Following a six inning, six strikeout performance on Thursday, Jake Odorizzi was promoted to Northwest Arkansas.
A Carolina League All-Star, Odorizzi compiled a 2.87 ERA over 78.1 High A innings and had a 103/22 K/BB ratio. He’s been dominant all season in Wilmington, so this promotion isn’t much of a surprise.
Odorizzi, our #8 prospect entering the season, leaves the Carolina League as its leader in strikeouts on the season and was in the top 10 of ERA leaders among starters.
Of course, Odorizzi was part of the Zack Greinke trade last December and has launched himself into the spot of top pitching prospect for the Royals. He was Milwaukee’s #1 overall prospect according to Baseball America at the time of the trade and scouts suggest his ceiling is that of a #2 starter.
His timetable depends on how he adjusts to new competition. The Texas League is more hitter-friendly historically than the Carolina League and the shift from Frawley Stadium to Arvest Ballpark may test him. Remember, both Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer had home run problems playing half their games at Frawley but blew up once they hit Springdale, Arkansas.
Past Royals prospects have had success while pitching there, though they’re predominantly left-handed. Danny Duffy had a 2.95 ERA in his half season of work. Mike Montgomery kept his ERA under 3.50 over 59.2 innings. Mario Santiago and Kelvin Herrera, both righties, have been dominant in 2011 for the Naturals, landing Mario Santiago in Omaha and Herrera in the All-Star Futures Game.
I’d guess that Odorizzi finishes up this year at Double A and will get an invite to spring training next February. From there, he’ll more likely start a few times in Double A and may end up in Triple A for most of the year after. If he’s really strong, he might be a September call-up. If pressed, though, I’d shoot for 2013 for his MLB debut.
But, then again, this time last year I figured Eric Hosmer would just be hitting Omaha. Silly me.
For more on Jake Odorizzi, read Filling the Void by Michael Engel and Jake Odorizzi Making Waves in Wilmington by Jeff Herr on Seedlings to Stars, FanSided’s blog devoted entirely to minor league news, commentary and analysis.