Getting Familiar: Alex Cobb, Austin Hinkle, Justin Garcia and JESSE DARCY!

Moving along,  today we have the Columbus Catfish/Bowling Green Hot Rods

Name

Team

K/9

BB/9

K/BB

HR/9

ERA

FIP

Austin Hinkle

Rays

12.9

3.66

3.53

0.39

2.51

2.2

Justin Garcia

Rays

9.71

2.49

3.9

0.5

2.49

2.7

Jesse Darcy

Rays

6.63

1.02

6.53

0.81

3.05

3.4

Alexander Cobb

Rays

6.25

2.26

2.77

1.03

3.29

4.4

Alex Cobb-Cobb was the Rays 4th round pick in the 2006 draft out of Vero Beach High School. As a 19 year old in 2007, he put up impressive numbers in Hudson Valley and developed buzz in some circles. However, that buzz has quieted down some after the emergence of pitchers like Barnese and Moore as well as a so-so 2008 from Cobb. His 2.77 K/BB was lackluster and his 3.29 ERA is shadowed by his 4.4 FIP. His HR/9 also jumped from 0.44 in 2007 to 1.03 in 2008. He is still young at age 21and should move up to advanced A Charlotte County.

Jesse Darcy-Yes, JESSE DARCY! Darcy was the Rays 38th rd pick in 2007 and so far has been a nice late round find. In 2008 he worked as both a starter and a reliever with success in both roles that saw finish 6th in the SAL in ERA. He carried a 3.4 FIP overall, but his 2.97 FIP as a relief pitcher was better than his 3.93 as a starter. His most impressive number was a nice 6.53 K/BB rate and further showed excellent control by walking just 15 batters in 133 innings. He could be the best starter for the Charlotte Stone Crabs in 2009, but will be a 24 year old in A ball by June.

Austin Hinkle-Another late round sleeper from 2007, Hinkle was the Rays 41st rd pick out of Coastal Carolina University. He dominated rookie ball in 2007 to the tune of a 1.64 ERA/2.38 FIP and had a nice K/BB of 3.38. He skipped short season ball and pitched out of the Columbus bullpen where he put up more of the same numbers. His K/9 jumped from 7.36 to 12.92, but his BB/9 also moved from 2.18 to 3.66. However, his K/BB improved to 3.53 and his FIP was actually lowered to 2.24. Like Darcy, he chould be best pitcher in the Stone Crabs bullpen this year, but will be 23 years old in May.

Justin Garcia-Continuing the theme of late rounders is Garcia. Like Darcy and Hinkle before him, Garcia comes from the later rounds of the 2007 draft (The 25th rd to be exact). He has been a solid every step of the way so far and pitched 72.1 innings out of the Columbus pen last year. With a K/9 of almost 10 and a K/BB of almost 4, he and Hinkle will be a nice pair in the bullpen down in Charlotte County. Unlike Darcy and Hinkle, Garcia will be 22 for all of the 2009 season.

*Dishonorable Mention*

Glenn Gibson-When the Rays traded for Elijah Dukes, they were getting a 20 year old starting pitcher who just put up a 2.75 FIP and a 9.0 K/9 the season before. Now, they have a 21 year old swing man who's K/9(5.61) almost matches his FIP (5.58). Gibson is a lefty and I guess you picture him as a LOOGY down the road, but his BAA of .382 against LHB in 2008 suggest otherwise. Meanwhile, Elijah Dukes posted an .864 OPS for the Nationals. Call me bitter.

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