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BP's take on potential breakout prospects


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Every year, a group of prospects comes out of the woodwork and leaves us scratching our heads and revising our prospect lists. For example, Jason Kubel had a .761 OPS in the Florida State League in 2003, and the next year, added 250 points to his OPS. Brandon Wood went from 46 total extra-base hits in 2004 to 43 home runs this past season. There are multiple cases of this each season in which the player gave just a hint of his potential.




Last season, I (luckily?) predicted the breakouts of Jon Lester, Chris Young, Francisco Liriano, Ambiorix Burgos and Andy LaRoche. Of course, along with those selections were the inclusions of about seven duds. This is just part of the game, as quite often, a breakout has to do with a lot more than raw statistics. Below I have selected eight prospects who are good bets to break out during the 2006 season: four hitters and four pitchers. The reasons for each are different, but mostly, I am drawn to underachieving pitchers with plenty of stuff, and hitters with undeveloped power potential. The eight are presented in the order in which I would rank them as prospects, and the age and level given (in bold) are applicable for 2006.






Adam Bostick ? SP ? Florida Marlins ? 23 (AA)


Level IP ERA H/9 K/9 BB/9 HR/9 G/F

A+ 91.1 3.84 9.36 9.26 3.55 0.69 0.64

AA 44.1 4.67 8.53 7.92 5.08 0.61 1.14


Pitching statistics are so easily manipulated. One bad start can have a major effect on ERA, and two starts can begin to have an effect on year-long counting stats. Often, consistency is a learned trait among young pitchers, as many will have a few bad games tarnish their record each year. In the past, I predicted breakouts from Jeff Francis and Jon Lester because this happened to them.




This year, I?ve noticed that southpaw Adam Bostick is the latest victim of manipulation. Like Francis and Lester, Bostick?s numbers don?t speak to how well he pitched. In four out of every five starts, Bostick was one of the minors? better pitchers. However, the other 20% of the time, he was one of the worst:


Regular 16 116.1 97 35 120 49 7

Bad 5 19.1 40 27 13 12 3

Big difference. It should be mentioned that two of the bad starts finished Bostick?s year, which could mean one of two things: he lacks endurance, or he?s injured. I?m leaning towards the former. If true, Bostick could be poised for big things in 2006. This past season, he had eight starts in which he struck out seven or more batters. The potential for dominance is there.




This past June, the Marlins made pitching a priority in their farm system. Holding five of the first forty-four picks of the draft, the team used each pick on a pitcher. This winter, the philosophy has continued as they have stockpiled arms in their fire sale. Yusmeiro Petit, Anibal Sanchez, Gaby Hernandez and about eight other good arms have been added to the Florida system. Lost in the abyss is Bostick, the southpaw with one of the system?s best curveballs. If he can only add consistency, control and endurance, a tall order, he will rise to become one of the system?s best.



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Interesting stuff. Bostick will be one to keep an eye on. I find that to be a more common occurrence than you'd think actually.


Kerry Lightenberg for example... in 2004 it looks like he completely fell apart, his ERA shot over 6. But a closer look shows it's mostly due to just a couple of dreadful outings, while the majority of the time he was very consistent.

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very interesting to hear. A surplus of pitchers is never bad to have, as pitching is thinner in this league, especially in the minor leagues, whenever we are ready to contend again we should have no problem wheeling and dealing for what we need. Let's see if this Bostick break through happens, and if it does, we have one hell of a future, as we already know Vargas, Willis, and Olsen can handle big league batters. I just can't wait until the amateur draft comes through, to see what other goodies our front office adds to an already stock-piled minor league system.

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