This is a sample of Insiderbaseball.com's weekly Prospect Central column featuring in-depth analysis of over 120 prospects each season. Please visit Insiderbaseball.com or click the "Home" tab at the top of the page to see all the great insights and features available to our subscribers every day!
Cole DeVries - Pitcher - Twins
The Twins appear to have decided to use their to-this-point- ill-fated 2012 to to test drive their stable of young starters, the latest being Cole De Vries who replaces Jason Marquis in the rotation.
Cole has a pretty interesting back story as outlined by Aaron Gleeman this week. Cole was an All-Big Ten, second team pitcher for Minnesota and went undrafted in 2006 before signing with the hometown Twins. He hit a wall in his development when he hit AA and floundered badly over parts of 2009 and 2010. Cole was moved to the bullpen in that span but that move didn't seem to improve his stuff.
At 26 years old he was close to being released, but instead the Twins sent him back to AA, and a light went on. So much so infact that the Twins decided to give him another shot at the rotation this year. He didn't blow AAA away as a starter, but the big club's rotation hasn't exactly set the bar high this year.
As much as you want to root for the guy (I can't even say "kid") I don't think Cole is going to raise that bar much either. He works a high-80's fastball and doesn't have a history of fooling hitters.(9.8% chase rate and 5.5% SwStr% in AAA this year). He only threw GBs at a 31.5% rate.
What he does do is throw strikes and limit walks. Limiting the walks is a good thing of course, but throwing 80-something mph strikes to MLB hitters is a bit of a double-edged sword and Thursday was a prime example. Cole gave up 6 runs to the White Sox, 3 earned, in 5 IP on 6 hits and a walk. He fanned 4. The 3 earned runs came off 3 solo homers, 2 that were back to back. He was not pristine in the inning that he was charged with the unearned runs either allowing 3 hits including a double. Ron Gardenhire says that Cole will stay in the rotation for now.
This is about what you can expect. I think MLB hitters are going to feast here. Cole doesn't appear to have an area of advantage over them. Coles appears to me to a slow gazelle on the outside of the herd. You know the lions are eventually going to get him, it's just a matter of time. Cole has made the most of what he has, and I am happy he gets this shot for his hometown team. I'll be rooting for him. You should too. But that doesn't mean you have to roster himLong Term Fantasy Grade - D+
YR Lvl IP ERA WHIP K9 BB9 HR9 OBA BABIP LOB% 09 AA 137.2 4.84 1.51 5.9 3.0 1.1 .289 .321 65.8 10 AA 68.1 5.80 1.64 8.3 3.3 1.3 .304 .362 61.4 10 AAA 23.1 5.79 1.71 9.3 5.4 0.8 .274 .348 61.8 11 AA 27.2 2.28 0.80 10.7 1.6 1.0 .170 .219 73.0 11 AAA 62.1 3.90 1.48 6.1 2.6 0.6 .294 .340 71.8 12 AAA 46.2 4.24 1.16 7.1 1.4 1.2 .257 .293 64.4
Kole Calhoun - Outfield - Angels
The Angels called up 24-year-old Kole Calhoun on Monday. He took an unusual route to the majors, getting here in less than three years and skipping over AA enroute.
An 8th round pick out of Arizona State, Kole is reaping the benefits of a couple of significant injuries in the Angels outfield. Last year's 20/20 season in A+ will catch your attention The power side was league-aided however, and the SBs are probably as much about the fact his general baseball maturity and chronological age was a bit above the curve for the level, as much as they were about his less-than-elite speed. He made a solid adjustment to AAA this year in light of the fact he skipped a whole level. His speed game dried up in AAA but a .195 ISO indicates that some of the power ported.
Kole's skill set is less than thrilling. His swing has a solid base and generates some natural power, but his bat speed is borderline. His physical speed is just decent but it plays up on the basepaths and in the outfield because of his instincts. He's a capable corner OF and has enough arm to allows him to play RF. He can play 1B as well so his versatility will be an asset his attempts to stay the big league level and earn PT. It also helps that up until this point Kole's same-side splits have been pretty good. He's hit .295/.362/.468 vs. LHP over the last two ML seasons (over two levels) as opposed to .327/.414/.552 vs. RHP, but his power slipped quite a bit vs/ LHP in AAA this year.
Kole will get a good shot here while the Angels' outfield heals. You shouldn't expect anything close to a 20-steal pace but he'll contribute in the speed column if given enough playing time. He'll also show some pop and he should be able to maintain a respectable BA and OBP. Keep an eye on his playing time. If he plays enough he'll chip in, but his playing time is far from secure.
Overall Kole will have troubling hanging with the big club this year when players start to return. He looks to a major leaguer in the long run but probably as a 4th outfielder or as an NL platoon player.
Long Term Fantasy Grade - C
YR Lvl AB AVG ISO HR SB BB% K% BABIP 10 R 202 .292 .213 7 3 15.8 18.2 .342 11 A+ 512 .324 .223 22 20 12.3 16.2 .362 12 AAA 169 .296 .195 5 6 8.5 18.5 .346