The Official Prospect(s)
I’ve been watching Bryan Anderson since the beginning of last year, following an interview and story I did with him. At the time, he was mostly notable for being the youngest player in camp, but also because he’d hit pretty nicely in his pro debut at age 18. Throw in the fact that the guy has a beautiful swing, and I was definitely intrigued.
Of course, Anderson went on to have a very nice year at Quad Cities, and he’s raking at Springfield. He is jokingly, but frequently, referred to in the press box as the Official Prospect of StLCardinals.com. If there’s a list of things I love to see in a hitting prospect, he’s pretty much got them all — very young for his leagues, an idea of the strike zone, promising offense at a premium defensive position. If I were really being picky, I’d like to see some more power, at least more doubles power, but a catcher hitting 320/380/450 at Double-A at age 20 is a really, really nice prospect.
Well, now there’s an official Prospect 1B of StLCardinals.com — right-hander Tyler Herron, a sandwich pick in that same increasingly fruitful 2005 draft. He was a little rough in his pro debut, but of course he was 18 and 19, and even then he had an excellent strikeout rate. Herron went on to hold his own in his second year, and this year he’s really stepping forward. His outing on Saturday night looks like a real coming-out party. Herron dominated, striking out 10 with no walks in six innings.
In seven June outings, four starts (QC had been using the tandem-starter system), Herron threw 31 2/3 innings, allowed 24 hits, struck out 37 and walked 2. I’m not sure, but I think an 18.5:1 K:BB ratio is considered good. The list of Cards pitching prospects generally includes Jaime Garcia, Chris Perez, Dennis Dove, Blake Hawksworth and Adam Ottavino, and I like them all to varying degrees.
I’m eager to see Herron pitch, but from what I know of him and from what he’s doing at QC, I think he’s exciting. Of course, the higher levels of the Minors tend to sift out a lot of guys, so we’ll know more in a couple of years. But it’s surprising to me how much a supplemental first-rounder has flown under the radar thus far.
-M, listening to Pandora Internet radio.