This vote is closed
This is the first time our vote has been too close to call, with Lance Lynn earning ten votes to Eduardo Sanchez's nine. So we'll have our first run-off wherein the winner will receive the 6th slot and the loser will be 7th.
For your information and edification, scouting info on both after the jump.
From Future Redbirds
Sanchez featured the kind of strikeout rates you want to see from a pitcher who (1) projects as a dominant reliever and (2) has average groundball rates. With 26 innings at Springfield and 27 at Memphis, it’s not unreasonable for him to start the season at AAA again as the team’s closer. He’s had some recent command issues — as Goold notes — both in the VWL and at Memphis. Maintaining his mechanics and keeping the walk rate down will be the primary goals if he does start the year at AAA.
After rocketing up prospect lists last year, Sanchez followed it up with a solid 2010 campaign. Though slightly undersized, he has a powerful and a fastball that sits in the mid-to-high nineties. He has a smooth delivery that he easily repeats.
Sanchez has struggled to find the feel of his slider. If he can ever find consistency with it, the pitch could be a second plus offering. His walk rate of 4 BB/9 will have to improve but he was just 21 and already serving as a closer in Triple-A.
Sanchez totes upper 90’s heat, a good slider and command to go with it. At least his command is usually ok. He did have a concerning stint in the Venezuelan Winter League where he walked 12 and also yielded 12 earned runs in just 10 2/3 innings, so perhaps more finishing is not a bad idea.
From John Sickels
Not bad at all, looks like he can be a good reliever, gets lots of grounders.
Grade B-: I think he's the best of the large group of future bullpen arms.
From Keith Law (prior to 2010 season, but still applies, mostly)
Lynn has a four-pitch mix, all pitches average but nothing plus, led by a solid-average fastball with good tailing sink that generates some ground balls and helps him keep the ball in the park, and two breaking balls to change hitters' eye levels and move the ball around the zone. Lynn's also a strong competitor who pitches very aggressively, and I think he'll go after big league hitters like a veteran when he gets the opportunity.
From John Vuch, Director of Minor League Operations via Future Redbirds
He did touch 96 on several fastballs late in the year, but really worked more consistently in the 92 MPH range (with quite a few 94’s). Since earlier in the year he would sit at 90 MPH with the occasional 92-93, the gain in velocity is significant, at least in terms of where he finished the season. Much of Lynn’s success stems from the deception in his delivery, which allows his fastball to “jump” out of his hand, making his fastball a swing and miss pitch.
More from Azru on Future Redbirds (you can connect the pieces regarding Lynn's fastball)
I’ve been critical of Lynn’s 2010 campaign and, on balance, I stand by that assessment. Lynn’s 2009 FIP at Springfield was 3.47 and rose to 4.43 in 2010 at Memphis. A significant part of that was an increased HR rate (21 in 164 IP). Lynn’s HR rate in 2009 is certainly a partial product of luck based on his batted ball profile.
The other area for concern would be the decrease in groundball percentage from 2009 to 2010. Lynn is at his best when he’s able to pitch to the lower half of the zone with his fastball and mix in his breaking stuff off the plate low and away. The decreased groundball percentage, while small, is problematic for a pitcher who lacks a true out pitch.
The positive notes from 2010 are simple but important. Lynn struck out a higher percentage of batters and walked a lower percentage relative to 2009. Strikeout-to-walk ratio is a key indicator of pitcher performance and this improvement is something Lynn should look to build on.
From John Sickels
Grade C+: Inning-eating fourth starter type.