Prospects You Can Be Inspired By

There are alot of kids from the Northeast and Midwest states who participate or read this forum. It occurred to me that since so many prospects come from California, Florida or Texas; it might be of some inspirational benefit to highlight some of the up and coming prospects who hail from inclement parts of America. Just to show that it can be done if you have the talent and make-up…

My first selection is:

Tampa Bay Rays 4th round draft pick in 2005, Jeremy Hellickson

Hellickson is a RHP, 6’ 01" , 185lbs from Des Moines, Iowa who entered the professional ranks right out of high school but interesting enough didn’t pitch much in high school. In 2008 he led the Ray’s Farm System in ERA and strikeouts. He has played for HI A Vero Beach and AA Montgomery. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to see him pitch but he is logged in at a low ninties fastball, a curveball and very useable change up. Baseball America has him listed as the pitcher in the Rays system with the best control.

Kaz…you may be seeing him soon at a dome near you…

TODAYS WEATHER for Des Moines, Iowa

High of 38 degrees. Occasional snow showers. Temps nearly steady in the mid to upper 30’s. Winds S. at 10-20 mph. Chance of snow 50%. :glare:

Kaz lives in upstate NY. He’s a Rays fan but he doesn’t live in St. Pete.


Nice post. Rays got some good picks cause they suck[size=24]b[/b][/size] (that’s past tense)


It’s been below 35° here the whole week, by the way. Wind chill puts it under 30° too. :freezing:

It looks like he could work on his mechs some.

Just my :twocents:

[quote=“Bakersdozen”]It looks like he could work on his mechs some.

Just my :twocents:[/quote]

Where…

Hellickson has good mechanics. I have been following his Minor League career closely (along with newly named MLB roster pitchers Wade Davis and Jacob McGee). He may not be near a dome near me but he will be in the “Trop” soon.

Dang Kaz…that’s so unlike me to make a mistake like that :wiseguy: …sorry my apologies.

Anyway, I was in your neck of the woods two summers ago when my kid attended the Northeast Regional Perfect Game at Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Mass. Quite a piece of history there. Lou Gehrig once hit a homer into the Housatonic which runs wayyyyyyyy behind center and right field. Quite impressive.

[quote]It looks like he could work on his mechs some.

Just my [/quote]
:twocents:
Well with a pro contract I’m sure he’ll improve…Dino’s point though 13 cannot be overlooked…he’s from the mid-west and signed out of HS…thats a lofty accomplishment.

[quote=“Dino”]Dang Kaz…that’s so unlike me to make a mistake like that …sorry my apologies.

Anyway, I was in your neck of the woods two summers ago when my kid attended the Northeast Regional Perfect Game at Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Mass. Quite a piece of history there. Lou Gehrig once hit a homer into the Housatonic which runs wayyyyyyyy behind center and right field. Quite impressive.[/quote]

No need to apologize to me. You had a mistake, no worries. Anyways…wow a showcase in Pittsfield!!! (Never knew there was one there :lol: ) I live like 15-20 minutes from there, awesome.

My second selection is:

New York Yankees 3rd round draft pick in 2006, Zach Mcallister

Mcallister is a RHP, 6’06", 230 lbs from Chillicothe, IL drafted out of Illinois Valley Central High School. While those who know me realize I’m not the biggest Yankee fan in the world, I still come from an era where it seems impossible for me to believe they weren’t in the playoffs this year. Especially with the wild card situation. I actually felt sorry for the Yankee fans as they watched all their young prospects struggle on the big stage while the Rays and Red Sox had numerous successes. Guys like Mcallister should change that in the near future.

Mcallister was a University of Nebraska recruit and a second team all-american pitcher for Louisville Slugger and his father is a scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks (is it who you know / or who knows you?)Mcallister is reported to have grown six inches and put on sixty pounds in his junior and senior year of high school. How’s that for inspiration?

Mcallister has a 93-94 mph four seam fastball and a 89-91 mph two-seamer. He’s got both a slider and change up that can be thrown in any count. I’m looking forward to seeing him pitch for the Yankees AA affiliate Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League next summer. I just got a new video camera and am hoping to get some good footage.

TODAYS WEATHER for Chillicothe, IL

A few rain showers this evening mixing with snow showers overnight. Low near 35 F. Winds SSW at 10-15 mph. Chance of precip 60%.

McAllister is a great prospect. Hopefully follow in Joba’s footsteps out of Nebraska. I’m looking forward to seeing him from my seats in Yankee Stadium soon.

Yeah…hopefully he falls in love with roids as much as Joba did…

Yeah 'cause Joba did 'roids…? :?

Darn biased Yankee haters, changing facts just much as Bush did

As for McAllister, the man has real good control and his velocity increased over time. If his velocity reports are true (I still cannot get over that Hughes thing…) he could be a solid groundball pitcher who eat innings.

Yep goggles, :thumbsup:

Oh, I meant that just looking at it he doesn’t get his hips moving like most major league pitchers, or at least the best ones.

My third selection is:

Boston Red Sox 1st round supplemental draft pick in 2005, Michael Bowden

Bowden is a RHP, 6’03", 215 lbs from Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, IL. I get a chance to see the Portland Seadogs, AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox on occasion. Papelbon, Buchholz, Lester and Masterson all came through Portland as did Bowden this year. He was promoted to AAA Pawtucket and seems ready for the big leagues soon.

Bowden has an unusual overhand funky delivery but throws a heavy hard fastball normally gunned in the high 80’s to low 90’s but has hit 95 mph. His change up is a true outpitch and his curveball is spectacular. He’s got a slider that he used to throw in high school that he could add as well.

However, here’s what makes him a viable starter or closer in the bigs: it’s his work ethic. Sea Dogs manager Arnie Beyeler describes him as “a bulldog” , “the alpha dog”, “the toughest guy I ever had to take out of a game.” That’s what makes me think Bowden will make it…because he is on a mission.

Oh yeah, JD, he’s also a Cubs Fan!

TODAYS WEATHER for Aurora, IL

Snow showers this morning. Peeks of sunshine later. High 38F. Winds WNW at 10-20 mph. Chance of snow 70%. A slushy accumulation of less than one inch.

To quote Frank Zappa…“the torture never stops”

I just love a kid who is fearless and has a heart as big as Miami…just fun to watch someone who won’t back down no matter who is at the plate.

My fourth selection is:

Detroit Tigers 1st round draft pick in 2007, Rick Porcello

Porcello is a RHP, 6’05", 200 lbs from Seton Hall Prep, West Orange, NJ

Yes this is a no-brainer. I saw Porcello in Winter Haven, Fl at Chain O Lakes Park last spring. BTW: Cliff Lee threw the first couple innings and Grady Sizemore hit a laser beam homerun on his first at bat, but that’s another story. Porcello warmed up along the left field wall and showed no sign of nervousness. I thought, “So this is what the seven million dollar man looks like.” He promptly went in and sat down six Cleveland Indians in a row inducing mostly weak groundball outs.

Porcello is as gifted as high school talent comes. He was committed to Nortch Carolina before he made his decision to go pro. His fastball can threaten 97 mph but averages 92 mph with movement in on the fists of righthanded batters. The slider he threw in high school got switched out for a curveball. His change up is an equalizer. This guy has competitive make-up written all over him. He is scheduled to pitch next year for the Erie Seawolves, the AA affiliate for Detroit. I’ll be there…and I’ll bring you back some nice game footage.

With pitchers like Dontrelle Willis folding up their tent in Detroit…Porcello looks like he could make it to the big show by the end of next season.

TODAYS WEATHER for West Orange, NJ

Partly cloudy skies. Low 31F. Winds WSW at 10-15 mph.

My fifth selection is:

Cleveland Indians 3rd round draft pick in 2004, Scott Lewis.

Lewis is a LHP, 6’0", 195 lbs from Washington Court House (Ohio) High School. Actually Lewis was drafted out of Ohio State University in 2004. He was also drafted out of high school in 2001 by the then Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 33rd round but he chose to go to college instead. It appears to have been the right move.

I didn’t choose Lewis because of his dominating fastball or his towering size. I chose him because he seemd to me to be the perfect example of a pitcher who didn’t need to have either of these attributes to gain attention but instead succeeded on command of the strike zone.

Some of Lewis’ highlights include: a first-team All-American in 2003 (9-1 with 1.61 ERA) who won 18 games between 2002-04 for Ohio State, pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed just three hits in his major league debut this summer for the Cleveland Indians. Lewis did not issue one walk.

Lewis’ fastball is not imposing at 85-89 mph but his command and use of the fastball mixed with a change-up and slider can shut down opponents. Lewis says this about his focus, “My favorite thing about pitching is having control. I have the control to strike out batters and help the team leave with a win.”

If you aren’t inspired by that then maybe you’ve just given up on yourself…

TODAYS WEATHER for Washington Court House, Ohio.

Cloudy. A chance of rain showers until midnight…then a chance of rain and snow showers after midnight. Lows in the lower 30s. Southwest winds around 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

There’s a reason he’s not throwing 90+, it’s that arm action. :cry: