Looking ahead in 2010
Reviewing up-and-coming baseball players
Rick VandenHurk, Florida Marlins, right-handed pitcher. Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The 6-ft 5-inch 200-pounder is an imposing figure to opposing batters as he muscles over a 90plus fastball. Pitching for Marlins as a rookie at age 22 in 2007, Rick VandenHurk went 4-6 in 17 starts, 6.83 ERA in 81.7 innings. Split ’08 season in minors and with Florida, where he had a 1-1 record. He uses a smooth, three quarters delivery that moves in on right handed batters and jets away from lefties. In 2009 Rick VandenHurk compiled a 3-2 record, 4.30 ERA, rang up 49 strikeouts (Ks) in 58.2 innings, 11 starts.
Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians, right-handed pitcher. Born in Bradenton, Florida. 6-ft 4-inch 230-pounds. Lit-up the minor leagues at age 21 going 6-3 with a 36 saves, notching over a K an inning – 129 Ks in 105.2 innings – man that’s power pitching. In first year in majors, pitching with St Louis Cardinals, Chris Perez was 3-3 with 7 saves, 3.46 ERA in 41.2 innings. Pitched with Cleveland in 2009 and had a 1-2 record in 68 relief games, 68 Ks, just 27 W in 57 innings. Scouts rate Chris Perez 5 Stars (as good as it gets).
Mike McKenry, Colorado Rockies, right-handed catcher. Born in Knoxville, TN. Been playing in Rockies minor league system after being drafted in the 7th round in 2006 draft. Caught for Modesto California League A and throws out 50% of opponents’ base runners. Hits with power, lined 22 and 18 home runs in 2007 and ’08 while posting a .287 and .257 batting average.
Jonathan Van Every, Pittsburgh Pirates, left-handed outfielder. Born in Brandon MS. Jonathan Van Every played most of 2008 and 2009 in Pawtucket AAA and impress on-lockers with his homers – 26 in ’08. He played 18 games total with the Boston Red Sox those 2 seasons, had a triple and homers and 8 RBIs. In 2010 he’ll be wearing #16 uniform of the Pittsburgh Pirates after signing on as a free agent. Jonathan Van Every can play all 3 outfield positions so should be a valuable asset.
Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays, left-handed, DH and outfielder. Born in Muncie, Indiana. Adam Lind broke into the majors with the Blue Jays in 2006. He had a breakout season in 2009, and won a Silver Slugger Award and was voted the Outstanding DH. He blasted 46 doubles and 35 homers (5th best in AL), 93 runs, 114 RBIs (3rd highest in AL) while batting a solid .305. His .562 slugging percentage was 4th highest. He bats 3rd or 5th in Jays’ manager Cito Gaston’s batting order.
Justin Maxwell, Washington Nationals, right-handed centerfielder. Born in Bethesda, Maryland. A 6-ft, 5-inch slugger, Justin Maxwell played 15 games for Nats in 2007 and played in minors all of 2008. He provided thrills in 2009 for Washington fans with walk-off grand slam home run to left. On Sept 13, 2009 he launched 2 homers in 4 at bats in a game against the Marlins.