Back to the grades. We’re closing in on the finish line, slowly but surely. I have a lot of work to catch up on, so only two grades today, but I should be able to crank out 4 or so tomorrow.
Garcia, Edgar, RHP (age 19) Grade = A-
I recently wrote a feature piece on Garcia, so I won’t go into much detail here. Pitching at Batavia, at just 18 years of age, Garcia held his own, posting great numbers in every area except K/9, and in the above piece, I detailed why I’m not to worried in that area yet. His BB/9 rate was one of the best in the league, he lowered his hit rate by over 1.5 H/9, and he kept his HR rate at the same level despite facing much tougher competition. Doing so all at the age of 18 means he’s a definite A- prospect, and if his K/9 was 7.50 instead of 6.24, I’d have given him a straight A. At 19, he’ll still be quite young for the SAL, and is in position to put up a season on par with Carlos Carrasco’s 2006 with fewer K’s. If he does that, he’ll remain ranked near the top of our prospect list.
Brauer, Dan, LHP (age 23) Grade = B+
I also wrote a full length piece on Brauer a while back, so again, I won’t go on and on. Performance wise, Brauer deserves an A-/A, but I had to dock him points because he was old for Batavia, being 22 during the season, but his Lakewood numbers, albeit a small sample, didn’t show much of a dropoff. Brauer’s H/9, K/9 and HR/9 rates at Batavia were outstanding, his BB/9 was good as well, but will be something to watch as well. He slipped in the draft because teams were still worried about his arm, but he now looks like a possible poster boy for labrum surgery, as he’s actually working in the 90-92 range now, as opposed to the high 80’s like he did before surgery. If he is fully healthy, he’ll remain a starter until he proves he can’t handle the role. As I’ve chronicled in past writeups, the Lakewood/Clearwater rotations are going to be packed this season, and my guess is Brauer could start at Clearwater, which may be aggressive, but for a polished lefty in his age 23 season, he might be able to handle it. If he dominates at Clearwater, he could see his grade rise ala James Happ.