Getting Familiar: Jeremy Hellickson, Heath Rollins, Ryan Reid and Neal Frontz

My finale on the pitchers includes four pitchers who started out the season in class A Vero Beach and ended in AA Montgomery. On the table below, I've included both their Vero Beach and Montgomery numbers.

 

Name

K/9

BB/9

K/BB

HR/9

ERA

FIP

Ryan Reid

13.06

0.87

15

0

0.29

0.59

AA

10.29

6.02

1.71

0.19

4.66

3.26

J. Hellickson

9.74

0.59

16.6

0.82

2

2.57

AA

9.44

1.79

5.27

1.79

3.94

4.37

Neal Frontz

7.1

2.08

3.42

0.17

1.38

2.74

AA

6.45

3.22

2

1.21

2.82

5.26

Lewis Rollins

7.59

1.78

4.26

0.99

3.3

3.63

AA

8.28

2.16

3.83

0.72

2.88

3.24

Jeremy Hellickson-I debated about even including him on this list because we are all "familiar" with him, but a 16.6 K/BB should not be ignored. Hellickson dominated advanced A ball and was promoted to Double-A Montgomery. As you'll notice three of the four names on this list took statistical hits with their promotion and Hellickson was no different. His K/BB was still fantastic at 5.27, but nowhere near what it was in Vero Beach and also his HR/9 skyrocketed to 1.79. He gave up as many home runs(15) as walks in Double-A. Once he figures it out he'll be fine. The guy is a stud.

Heath Rollins-I don't know him well enough to call him Lewis. Rollins has consistently put up good numbers at every level. He's been over looked mainly because he's been a little older for his level and he doesn't has stuff that will "wow" you. Of the Vero Beach quartet who made the leap from A to AA in 2008, Rollins is the only one to see a drop in FIP and a rise is K/9. He'll be 24 in 2009, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him in Durham by seasons end.

Ryan Reid-R.J. and I were looking for a comparison to Reid and we never really could put a finger on it. He's short(5-11) doesn't throw overly hard(89-91),uses a slider as his secondary pitch and get alot of K's. He also a fair amount of ground balls, at 51% career GB%, and has increased that percentage at almost every stop. As a 23 year old in Vero Beach he was dominant out of the bullpen with a 15.0 K/BB and didn't allow a HR in over 30 IP. However, when he got to Montgomery things changed. His BB/9 rose from 0.87 to 6.02 which dropped his K/BB to a sub 2, 1.71. His FIP also increased, but a 0.59 FIP is unsustainable anyway and 3.26 isn't bad at all. He'll have to prove himself in Double-A before we can start thinking of him as a future reliever for the Rays.

Neil Frontz-He probably took the promotion the hardest. His FIP nearly doubled from 2.74 to 5.26 after the level change. He also saw his K/9 drop and his BB/9 rise. In addition to that, he gave up 28 hits including three home runs in 22 innings at Montgomery. Frontz will be 25 in April, so unless he comes out of the gate with his guns blazing, time seems to be running out on him.

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