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Minor Details(8/22): Arms Dealing Part II(UPPER LEVELS)

Second verse, same as the first..


Visalia Oaks(High A-California League):

-With Cali's reputation of being an extreme hitters' league, our pitching prospects have held their own pretty well through this season. Chris Mason and James Houser(Jr.) are the only 2 current Oaks starters who remain from the Oaks' Opening Day roster rotation. Jon Barratt has come on as of late as Visalia's most dominant starter with a surprisingly low ERA(2.92) for a Cali League SP. Nick DeBarr and Richard De Los Santos have been very dominant coming out of the 'pen. Brandon Mann has been the "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" of the Oaks this season, being extremely dominant at times and then being slammed at other times. I'd say that Barratt, Houser and Mann have good chances at breaking out in Montgomery next season. I'm still iffy on Mason, who has pitched well but doesn't have encouraging periphreals.

Montgomery Biscuits(Double A- Southern League):

When you look at the Biscuits, you'll notice that they're loaded with good arms. The Southern League's Most Dominant Pitcher(whether The Baseball Analysts want to admit it or not) has got to be Andy Sonnanstine who has been the "ace" of the Biscuits' staff with 4(count them: 1,2,3,4) CG Shutouts dumbfounding batters with his nasty sidearming delivery. Jeff Niemann is back as well, pitching well enough to show why he was our top draft pick 2 years ago. In his 66 innings of work, Niemann's K/BB ratio is 71/21 and he's only given up 44 hits. Mitch Talbot, who we acquired with Ben Zobrist in the Aubrey Huff deal, has a nice pick-up thus far and has shown to be a real "diamond in the rough" find. Though the league may be the reason for many of his improvements in pitching periphreals, he's improved greatly in every stat except for HRs/9(which has gone up by .01, but is still low at .40). Henderson, Peguero, Salas, Carvajal and Machi have all been great out of the 'pen for the Biscuits and are the main reason that Montgomery is currently in the playoff hunt.

Durham Bulls(Triple A- Int'l League):

So tough to be fair with these guys, when Durham has been called on so much by the Rays(coughcoughJamieShieldscough) to give pitchers spot starts and calling up relievers. Chris Seddon and Brian Stokes have been the only 2 Durham Bulls starters(current or from the opening day roster) from this year who haven't gotten called up for one. Jason Hammel has been very erratic this year, with many hard luck losses and 2 all-out dominant starts(combined with Juan Salas for a no-no and had a 13 K performance last week). J.P. Howell has been just lights out as a Bull, however his offspeed stuff needs to be worked on to almost perfection for him to be great in the majors. I've, as of late, dubbed Durham "Reliever University" due to the NDRO's fascination with putting some of it's best relievers(Juan Salas,Jose Rodriguez and Jeff Ridgeway) or starters who we plan on converting to being "shutdown" relievers(First it was Seth, now it's Edwin Jackson). Only person that I've been overly disappointed in Durham has been Doug "Dougie Meatballs" Waechter.

There's a bright future for the Rays, in regards to pitching, now we just have to piece together the best combination. Once we can acquire a veteran starter or 2, we'll have a pitching staff to compete with "The Big Boys" for years to come.