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Is Drew Pomeranz the Golden God of Pitching?

July 21, 2011
Drew_Pomeranz-300x218

It’s tough not to drool when watching Pomeranz pitch.

The 5th pick in the 2010 draft, Pomeranz was pegged as the lefty with the most big league promise. He’s huge, 6′ 5″ 230, which is just a little smaller than his ridiculous curveball, and his arm can dial it up to 94 MPH.

So far, though he hasn’t hit the big leagues, he is living up to the Tribe’s hopes. In 15 starts at Kinston, Pomeranz posted a 1.14 WHIP, while striking out 11.1 batter per 9 innings. Though he was a bit wild at times (his 3.7 BB/9 is what kept the WHIP over 1.00), Pomeranz kept the ball in the park (.2 HR/9) and got enough big strike-outs to get out of trouble (2.97 K/BB).

Last week, the Tribe promoted him to Double A Akron where he pitched well in his first short outing. In 4 2/3rds innings Pomeranz K’ed 5, walked 1, and surrendered only 1 run on a home run.

He is definitely ready for Double A ball and the quick promotion means the Tribe has him on the fast track to the MLB (as opposed to the Kipnis track). This is good news.

So far, Pomeranz has relied a little to heavily on being able to get out lefties. His curveball can dominate minor league lefties (32/2 K/BB in 15 2/3 IP), but it’s not going to be that unhittable for major leaguers. Pomeranz has to get at righties more. He has struck out 63 in 61 1/3, but he has also walked 30, which shows he is pitching away from them too much. Cut down that number and his WHIP and K/BB rations will soar.

Part of getting at righties lies in improving his change-up. It will be his 3rd pitch, and it has been improving, but it has the opportunity to be an above average pitch and Pomeranz hasn’t gotten it there yet. Not that he should have, he hasn’t even spent a full season playing professionally. Right now he has started to master the arm speed to maintain the pitch’s deception, but he needs to start locating the pitch.

Pomeranz could potentially use the change-up to dominate. He could easily develop into a Johan Santana-esque starter. His curve is so good that batters will key on the fastball so with a change-up that can be located and truly look like a fastball, Pomeranz could rack up Ks even at the MLB level.

Even by TCB standards, there is a lot to be optimistic about in Pomeranz. His size should keep him healthy, given the little strain he has to put on his arm to bring the heat. That being said, curveballs are tricky things and pitchers who rely on them are always playing with fire. John Smiley even broke his arm throwing one when he pitched for the Tribe in the mid 90s. I can’t wait to see him in the bigs, especially if he lays off the donuts and doesn’t look as silly as fatty Sabathia on the mound.

By my accounts, he is the best player in the Tribe system right now talent wise. Let’s hope it pans out.

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