2005 New Britain Pitching Prospect Review

Olson led the team with nine wins.

TwinCitiesDugout.com looks at the New Britain Rock Cats pitching staff from 2005, examining the guys who appeared in a minimum of 24 games for the New Britain Rock Cats, or had a minimum of twelve starts in the Eastern League.

Jim Abbott- P

Abbott appeared in 24 games for the Rock Cats in 2005, starting 12, and coming out of the bullpen 12 times. Although he had an ERA of 5.31, he finished second on the team in wins, and his 96.2 innings were good enough for fifth. He showed excellent control throughout his time in the Eastern League, walking only 26 batters, and striking out 77. Abbott began the year at Triple-A Rochester, but was hit hard and demoted to New Britain. His best game for the Cats was on July 17, when he threw a complete game, allowing two earned runs while striking out six.

Kevin Cameron- RP

Cameron was one of the best relief pitchers in the Eastern League in 2005. He appeared in 43 games for the Cats, all out of the bullpen, and posted a 2.72 ERA. He was used in many roles, including closer and set-up man, and finished with six wins, and six saves. He lost only two games, and held opponents to a .244 batting average. At home, Cameron was basically lights out, posting a 1.34 ERA in 22 appearances. He is much better late in the game, posting a 0.95 and 0.75 ERA in the eighth and ninth inning, respectively.

Daylan Childress- P

Childress was released by Cincinnati on May 7, and was picked up by the Minnesota Twins. He was sent to Triple-A Rochester, where he was rocked in his five appearances in the International League. He was then sent to New Britain, where he continued to struggle for the rest of the season. For the Rock Cats, Childress had a 5.19 ERA in his 29 appearances, and finished the year with a 3-4 record. On the bright side, he was used as both a starter and a reliever, saved two games, and held the opposition to a .242 batting average.

Colby Miller- SP

Miller made 12 starts for the Rock Cats in 2005, and ended his season with seven straight loses. He began the year as one of the best pitchers in the Eastern League, going 2-0, and allowing only three earned runs in 32.0 innings of work. On the season, he ended the year with a 3.60 ERA, and had one complete game. He walked 19 batters in his 70.0 innings, and struck out 41. He struggled away from New Britain Stadium, posting a 5.34 ERA in five appearances.

Jason Miller- RP

Miller had a breakout season in 2005, as he was named to the Eastern League All-Star Team. Throughout the season, Miller appeared in 26 games, and finished the year with a 2.72 ERA. He was virtually unhittable for most of the season, holding Eastern League batters to a .188 batting average. At New Britain Stadium, he was lights out, posting a 0.73 ERA in 13 appearances. His play earned him a promotion to Triple-A Rochester, where he again pitched well. In 13 games for the Red Wings, he posted a 3.81 ERA, and finished his Triple-A season with a 2-0 record out of the bullpen.

Patrick Neshek- CL

Neshek was one of the best closers in the Eastern League during the 2005 season, and used his breakout year to turn himself into a top relief pitching prospect within the Twins organization. He tied for third in the league with 24 saves, and his 55 appearances were good for fifth. He led the entire Twins organization in saves, and finished the year with a 2.19 ERA. He struck out 95 batters in 82.1 innings of work, and held the opposition to a .225 batting average. He was absolutely devastating to right-handed batters, handcuffing them to the tune of a .183 batting average. He was recently named to the Twins 40-man roster.

Justin Olson- P

Olson led the Rock Cats in wins in 2005, posting nine on the season. He appeared in 31 games throughout the season, starting 15, and finished the year with a 4.79 ERA. His 109.2 innings of work were good enough for second on the team, as he worked from both the starting rotation and the bullpen. He fared better as a reliever in 2005, posting an ERA of 3.12 in 16 appearances. As a starter, he had a 5.29 ERA, and posted seven of his eight losses. He did put up some decent stats though, striking out a team-best 103 batters, and holding batters to a .232 ERA.

Glen Perkins- SP

Perkins began the year in High-A Fort Myers, and after ten starts, proved he was too good for the Florida State League. In his ten starts for the Miracle, Perkins posted a 2.13 ERA, and struck out 66 batters in 55 innings of work. He struggled a bit at the Double-A level, posting a 4.90 ERA in 14 starts, but showed enough promise to be sent to the coveted Arizona Fall League. Oddly enough, the big-time left-handed pitching prospect struggled against left-handed batters as a member of the Rock Cats, posting an 8.55 ERA against them. However, he was the best starting pitcher in the Arizona Fall League, posting a 2.53 ERA in seven starts, as he continued to make his stock rise. For the season, his 133 strikeouts were good enough for fifth in the organization.

Errol Simonitsch- SP

Like Perkins, Simonitsch made 14 starts for the Rock Cats in 2005. He began the year at High-A Fort Myers, and was absolutely dominant in his 14 starts in the Florida State League. He posted an 8-3 record for the Miracle, walked only 12 batters in 80 innings of work, and finished his High-A season with a 2.69 ERA. For the Cats, he had a decent year, but was hit hard on some occasions. Although batters his .288 against him, he did put together a 4.14 ERA, and won six of his 14 starts. Recently, he was named to the Twins 40-man roster, and his 14 combined wins were tops in the organization in 2005. He is a big lefty, who Denard Span considers the top pitcher in the organization he has faced.

Levale Speigner- SP

Speigner started a team-best 23 games for the Rock Cats in 2005, posting six wins, while leading the team with ten losses. He had a solid 4.13 ERA, and was often victimized by a lack of run support. He tied for the team lead with two complete games, and pitched a shutout on August 18. In that game, Speigner allowed only two hits, while walking two and striking out seven. It was his second complete game in his last five starts. He was promoted to Triple-A Rochester for a cup of tea in July, posting a 7.36 ERA in two appearances.

John Thomas- RP

Thomas struggled throughout the 2005 season, and ended the year with a 6.92 ERA. He was hit hard the entire season, as batters hit .337 against him for the year. He appeared in 39 games, starting eight, and ended the year with a 5-4 record. He needs to work on his control, as he walked 37 batters in his 79.1 innings of work, and had four wild pitches. He also showed a tendency to give up the longball, allowing 14 home runs on the season. In September, he was promoted to Triple-A Rochester, where he was hit hard in his only start on September 5.

Matt Yeatman- SP

Yeatman was used as both a starter and a reliever for the Rock Cats in 2005, appearing in 28 games, and starting 16. He finished third on the team with 103.2 innings pitched, although he also showed a tendency to be on the wild side. He led the team with ten wild pitches, and finished second on the team with 39 walks. All in all, he had a solid 4.01 ERA, and picked up a complete game along the way.

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