RHP Eduardo Aldama – R/R – 6’1” 180 – NDFA (7/15/06) – 12/23/89
1-5, 4.75 ERA, 12 G, 9 GS, 47.1 IP, 48 H, 36 R, 25 ER, 1 HR, 13 BB, 42 K
Aldama was the first guy I saw throw in the GCL and it was rewarding after a morning of travel to see something like an MLB caliber fastball. Aldama was 89-94, mostly sitting at 91. He can work it up and down in the zone. His secondary offerings include a curveball from 74-78 that was mostly 76 and a changeup. He showed some feel for the pitch, at one point throwing four straight to pick up a strikeout when he was struggling with his fastball command. His delivery is a little unusual. He’ll sit back into it, dragging his body to the firstbase side.
2009 Projected Start: XST followed by Kingsport
RHP Kyle Allen – R/R – 6’3” 195 – 24th Rd 08 – 2/12/90
1-1, 2.12 ERA, 11 G, 5 GS, 34 IP, 24 H, 13 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 10 BB, 45 K
After walking seven batters in his first 14.1 innings out of the bullpen, Allen walked just three batters in 19.2 IP as a starter to finish off the season. That improvement in his control is key. Allen works off a fringy fastball that touched 91, but was more often 88/89 when I saw him in July. In that outing, he fell in love with his breaking stuff, mixing in too much curve, slider and changeup trying to be too cute. On the other hand, the slider had its moments and flashed potential to be an average MLB pitch. Allen was born on an Air Force Base in Portugal, (his dad spent 22 years serving) but moved to the U.S. as a toddler.
Projected 2009 Start: Savannah
LHP Robert Carson – L/L – 6’4” 230 – 14th rd 07 – 1/23/89
1-0, 1.57 ERA, 5 GS, 23 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 BB, 25 K
A pair of dominant outing in July, 12 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 16 K, proved that big lefty was ready for challenges beyond the GCL and earned him a promotion to Kingsport. Carson missed much of 2007 after being struck on the head by a ball, but had a healthy and productive ’08. Carson is the only player in this GCL review who I didn’t see play live, since he threw the day before I arrived in Florida. His fastball sat was 90-93, and his secondary offerings were a slider and a changeup. He told me in July that he was very pleased with the development of the slider this year.
As a lefty with good size and velocity, I really like Carson’s ceiling – which could be an MLB rotation sometime around 2012 or so.
Projected 2009 Start: Savannah
RHP Jenry Mejia
2-0, 0.60 ERA, 3 GS, 15 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 15
Big time arm and a very unusual pitcher, but I’m going to write more about Mejia when I get to the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he spent more time.
Projected 2009 Start: Savannah or St. Lucie
2-2, 2.79 ERA, 11 GS, 51.2 IP, 46 H, 20 R, 16 ER, 2 HR, 13 BB, 38 K
I’d been told to expect big things from Familia’s right arm, but he was just ok when I saw him. I think the 18 year old just had an off day for me in Vero Beach. He showed off a fastball that was 89-92, mostly around 90, to go with two pitches - a slider (77, 78 mph) and a change up (84) - that need about the amount of work you’d expect from an 18-year old his first professional season. However, sometimes the big fastball is there from his loose delivery. In his first start in the GCL in 2008 he was dialing it up 94-96 mph. A scout from an American League club confirmed that he saw Familia dealing similar gas in instructs in 2007. So go figure.
Projected 2009 Start: very tough to figure, actually. Savannah is a possibility.