Seeing how it's draft season again, I thought now might be a good time to look back on the 2009 draft in terms of the highly-touted HS pitchers that went in the first round.
Six HS pitchers were drafted in the first round and also signed with their teams. They are (with pick # selected):
5) Matt Hobgood (Orioles)
6) Zack Wheeler (Giants!!)
9) Jacob Turner (Tigers)
11) Tyler Matzek (Rockies)
18) Chad James (Marlins)
19) Shelby Miller (Cards)
Five out of the 6 have already started their careers this Spring - all in Class A ball (South Atlantic League or Midwest League). The most surprising thing to me is that Tyler Matzek is nowhere to be found. I searched everywhere and can find no reason why he hasn't started pitching yet. It's puzzling to me, because he was widely praised as the "most polished" HS pitcher available with the best and most-repeatable mechanics. According to all the experts, he only fell in the draft due to his stratospheric signing bonus demands to buy out his "very strong" committment to the Univ. of Oregon baseball program. Could it be that he isn't as far advanced as the Rockies had hoped?
While it's an extremely SSS, if you look at the stats for the other 5 pitchers, none of them are standing out in a Bumgardian fashion. Jacob Turner seems to be the most consistently impressive so far (only 4 BBs vs. 24 Ks and a .95 WHIP!), but Shelby Miller's K/9 rate of 13, and Turner's BB/9 of 1.6 are the most eye-popping highlights to me. They all are on pitch count limits, so it should be no surprise that only one of them (Hobgood) has averaged more than 5 innings per start. Wheeler's main issue has been his control. He has the highest BB/9 of the group, but he does miss a lot of bats (K/9 = 11.3) and doesn't give up many hits (Batting Avg. Against = .214).
BTW, all 5 have started all the games they've pitched so far.
NAME (LEAGUE) | W-L | ERA | G | IP | H | BB | K | AVG | K/9 | B/9 | K/BB | WHIP
- Hobgood (SAL) | 2-3 | 4.97 | 8 | 41.2 | 39 | 20 | 27 | .253 | 5.9 | 4.4 | 1.3 | 1.43
- Wheeler (SAL) | 1-3 | 5.06 | 7 | 26.2 | 21 | 17 | 33 | .214 | 11.3 | 5.8 | 1.9 | 1.45
- Turner (Mid) | 0-1 | 3.68 | 5 | 22.0 | 17 | 4 | 24 | .200 | 9.8 | 1.6 | 6.0 | 0.95
- Miller (Mid) | 1-3 | 3.97 | 8 | 34.0 | 34 | 12 | 49 | .256 | 13 | 3.2 | 4.1 | 1.35
- James (SAL) | 0-3 | 5.40 | 4 | 16.2 | 18 | 9 | 16 | .269 | 8.9 | 5.0 | 1.8 | 1.67