"Pitching has got to be the foundation in the organization. Everybody wants a good pitcher. The more pitchers we have, the stronger our organization will be."
- Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals General Manager

Saturday, January 19, 2008

2008 Arizona Diamondbacks Organizational Depth Report

1. jared parker, RHSP - june 2010
2. micah owings, RHSP/PH/DH
3. juan gutierrez, RHSP
*. dana eveland, LHSP *TRADED TO OAK*
4. brooks brown, RHSP - september 2008
*. brett anderson, LHSP - june 2009 *TRADED TO OAK*
5. max scherzer, RHP - june 2008
6. emiliano fruto, RHRP
7. yusmeiro petit, RHSP
*. greg smith, LHSP - september 2008 *TRADED TO OAK*
8. esmerling vasquez, RHSP - mid 2009
9. wes roemer, RHSP september 2010
10.barry enright, RHSP - september 2010

of the 2006 draftees, i prefer brown to anderson because of brown's ability to get the most favorable outcome. anderson's immaculate record combined with his FB tendencies scare me off a little bit. of the 2007 draftees, i'm obviously very high on parker. i think he has stud potential, with a good likelihood of reaching it. other than him, there is wes roemer and barry enright. i am not high on either pitcher, as i think both are a little too glossy to have a real shot at being an impact player.

inside the battery, i consider owings to be only 5th on this list, but his value at the plate gives him a very big advantage over brown, gutierrez, and eveland.

Spotlight: Micah Owings

for all intents and purposes, owings throws 1 pitch. he throws a 90 MPH version of a fastball that tends to dive in towards a RHB. he throws a 84 MPH version that tends to dive in towards a RHB. owings also throws a 77 MPH version that tends to dive in towards a RHB.

looking at owings' splits, he gets abused by LHBs to the tune of a .497 slugging%, also allowing to them 15 of his 20 homeruns. his changeup was routinely ineffective, but the more prominent reason for his gopherballitis is likely a combination of his tendency to throw his fastball high in the zone, as well as his home ballpark which inflates LH HR rates by about 10% according to this article on hardballtimes.com.

what can owings do better in '08? i'd start with him tightening up his slider. generally, he throws it low, and he does get a lot of swinging strikes on it, but it doesn't look all that impressive, and i get the feeling that he struggles with consistency in throwing it. i'd also prefer for owings to refine his changeup to the point that he actually has confidence in throwing it. this is a less important point than his need to tighten up his slider but owings needs to improve at least one of his secondary pitches going into 2008, or he'll be due for a major regression.

i'm not very high on owings going into 2008. his fastball is average, his slider lacks depth, and he doesn't appear to have confidence in his changeup. as a fourth or fifth starter, he could be a solid contributor, but i expect a significant regression for 2008, and i would not feel comfortable being any team that relies on owings to be a horse for them down the stretch.


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