Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prospect Countdown: #36 Ryan Verdugo

#36 Ryan Verdugo
Position: LHP
Age: 24
Height: 6-0
Weight: 195
B/T: L/L
Acquired: Via Trade with Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera
From: Pasadena, CA

Ryan Verdugo came to the Royals alongside Jonathan Sanchez earlier this off season when the Royals shipped Melky Cabrera to San Francisco. Like Sanchez he's compiled huge strikeout numbers, with high walk rates throughout his career. The Royals view him as a lefty and plan on allowing him the opportunity to win a spot as a lefty specialist for the Royals entering 2012.

In 2011, he did have the opportunity to start for the first time as a professional. Despite only starting only twice in his first three seasons, Verdugo put up strong line last season. I wouldn't be upset at all of the Royals allowed him to continue to start and based off his strikeout numbers I could see him developing into a 4/5 starter. I don't think this is likely though, as he would need to severely decrease his walks allowed.

Instead what would make the most sense is grant Verdugo an opportunity to win a spot in the big league pen. If a rotation spot is available in Omaha, he could get it as a method to give him more opportunity to learn to repeat his delivery and refine his command. If he can just improve on his walk rate even just a little he could be a strong bullpen weapon.

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