have been the oldest player in the Pioneer League at 25. The Dbacks signed him following a 2011 campaign for independent Joliet. I guess they just wanted a veteran arm to compile some innings at the lower levels. Pack's not really going anywhere but he was professional and did his job. Whether he gets a chance to pitch anywhere above rookie ball remains to be seen.
2013 Projection: Short Season A Yakima
Ceiling: Low A

RHP Karl Triana, 19
72 IP, 5.25 ERA, 59 K, 28 BB
Of all the Misoula starters Triana might have the most upside simply due to his age. At 19 he pitched pretty much as well as any other starter on the team, though that was hardly anything worth bragging about. But one scouting report I read liked the quality of some of his pitches so we'll at least give him a chance to go further than some of these other guys. But there's no ultimate destination at the top in his future, at least not one that I can see.
2013 Projection: Low A South Bend
Ceiling: AA

RHP Ross Gerdeman, 21
89 IP, 5.06 ERA, 62 K, 35 BB
Gerdeman was perhaps the least impressive of the Missoula starters but in the end his numbers weren't far off the rest of the guys. But it sure seemed like he got hit pretty regularly and it's hard to see him going very far in the organization.
2013 Projection: Rookie Missoula
Ceiling: High A

RHP Chris Thomas, 22
32 IP, 3.09 ERA, 30 K, 8 BB
Thomas pitched in 9 games out of the bullpen after being signed mid-season and he more than held his own. He did so well that he earned 3 crucial starts at the end of the season during the team's pressurized playoff run. And he did just as well in that role coming up with 2 huge starting efforts in do-or-die games. So if nothing else Thomas earned himself a more serious look somewhere next year. His future is totally unknown other than he'll be given more chances. We'll see what he does with them.
2013 Projection: Low A South Bend
Ceiling: AA