We trudge on in our series, this time looking at some of the starting pitchers I’ve got my eye on this season.
Sean Gallagher – R
Gallagher continues to show promise. I’m not sure why people are so quick to dismiss him in trade talks. I see him making an impact with the team in a big way next season, and a partial impact in the event of injury this season.
Kevin Hart – R
Take a look at his improvement over each year and each level. He’s gotten better and better with more experience. He has an outside chance at making the big club out of spring training as the long man.
Mark Holliman – R
I saw him pitch last year against Carolina (AA) and he pitched fairly well. I’d like to see him moved to AAA this season. If he can take the next step and succeed there as well, it would ease my worries about possibly moving pitchers in a trade.
Jeff Samardzija – R
What you have to remember about him is that he was drafted with the understanding that his skills were high ceiling, but very raw because the bulk of his efforts at Notre Dame were focused on football. He was on scholarship for the football team, so his focus had to be to devoted to that sport, with baseball coming second. He struggled big time at Daytona, but figured it out when he was promoted to AA. I saw him close out the season for the Smokies against Carolina and he was all over the place. I’d like to see him go to Tennessee again with the option to be promoted to Iowa if the numbers merit it.
Mitch Atkins – R
Which Atkins will we see in 2008? Will we see the Daytona, 3.13 ERA Atkins with killer control or the Tennessee shell shocked Atkins? There is no doubt he’ll return to AA, but how he performs there is going to be worth watching.
Jacob Renshaw – R
He’s young, but when you win 12 games, people need to take notice. I’m curious to see what level he’s sent to this year. I’m guessing Daytona (High A), but a repeat at Peoria wouldn’t be out of the question.
Donald Veal – L
Major step backward yesterday. He admitted to me that he was nibbling around the plate and just not trusting his stuff to get guys out. He routinely worked deep in counts and as a result averaged under 5 innings per game. For him to vault himself back to the elite prospect level, he needs to show he can handle AA and dominate like he did at the previous levels.
Chris Shaver – L
Battled injuries in 2007 and hopes to return to the 2006 form again. Time is running out for this youngster. It’s important for him to make a big difference this year or he could be on his way out.
Mark Pawelek – L
This guy was a first round pick for the Cubs. We were told to be very excited about his promise. Up until this point, I’ve been disappointed. He did provide us with an amusing injury story when he injured himself by tripping over his Playstation.