Monday, December 3, 2012

Prospect Countdown: #35 J.C. Sulbaran

35. J.C. Sulbaran Right Handed Pitcher



Paden Bennett (NR):  Acquired in the Broxton trade, Sulbaran has good stuff.  However, when he came to the Naturals last season he struggled with his command walking 22 in just 26 innings.  He did have 24 strikeouts, so the stuff is definitely there.  For Sulbaran it's all about locating his pitches and limiting his walks in order to move up the system.

Joe Cox (NR): A 23 year old right hander acquired from the Red’s in the Jonathan Broxton trade during the 2012 season.  Sulbaran was on several top Red’s prospect lists coming into last season and got his first taste of AA during the season with both the Red’s and Royals.  Sulbaran is able to miss bats with a high strikeout rate but did have problems with too many walks and homeruns.  He struggled mightily in his six starts with the Royals organization, compiling a 7.62 ERA.  Sulbaran has a solid build for a pitcher and his scouting report includes a low 90’s fastball, curveball, and a change-up.  It will be interesting to see how Sulbaran fairs in his first full season as a part of the Royals organization. 

Damion Mandalas (29): At first glance, it sounded as though Sulbaran was the more interesting of the two pieces that Cincinnati sent to Kansas City for Jonathan Broxton in July. However, less than a year after Baseball America ranked him as the 12th best prospect in the Reds organization his stock has clearly taken a significant drop. Sulbaran sits in the low 90s and has hit 95 from time to time. His curve and change have both shown flashes, but haven't shown any signs of consistency. Despite his horrid post trade showing in Northwest Arkansas, Sulbaran has the upside of a mid-rotation starter and will be just 23 this coming season. He should repeat a level and return to the Texas League.

Dan Ware (NR):  I surfaced the web for a few scouting reports on J.C. and what I found were consistent trends: great velocity, a high flyball rate, but very poor mechanics. The now-22 year old threw just 26 innings in 6 starts for the Double-A Naturals last season after being acquired from Cincinnati in the Jonathon Broxton trade.  Sulbaran mixes up 3 pitches, a fastball, changeup, and curve.  The fastball seems to be the one pitch he can use consistently when his change and hook aren't effective.  That can be a problem as well, considering young hitters in the minors are learning to hit the off-speed stuff.  J.C. is still young and has time to work on fixing delivery issues.  Hopefully he can reunite with his former high school buddy and teammate, Eric Hosmer, in the next couple years.

Total Points: 2

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