Not sure if this has been mentioned, but White Sox pitcher Neal Cotts has been moved into the rotation and will start this weekend against the Twins. The lefthanded Cotts is 24, has a 2.45 ERA this season, and a 1-to-2 strikeout to walk ratio.
This was taken from Futuresox.com and was written last year. Since then, he has added a cutter to his repertoire with mixed results.
Cotts was originally drafted by the Oakland A's in the 2nd round out of Illinois State University, and was acquired from the A's in the Koch-Foulke deal. Last season for Modesto (A), he showed why Ken Williams and others think so highly of him - he struck out 178 batters in 138 innings (or 11.6 KO's per nine innings). He also limited opponents to a collective .239 AVG. Just looking over these lines, you would think he was a flame-thrower, but Cotts isn't. His fastball occasionally touches 90, but it has tremendous movement. Cotts relies mainly on his fastball and plus change-up. He does an excellent job keeping hitters off balance by changing speeds and locations. Late last season, Cotts added a curveball to his repertoire that is quickly developing into a very good pitch. The keys to Cotts' success will be the development of this third pitch and improving his overall control (87 walks last season). If Cotts can reduce his walks, he will shoot up the list, potentially becoming the Sox' best left-handed pitching prospect a fact which, in and of itself, says a lot. Cotts has gotten off to a quick start in Birmingham (AA) this year: he's 7-2 with 85 strikeouts in just 59.2 innings. Neal is on the disabled list for precautionary measures and should be back in action in the next week or so. As long as he's healthy he has a shot to get promoted to Charlotte sometime later this year and could find himself on the South Side of Chicago as a September call-up.
hes the best solution for a 5th starter, hes the real deal, im sure hw ill have some bumps in the road. i dont think hes a Dontrelle or Prior by an means, but he might give you what B Myers did last year.
pilambp wrote:So basically, this guy has major problems with walks. He seems like an intriguing pick up for my AL only league, but I'll have to let him start a few games before i'm sold.
i don't think he does have that big of a walk problem... 2:1 K:BB ratio isn't bad... whip looks 1.3ish.
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll drown because you forgot to teach him to swim.
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Fastball: Cotts' fastball won't overpower you like that of Jason Schmidt's or Kerry Wood's, but has tremendous movement nonetheless and will commonly reach upwards of 90 MPH.
Other pitches: Like most pitchers that can't overpower you, Cotts is very deceptive by changing pitches, mostly using the changeup and his latest pitch, the curveball, as his top arsenal.
Pitching: Cutting down on his walk total was a big part of Cotts' breakout in 2003. Still, control was a concern for the southpaw when he made his professional debut in August. He walked a total of 17 batters in only 13.1 IP with the Sox for a whopping BB/9 ratio of 11.67.
Projection: Future top-of-the-line starter.
Keys: It cannot be stressed enough--his control has to be kept under control. Ultimately, Cotts is in control of his own destiny. The sky is the limit and there's absolutely no one standing in his way. For this particular lefty, the key to success is clear: Master the BB's, and let the rest of the cards fall into place.
MLB Clone(s): Cliff Lee.
Of all the good talent in the Sox' system, Cotts is the cream of the crop, and Ken Williams knows it. Cotts' name was purposely taken off trade lists by Williams at mid-season while the Sox searched for ways to improve their chances at winning the American League Central.
Instead of trading their best pitching prospect in Cotts, Williams instead chose to part ways with the likes of LHP Royce Ring and RHPs Edwin Almonte, Frank Francisco and Josh Rupe.
Whether Cotts opens next season in the majors or back in AAA at Charlotte, time will only tell. Regardless, he'll be a big sleeper in the American League.