There's nothing more frustrating than bad timing, and in that sense, this weekend was a doozy. Not only was Steven Goldman getting ready to wrap up the Brewers chapter of Baseball Prospectus 2011 to ship to our publisher, but I was working on the Brewers Top 11 for a Tuesday publication.
This is baseball, and unfortunately, our requests to Dayton Moore asking him to hold off any deal until we finish went un-returned. The result is wasted work, so let's unwaste it. No longer a Brewer, right-hander Jake Odorizzi will obviously no longer be on the Brewers Top 11, and with the Royals list already published, he's in a weird scouting report limbo. Of course, I've already written the report, so why let it go to waste?
Jake Odorizzi, RHP
Drafted/Signed: Supplemental first round, 2008, Highland HS (IL)
2010 Stats: 3.43 ERA (120.2-99-40-135) at Low-A (23 G)
Best/Worst Tool: Fastball/changeup
Year in Review: This 2008 first-round pick was among the Midwest League's best pitchers in his full-season debut.
The Good: Odorizzi has few weaknesses. He's highly athletic with silky-smooth mechanics, and he pounds the strike zone with a low-90s fastball that consistently touches 94-95 when he rears back for something extra. He's refined his power breaking ball into a true swing-and-miss offering, and with the combination of above-average command and two plus pitches, he had more strikeouts than innings in 15 of 23 outings.
The Bad: Odorizzi's changeup continues to improve, but it still lags behind the rest of his arsenal. He doesn't have the size or projection of an elite-level starter, and some believe he has already maxed out physically.
Ephemera: Odorizzi's worst start of the year occurred on August 16th when he allowed six runs to Cedar Rapids without getting out of the fifth inning. In his next outing he pitched eight no-hit innings against the same team.
Perfect World Projection: Odorizzi has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Brewers system, and could turn into a borderline second starter if everything works out.
Fantasy Impact: He'll have a good ERA, low WHIP, plenty of Ks… He could be great, but there's still work to do.
Path to the Big Leagues: Odorizzi will begin the year in the pitcher-friendly High-A Florida State League, and could get his first taste of the advanced leagues by the end of the year.
While he was the top starting pitching prospect in the Brewers system, and will be in the Top 101 prospects, he's suddenly the fifth-best pitching prospect in a loaded Royals system. I'd slot him as the eighth-best prospect in an updated Royals Top 11, which is amazing considering that he'd be an easy top-three selection in most organizations.
If you like what you see, I write 330 of these reports as part of my Top 11 prospects series, which is exclusive to Baseball Prospectus subscribers.
Stay tuned, as sources indicate I'll be doing this again sooner rather than later with Jeremy Jeffress.