Position: Relief Pitcher
D.O.B.: September 8, 1984
The Minnesota Twins signed Robert Delaney as a non-drafted free agent for only 500 dollars, and he may turn out to be the best 500 dollars the organization has ever spent. A set-up guy in college for Boston's Craig Hanson, Delaney also worked as a starter for the Red Storm in his last season at St. John's, before being signed by Twins' scout John Wilson. After three stellar seasons in the Twins organization, Delaney is ready to take on AAA baseball, and could be in Minnesota by the end of the season.
After signing with the Twins, Delaney made his professional debut as a member of the Gulf Coast League Twins, appearing in 17 games for the team. He did not pitch that well, winning only one of his four decisions, but he did finish the season in the Florida State League.
For the Miracle, Delaney had an earned run average over 5.00, but that would be the last time the right-hander would have an ERA over 1.54 at any level.
In 2007, Delaney had a banner season, starting the year with the Beloit Snappers. After setting the Snappers save record in a little over half a season, Delaney would finish out the year in Fort Myers. For the Snappers, Delaney was a mid-year, and post-season All-Star in the Midwest League, and would be named by MLB.com as their Class Low-A Relief Pitcher of the Year.
During the 2008 season, Delaney picked up right where he left off, beginning the season with the Fort Myers Miracle. After being named a mid-season All-Star in the Florida State League, Delaney would make the jump to AA New Britain, where he continued his dominance of minor league hitters. Overall, Delaney posted a 1.23 earned run average between the two levels, and picked up some nice accolades along the way.
Delaney was named MLB.com's Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year, as well as a rising star in the Arizona Fall League. He is slated to open the 2009 season with the Rochester Red Wings, where he will likely be the team's closer.
Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Changeup.
Fastball. Delaney does not have an overpowering fastball, but he has pinpoint control of it. He regularly sits around 90-91, and has reached a maximum of 92 with his four-seamer. The thing that makes his fastball so good is the fact that he can put it wherever he wants. It has a nice sink to it as well, and it enables Delaney to induce plenty of groundballs. While it is an average fastball in miles per hour, it is definitely a great pitch for him.
Other Pitches: Delaney also throws a slider and a changeup, both of which he has nice control over. Overall, he has a nice three-pitch arsenal, mostly due to the fact that he has great confidence in whatever pitch he throws. He also mixes his pitches well, keeping batters off balance.
Projection: Delaney has been a relief pitcher throughout his minor league career, and he will stay right there. He has developed into the premier relief pitcher in the Twins organization, and seems to get better at each level. With his three-pitch repertoire, Delaney should be a very good middle reliever at the Major League level.
ETA. 2010. Delaney should spend the 2009 season with the Rochester Red Wings, breaking camp as their closer. I am not saying that he won't be in Minnesota at some point in 2009, I just feel he could use a full season in the International League. If he does get the call, it will most likely be in a middle relief role, and not as a set-up or closer. He will be a very good middle reliever in the Major Leagues, and that could come sooner than later.