We're back with 5 pitchers who could break out and make waves in the 2010 season.
Not really on the Reds radar the past year, pitching in the AFL and a decent spring have made people stand up and take notice of this 6'8" righthander. He was converted from a starter to a reliever in '08, and had a big '09 at three levels. After a rough AFL, he came to spring training and posted 9 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, and while he's likely to start in AAA, he could be in Cincinnati sooner rather than later. A tall reliever who can throw in the mid 90s and change speeds well can be hard to find, and he'll probably start 2010 as Louisville's closer.
2. Brian Pearl
A 2009 draftee, Pearl had an intriguing year in his first in pro ball. The closer in Billings, Pearl recorded 8 saves in 20 appearances, and struck out 43 hitters in 28 2/3 innings, for a cool 13.5 K/9 ratio. He'll likely start somewhere in the Dayton bullpen, and with a plus fastball and slider, could end up being a shutdown reliever who moves up the system quickly.
3. J. C. Sulbaran
Juan Carlos Superstar showed flashes of absolute brilliance last season, but consistency was an issue. He'll be somewhere in A-ball (Lynchburg or Dayton), and with his stuff could end up at the top of a strikeout leaderboard and moving up quickly. Throws 4 pitches with lots of movement, but needs to be more consistent from start to start, and being able to do further work with Tony Fossas or Rigo Beltran will help him get better in 2010.
4. Daniel Tuttle
Thundering Tuttle put up an extremely solid K/BB ratio in the GCL last year, and was a steal in the 5th round of the Reds draft. The sinkerballer is still a young talent, but has the stuff to move up the system sooner than people realize. Because of his age, he could still start the year in Billings, but is a good candidate to work his way up to the AA level in 2011.
5. Joseph Krebs
Krebs spent most of his season in Sarasota in 2009, and earned a promotion to AA where he was absolutely lights out. That 0.40 ERA in 22 1/3 innings is a cycle that he's looking to continue. He got a cup of coffee in AAA at the end of the year, and will get his shot there this year, but he's another arm that as long as he keeps producing the way he is, could be a darkhorse to make his major league debut in 2010.