The Indians are reportedly calling up right-hander Danny Salazar for a start against the Blue Jays on Thursday. And, according to Drew Silva at HardBallTalk, the 23-year-old will be given the Trevor Bauer treatment: he’s likely to be demoted following the game, regardless of the result.
Admittedly, I’m a big Salazar fan. I ranked him within the game’s top 150 prospects — #90, actually. Prior to the year, I wrote: “He’s a solid middle-tier prospect who could develop into a decent #3, maybe even a fringe #2, or a dominant backend reliever.”
(Note: The Final Prospect rankings do not reflect organizational ones; I bumped up/down several players after reviewing the group as a whole.)
This season Salazar has been, arguably, the best pitcher in the Tribe’s system.
After making seven dominant starts with Akron (13.63 K/9, 2.67 BB/9 and an absolutely impeccable 1.56 Skill Independent ERA), the club bumped him up to Columbus, where he’s been for the past three months. And in 10 starts with the Clippers, Salazar’s continued to post impressive numbers: 10.42 K/9, 2.76 BB/9 and 2.75 Skill Independent ERA.
The lone red flag thus far (besides the 2010 Tommy John surgery) is that he can be a bit fly ball happy. He’ll also need to have his innings watched as he’s topped 100 just once in his career.
It’s certainly no secret that the Tribe’s rotation has struggled this season. But the young right-hander could go a long way towards stabilizing it for several years. And he could easily be the best true homegrown starting pitcher since…well…C.C. Sabathia?
For more prospect analysis, check out Joe’s site: ProspectDigest.com