Reading right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who recently moved from 41 to 22 in Baseball America's mid-season Top 100 prospect update, not only possesses great strikeout potential, but has shown a consistent ability to keep balls on the ground.
Kyle Kendrick, who toes the rubber in just a few short hours, has surprised Phillies fans with his control and sinker – custom made for the short porches of Citizens Bank Park. What some fans may not realize is that Kendrick is just the beginning of a stream of high-ceiling, ground-ball pitchers rising the ranks in the Phillies' farm system.
Carrasco, still just 20 years old, is making a pretty smooth transition to Double-A, and for the most part, is keeping balls on the ground, somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 percent. So far, he’s 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA in five starts for Reading, making progress, but still a healthy distance away from pitching in Philadelphia. The Venezuelan right-hander was named top prospect in the Phillies’ system after winning the Paul Owens award for a 12-6, 2.26 ERA, 159 strikeout season with Low-A Lakewood. Carrasco takes the mound for Reading today as part of a double-header in Erie. Follow the action here.
The team’s best emerging groundball threat might be left-hander Josh Outman, who’s 9-4 with a 2.59 ERA to go with 100 strikeouts for Class-A Clearwater. His ’07 pitching splits are through the roof. The former 10th round pick has induced 133 grounders to just 44 line drives and 77 fly balls this season. Suddenly, the future of pitching in Philadelphia's bandbox is a little brighter.
(Thanks to Tom. G of Balls, Sticks & Stuff for the inspiration for this post.)