Ft. Wayne, Indiana – Allen Webster is a work in progress, but he was impressive, except for a monster home run by Padres prospect Everett Williams. By my count, Webster threw 113 pitches in his 5 innings, allowing 2 hits and 1 run while striking out 7. He walked 6, which is uncharacteristic because he only walked 53 all year! He is obviously very raw, and topped out at 94 MPH, but make no mistake – this guy is a pitcher. I expect to see him in the rotation by 2012! He mixes his pitches well – one pitch you’ll see a 93 MPH fastball, the next an 87 MPH change followed a 79 MPH curve ball. He seems to instinctively change speeds easily while in the same arm slot. He finished the regular season with a 12-9 record and a 2.88 ERA – not bad for a 20-year old who hasn’t pitched more than 68 innings until this year. With 131 innings this year, he looks to be a nice middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Dodgers.
Who else impressed me? The list is short:
- C – J.T. Wise – Nice arm, good footwork and excellent power. He is still susceptible to the curve ball, but if he can get over that, he will advance rapidly. If he does conquer the curve, he could be in AAA as early as next year. TOP 20 Prospect for sure!
- RF – Blake Smith – Excellent power, nice swing, decent athlete. He is definitely in the TOP 20 Dodger Prospects.
- Brian Pablo Cavazos-Galvez – He had two hits (both of the “bloop” variety). He looks solid and you can see he has power and speed, and he did have a HR taken away in the 8th inning by a strong breeze blowing in from LCF. I can’t anoint him in the TOP 20, but he’s close. He also stole a base, as did Nick Buss.
- Steve Smith – The 24 year-old RH pitched 3 strong innings in relief for the Loons. While not spectacul,ar he was effective. He could have Major League future as a middle reliever.
It was 1-0 in favor of the TinCaps going into the 9th inning. Jamie Ortiz led off the 9th with a ground out to 2B. Brian Ruggiano nearly missed hitting a ground-rule double and then flied out for out number two. Nick Buss then flied out to end the game. 1-0 was the final score, and just like the big club, they outhit the competition, but couldn’t score, despite 9 (count ‘em, 9) hits! The TinCaps take a 1-0 lead in the sires and the next two games will be played on the Loons home field.