posted 6/6/12 5:16 PM PST
by Jim Brown
*MLBDepthCharts.com considers any player not on a team's 40-man roster, in AAA, or ranked as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America or top 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2012 season as an 'under the radar' player.
Under the Radar Minor League NL Pitching Performance of the Week
RHP Bradley Watson, Hi-A Palm Beach (STL)
season stats: 6.35 ERA, 11.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 9 K in 2 starts
May 30-June 4: 6 IP, ER, H, BB, 4 K in 1 start
It was a mediocre week in pitching performances, in which I was baffled by the outings where numerous walks are being continually issued amongst the starters. So in reverence to the recent MLB First Year Player Draft, I have chosen a performance where the young pitcher, Bradley Watson, had to wait a long time (days) before receiving the call. The 37th round pick from last season was in extended spring training when he got the word he was being sent to Hi-A Palm Beach. Injuries throughout the system have created frequent movement amongst the higher levels in the Cardinals' system and Watson found himself being called upon to start on May 30th. The 22 year–old impressed by throwing six innings, allowing one hit and one run. His only mistake was a second inning solo shot to FSL HR leader Wilmer Flores (NYM). He then went on to retire 15 of the next 16 batters in the no decision, as he was locked in a duel with St. Lucie pitcher Chase Huchingson.
After being drafted, the 6'4" right-hander was sent to the Gulf Coast League where he excelled with a 5-1 record and 2.22 ERA over 48.2 IP. He led all Cardinals minor league pitchers with a 7.4 K/BB and ranked 3rd with a 1.15 WHIP. The home run allowed to Flores was his first issued as a pro. The Iowa native shows consistent command with an 88 mph sinking fastball that tops at 90, a tailing change-up and a slider. Another positive attribute was how Watson handled himself on the mound with runners on base. While with the GCL Cardinals, Watson surrendered 51 hits in 48.2 innings but only allowed 15 earned runs. Palm Beach will being going with a 6-man rotation, so Watson should see additional starts. If Watson struggles, he can look for support to pick the brain of his first cousin, Tony Watson, who made his MLB debut as a relief pitcher last year with the Pirates.
Relief Pitcher of the Week
LHP Michael Thomas, Lo-A Great Lakes (LAD): 1.84 ERA, 29.1 IP, 15 H, 19 BB, 40 K in 18 appearances; 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 9 K in last week
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UTR Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive