Strange things are happening in the Royals minor league system these days. Quality pitching performances are popping up all over the place. Yesterday I wrote about Michael Montgomery and John Lamb. Today a lesser known Royals farm hand was promoted to NW Arkansas after pitching brilliant baseball for the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The Royals drafted RHP-Jason Godin in the 5th round of the 2006 draft out of Old Dominion University and while he hasn’t pitched badly, he hasn’t been on the prospect radar either. That might be starting to change. Godin started his minor league career by throwing 21.2 innings for Idaho Falls in 2006. While a member of the Chukars, he had a 2.49 ERA, 1.431 WHIP, and 2.25 K/BB. In 2007 he split time between the Burlington Bees andWilmington Blue Rocks while accumulating 119.0 IP with a 4.08 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, and 1.67 K/BB. Last season Godin pitched 72.2 innings for the Wilmington Blue Rocks with a 5.33 ERA, 1.431 WHIP, 1.83 K/BB. His minor league numbers weren’t terrible, but it was starting to look like Wilmington would be the ceiling for his career in the Royals organization.
Godin started the 2009 season with the Wilmington Blue Rocks, again, but this year the script changed. In 38.2 innings pitched, as both a starter and reliever, he has a 1.63 ERA, 1.216 WHIP, and 2.46 K/BB. In his last two starts, on July 16th and July 22nd, he has thrown 12.0 innings of shutout baseball allowing only 8 hits while walking 2 and striking out 12. Godin was moved back into the Wilmington rotation when Rowdy Hardy was promoted to double-A and now due to an injury to 28 year old Chad Orvella, Jason gets to join Rowdy in the Naturals’ rotation.
Hardy has also been doing his part in double-A. In his 2nd start with NW Arkansas on July 21st he pitched 8.0 innings of shutout ball allowing only 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. The pessimist in me doubts that Godin will have similar initial success in double-A, after all it took him 134 innings with the Blue Rocks to figure it out at that level, but sometimes the switch just goes on with guys. As Royals fans, we have plenty of pessimism to deal with at the ML level so I’m officially cautiously optimistic.
A final note about Godin’s last start on the 22nd that isn’t pitching related. In that game, CF-Derrick Robinson stole 3 bases to push his season total to 49 and is well on his way to topping the 62 he stole last year. Robinson is still only hitting 0.232/.285/.280 for the Blue Rocks in 354 AB, but he has hit 0.273 over his last 10 games.
While the front office and management of the Royals is subject to massive delusions, more on that later, a good number of the pitching prospects in the system have found some sort of magic elixer that counteracts the suckitis infecting the ML club. Perhaps the ML bullpen, in its entirety, should be sent to Wilmington and NW Arkansas in an attempt to cure them of their respective afflictions. On the flip side, suckitis is highly contagious so we probably don’t want that crew anywhere near the upcoming talent.