Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2014 Prospect Countdown: #37 Greg Billo

37. Greg Billo Right Handed Pitcher

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Age: 23
Position: RHP
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 220
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 28th round of the 2008 Amateur Draft
From: Orlando Park, IL

2013 Rank: 38

2012 Rank: 35

2011 Rank: 55

Landon Adams (NR): A regular on the Royal Revival top prospects list, Billo has failed to break his way into serious prospect status. A huge part of my thought process when I consider my personal rankings is the way in which the prospect is evaluated by the team. Obviously, this can sometimes be tricky, but in many cases you can tell how a team feels about a prospect by the way in which they treat him. For me Billo, is a guy that I believe the organization doesn't see anything more in than organizational depth. I think this point was made exceptionally apparent when he was demoted to Low-A in 2013 after mediocre results in High-A in 2012. If the organization was serious about Billo, I suspect he would have at least had the opportunity to return to Wilmington. I know injuries played a factor in this decision, but those injuries also factor in to me not placing Billo in my personal top 30.

Paden Bennett (27): I am the only one who ranked Billo in their top 30 and here is why:  Billo has always showed promise.  In 2011 he led the Midwest League in ERA (1.93) while striking out 119 in 135 innings.  Tommy John surgery put his status in the rear view mirror in 2012 but Billo came back strong in 2013 striking out 38 batters in 40 innings.  I'm not worried about his 13 walks in 40 innings last year because he just came off elbow surgery.  I look for Billo to make big strides this year and possibly reach Northwest Arkansas.

Joe Cox (NR): I did not rank Billo but he is certainly warrants attention as a prospect with potential for the Royals.  Billo required Tommy John surgery during the summer of 2012 but was able to come back in 2013 in time to log 49 innings (40 of them coming in A ball at Lexington).  Billo will be entering his age 23 season in 2014, his seventh season with the organization.  Billo has shown the ability to limit walks and strike batters at a decent rate.  His past two seasons have been a step backwards from his very impressive 2011 season when he led the Midwest League in ERA, but Billo has always had some sleeper appeal as a prospect and a healthy 2014 should help turn his career back in the right direction.  Many think he has back of the rotation upside at the big league level, and Billo could very well make the jump to the upper levels of the minors in 2014.

Dan Ware (NR): Prior to last season, I was hoping to see Greg in Northwest Arkansas' rotation.  Unfortunately, he needed T.J. surgery and came back strong in 2013 with the Royals Rookie League team and Lexington. While logging 9 innings in Arizona to get back into the swing of things, he spent the majority of his season in Kentucky, where in 8 starts, averaging 5 innings a game, recorded the lowest era of his career at 1.35.  After working hard to keeping the ball down in the zone during his 2012 season, his GB% declined and LD% rose drastically, meaning he wasn't keeping the ball down as much he would have liked.  I'll cut him slack because he came off a major operation to his elbow, but this year he'll need to start off on a high note.  If he limit his walks and keeps the ball low, he'll bounce back. Look for Greg to start off in Lexington to get a few starts before making the trip to Wilmington.

Total Points: 4

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