Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Now pitching.... Ryan Feierabend 

Welcome back to the Show! And here's the hopes and dreams of the 2007 Mariners, which we'll place on your left arm.

Don't get me wrong, kid, you'll get some help in the form of a fantastic defense and an offense that is averaging 10 runs a game for the past week.

And its not like we have high expectations, as to keep your job you only have to pitch better than Horacio Ramirez and Jeff Weaver.

But, if you fail, and the M's get it in their crazy heads to bring back HoRam or Weaver again....

Then the Mariner nation may never forgive you.

Here's a quick link to his 2006 and before minor league stats and his 2007 stats. The stats show a guy who has consistently struck out about 7 a game, which is borderline solid. His walks per game have slowly crept up with each promotion, but with rounding is staying in the 3 walk range. He has been fantastic at keeping the ball in the park, giving up less than 1 HR per 9 innings his whole minor league career and half that in AAA.

Our favorite Insider, Jason Churchill, had a nice writeup on Ryan last year. Here's a short excerpt.
Strengths: Feierabend is an intelligent pitcher whose best attribute may be his ability to put what he’s learned to use on the mound significantly quicker than most young arms. His pick-off move is second only to fellow southpaw Travis Blackley in the entire system and his physical tools grade very high.

His command has been an enormous key to his success this season and his confidence is a driving force.

Weaknesses: Feierabend’s stuff is solid but it’s not good enough to hold up when his control goes south and certainly won’t get him through many starts when he falters when things get dicey. But he’s improving in all areas and is truly a work-in-progress that’s actually progressing, and well, too.

It may be wise for Feierabend to continue working on a cutter or a true slider to use versus lefties, though he’s yet to hit the wall against the power bats from that side of the plate.

Once deemed a project, Feierabend is now a success story. Even at 20.
Amazingly, if you Google "Ryan Feierabend", this link comes up #5 on the list. Back in 2004, when I was a more prolific blogger, others were comparing Feierabend to a young Barry Zito. Last year, Churchill compared him to Noah Lowry. This year, Baseball Prospectus uses the more pedestrian description of "innings eater". Here's what Baseball Prospectus wrote about Feierabend when ranking the M's prospects this offseason:
6. Ryan Feierabend, lhp
DOB: 8/22/85
Height/Weight: 6-3/190
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted: 3rd round, 2003, Ohio HS
What he did in 2006: 4.28 ERA at AA (153.2-156-55-127), 3.71 ERA at MLB (17-15-7-11)
The Good: Southpaw with consistently improving stuff to complement ever-present plus pitchability. Lively fastball sits at 88-90 mph with excellent location, and hitters are kept off balance with the best changeup in the system. He's very mature, and pitches fearlessly.
The Bad: Feierabend doesn't have a usable breaking ball at this point, and its development will be the key to his career, as he has the body, delivery, and stamina of a starter, and has only marginal value as a reliever who doesn't miss a lot of bats.
The Irrelevant: Feierabend's hometown of Grafton, Ohio has produced one other big leaguer. Shortstop Ed McKean is one of the all-time great Cleveland Spiders, though he spent the final year of his career, 1899, with the St. Louis Perfectos, avoiding having any part of the worst team in big league history.
In A Perfect World, He Becomes: An effective innings eater in the rotation.
Gap Between What He Is Now, And What He Can Be: Low – Feierabend will remain young for his level, beginning 2007 as a 21-year-old in the Triple-A rotation.
That's it, Ryan. That's all we need you to be. An effective innings eater, replacing the ineffective ones that the M's spent $10.65 million dollars and one stellar setup man on. Do your job well enough, and one day the Mariners may overpay you to be a lefty innings eater someday too.

Or maybe you can still be Barry Zito (and better yet, get Barry Zito money). Either way, you're not Jeff Weaver, and that's enough to make me very excited for tonight's start. Mariner nation will be rooting for you to eat those innings and give the M's a chance they never had with Jeffy on the mound. A chance to win.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?