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April 29, 2013

Monday Morning Ten Pack

April 29

by BP Prospect Staff


Burch Smith, RHP, Padres (Double-A San Antonio)
Smith has been perhaps the most impressive pitcher in the Texas League this month, posting a 1.38 ERA with 31 strikeouts and just four walks over 26 innings. The 23-year-old has flashed plus command of a dominant fastball that sits between 93-96 mph and reaches up to 98. Although Smith doesn’t create much downhill plane and doesn’t have a ton of fastball life, he has a highly deceptive delivery and hides the ball extremely well. The deception enables his big velocity to play up a tick and induce a number of late swings.

When I saw Smith in action early last week, he also showed a potential average changeup and fringy curveball. The Texan may profile as a late-inning reliever due to the dominant fastball and lack of a plus secondary pitch. But some scouts believe he can stick in a starting role, and his ability to hold plus velocity and command his arsenal with deception could give him a chance. —Jason Cole 

Video

Chris Withrow, RHP, Dodgers (Triple-A Albuquerque)
As a member of the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, Withrow could force himself into the big-league bullpen discussion this season. The 24-year-old righty is off to a strong start, logging 8 1/3 scoreless innings while yielding three hits, walking five, and striking out 13. Withrow impressed me in a quick look last week, as he fanned two while throwing nine of his 13 pitches for strikes in a perfect frame.

Showing a 94-96 mph fastball and an upper-80s slider with some late tilt, Withrow certainly has the stuff to become a factor. The pure stuff has never been an issue; his command is the primary question. The progression of his command will likely be the separator between potential late-inning reliever and power middle reliever. —Jason Cole

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Related Content:  Prospects,  Carlos Correa,  Burch Smith

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Baseball Therapy: On t... (04/29)
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Next Column >>
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