If your team is looking to refuel in the coming weeks, get ready because GAS IS COMING YOUR WAY.
Every one of the pitchers in this article have the ability to miss bats, which is always exciting.
These five pitching prospects should be on your watch lists, like yesterday. I will also note the list below is not an indicator of favorites or call up time frame.
Without further “to-do” here they are:
Ryan Pepiot (RHP) Los Angeles Dodgers
Fastball, Slider, Changeup
Most people talk about Bobby Miller and they should be talking about Bobby Miller. Miller is just flat out N-A-S-T-Y.
But let me introduce you to another fellow you should be paying attention to: a Mr. Ryan Pepiot. Pepiot is a 24 year old pitching prospect at AAA for the L.A. Dodgers. He didn’t really blow anyone away during spring training this year, but he sure is making some noise now.
So far in 15.2 IP he’s got a 12.64 K/9 (22 K’s) an ERA of 1.15, 2.36 FIP and an xFIP of 3.16. He’s also allowed no homers with only eight hits given up.
But, there is always an issue (or issues) with all prospects – amiright? For Pepiot, it’s been handing out a few too many free passes. This year he has (7) in 15 + innings.
in fact, walks have been an issue throughout his short career, but we’re here for the K’s! I also trust the Dodgers development team and organization, as they seem to churn out talented prospects on a yearly basis.
Worst case scenario – Pepiot becomes another power arm reliever.
George Kirby (RHP) Seattle Mariners
Fastball, Curveball, Slider, Changeup
The Mariners are putting together something special in Seattle. We all saw Logan Gilbert come up last year and now he looks to have taken another leap forward.
Well, George Kirby will be the next arm up and I am sure looking forward to seeing what he can do at the top level.
Kirby, 24 is not just another power arm. Sure, the fastball’s topped 100 mph, but more importantly, he’s a power arm with excellent command.
The numbers don’t lie – since 2019 he’s posted an ERA no higher than 2.77 (with a FIP of 3.62) along with a healthy dose of K’s and very few walks.
At AA this season, Kirby has struck out 34.4% of the total batters he’s faced with a 2-0 W/L record, a 1.82 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 3.49 xFIP. He’s walked only 5 in 24.2 IP.
Get ready for the next Shane Bieber.
Roansy Contreras (RHP) Pittsburgh Pirates
Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup
Contreras, 22, started opening eyes last season after a strong campaign at AA. In 12 starts (54.1 IP) he went 3-2 with an ERA of 2.65, an 0.91 FIP and an xFIP of 3.33. He punched out 76 (34.9%) while walking 12.
The fastball has a ton of life and has touched as high as 98 with ease.
He has a starters arsenal and with the Pirates I see him sticking in the rotation long term.
In his short stint this season with the big league team Contreras went 1-0 in 7.2 IP with 10 strikeouts and just 3 BB. I’d say he’s ready for big league action, so I was surprised when the Pirates decided to ship him off to the minors for more “seasoning.”
Grab him once he returns – hopefully for good.
Max Meyer (RHP) Miami Marlins
Fastball, Slider, Change
Oh, The Marlins are a pitching producing machine. Meyer, 23, will be the latest product coming out of their system and boy will you want him on your staff once he’s up and running.
Meyer has quickly become one of the hottest names being talked about right now. It’s only been 5 games at AAA (and 26.1 innings), but so far he’s punched out 33 without allowing a single homer while walking 6 (102 total batters faced).
Meyer’s calling card is the devastating slider which was the labeled as the best pitch in the 2020 draft. His fastball can also read 100 mph.
Like Pepiot however, there are some rumblings that a future as a power arm reliever is likely.
Josh Winder (RHP) Minnesota Twins
Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup
OK, I’ll admit adding Winder feels a bit of a cheat as he’s already in the big leagues, but he’s worthy of your attention and I would’t be doing my job if I didn’t make mention of him.
Josh Winder, 25 made the team out of spring training without much fanfare. In fact, a lot of folks I know knew of Jhoan Duran before they even heard of Winder. Winder operated in the shadows for about 10 IP + in long short and long relief before his fabulous start against The Tampa Bay Rays. In that spot start Winder stuck out 7 in 6 IP, getting the win. His top pitch velocity reached 96.8. He also managed 10 swings and misses.
He’s got a good frame for a starter at 6 foot 5, armed with velocity and command. Health has been an issue the past few seasons, but he’s already showing he belongs. His ERA currently stands at 2.20, his FIP at 3.95 and xFIP at 3.67. He’s walked 4 in 16 IP with 12 strikeouts (interestingly, 7 of those K’s came during his one start).
I wrote this piece a day before Josh Winder’s start on Friday night against the Oakland A’s. Winder did not disappoint – he had 16 swings and misses, his fastball topped at 95.4 mph and he held the A’s to no runs on 3 hits. He also struck out 8 with no walks.
You may not have heard of him before, but now you have. Thanks for reading!