Posted 20 February 2021 - 07:39 PM
Work and life got in the way for me to comment on Balazovic's prospect thread, but no matter since they are somewhat entwined in the rankings anyway.
Right now, today, I'd rank Duran slightly higher than Jordy Blaze because he has a bit more experience at the higher levels, has a bit more velocity, and his "splinker" is just crazy good. But we're cutting fine hairs here. Both now have the build and the velocity and STUFF to be very good pitchers. BOTH need to just harness control/consistency overall, including that 3rd or 4th pitch, and just gain additional experience. NOTE: Any 4th pitch doesn't have to be outstanding, and can be worked on even at the ML level, but even a mediocre/decent 4th offering can be important just to keep the hitter guessing.
I am a tremendous opptomist about both these guys, as well as Chalmers, Canterino, Sands and Enlow, amongst a few others. But calls for Balazovic to open with the team are just misguided. How about working on his stuff and getting some IP under his belt before we annoit him with a spot.
The ML rotation is basically set with some competition for the 5th spot. That's the way it should be. Over a full season, there is going to be opportunity and depth will be needed. There is a real chance that Duran and/or Balazovic will get an opportunity at some point.
And since we are talking about young pitchers, sorry, not sorry, don't sleep on Dobnak and Thorpe and even Smeltzer. SOMEONE is probably going to have a long relief spot initially and get chances to start. Don't dismiss what Dobnak has done despite a bad end to 2020. Only 77IP and some want to dismiss him already with a bad finish last year? Thorpe has done EVERYTHING you could expect in his milb career and hope for, especially after 2 missed seasons and some flash in 2019. But he's a bum with an additional option because 2020 was a mess? Please! Smeltzer has shown enough in his milb career and his 2019 ML appearance to give him some rope. Any of these 3 could contribute in 2021, and none of them should be easily dismissed for their potential as a rotation piece or a bullpen option for 2021 or going forward.
I've been churning around pitching options for days now at the ML level as well as AAA and AA. I'm sure many of you have as well.
Assuming, for a moment, everyone is healthy and ready to go to at least start the season. ONE of Dobnak, Thorpe, Smeltzer is probably the last pitcher, the long man on the staff, which will fluctuate of course, but provide depth and opportunity.
There is a real chance Duran gets a shot at some point. Maybe Balazovic. Maybe someone else. But again, since we are talking prospects within the system, consider this list of SP for AAA and AA to begin the 2021 season:
A couple of these guys are certainly a wait and see and may never make a ML roster. But most of these guys are top 10-20 on the prospect list. Or are guys who have had their initial cup of coffee and we're waiting to see. Duran and Balazovic are at the top of the list to be sure! But There is some serious depth here not to be slept on.
dbminn, JLease and Heiny like this
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."