As mentioned yesterday, the Royals announced their organizational winners for hitter and pitcher of the year among all their minor league affiliates. One name in the higher levels that hasn’t gotten much notice among the bevy of prospects within the Royals system is Everett Teaford, named Northwest Arkansas’s pitcher of the year over Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Chris Dwyer and others. That’s enough to open my eyes and see the light.
Like many of the other pitching prospects, Teaford is left-handed. Dayton Moore’s almost cornered the market on left-handed pitching gems…
~ Baseball America NR
~ Diamond Futures n/a
~ Royals Review #46 in July
~ John Sickels n/a
~ RoyalsProspects.com: 43 (debuted in September)
|AA (2 seasons)||16||10||4.25||42||27||173.2||82||64||149||1.376||9.1||1.0||3.3||7.7||2.33|
|A+ (2 seasons)||15||7||3.37||39||34||208.1||78||58||165||1.171||8.0||1.0||2.5||7.1||2.84|
|A (1 season)||6||8||4.68||27||21||134.2||70||36||84||1.359||9.8||0.7||2.4||5.6||2.33|
|Rk (1 season)||5||1||3.71||15||12||63.0||26||20||51||1.175||7.7||0.4||2.9||7.3||2.55|
|AAA (1 season)||0||1||13.50||1||1||4.2||7||1||4||1.929||15.4||3.9||1.9||7.7||4.00|
Teaford is getting a bit long in the tooth to still hit “prospect” status, but he’s been overlooked for a while now. At a small (though not Tim Collins small) six foot and 155 pounds, he’s not the physical specimen that will draw a lot of attention. With a standard fastball/change/curve repertoire where his fastball reaches the 89-91 area, his stuff isn’t eye-popping either.
So it’s no wonder why he wouldn’t get noticed. His performance, though, warranted two Carolina League All-Star selections, and as I noted, the Royals Double A Pitcher of the Year award this season.
Teaford doesn’t really project to be much past a #3 or #4 starter, but his numbers so far in his minor league career at least indicate that in that type of role he could be effective. Other than his 2009 trip to Northwest Arkansas, Teaford has never walked more than 2.9 batters per nine innings pitched. In 2010, he’s shown the same kind of control, but his increased strikeout rate over 92.2 innings in Double A indicate he may be commanding his pitches better while maintaining that solid control. His career 2.53 K/BB rate is pretty good. His 2010 K/BB rate of 3.58 is pretty damn good.
He made a spot start in Omaha this season and did alright, but got knocked around late. Royals Review has a nice glimpse at how that night went and a few of Teaford’s starts following his Omaha stint. It gives you the idea that Teaford is good at keeping hitters off balance to compensate for his lack of elite stuff. Tom Glavine got a long way without a blazing fastball by hitting his spots with consistency and ease (not that Teaford projects to be the next Tom Glavine). So it’s not a requirement to dial it up to 95 mph every night out.
He’ll likely start the year in Omaha in 2011 with a shot to be an injury fill-in if necessary for Kansas City. If he continues to make adjustments, he’ll have a good shot to stick around. If not, he may be a Rule 5 option for some teams who need a left-handed arm with control.