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3. Aaron Laffey, LHP (4/15/85)
On Sept. 30, Aaron Laffey left the hill at Kauffman Stadium with two outs still on the table. Laffey had done his part to ensure a 4-2 victory over the host Royals in five innings of work, but the 6-foot, 185-pounder managed to walk away two outs away from losing prospect eligibility. Laffey earned his way into an Indians uniform by combining to post a 1.13 WHIP, 3.30 K/BB rate, and preserved his moniker as an extreme groundball pitcher with a 64% GB rate between Double-A and Triple-A. A 16th rounder in 2003, Laffey found success in his 49.1 innings in the Majors, posting a 1.34 WHIP and 65% GB rate to show that he has the makings to become a quality starter in the Cleveland Indian rotation in 2008.
5. Aaron Laffey, LHSP, MLB. Perhaps no Indians player took a bigger leap this year than Aaron Laffey did. Starting the season with 35 innings repeating Double-A (despite performing well there last season) Laffey came out the gates a changed pitcher. Prior to 2007, Laffey had racked up K% of 11.7% in Low-A, 14.1% in High-A and 12.8% in Double-A while posting BB% of 8.8%, 3.5% and 6.9%. Over his time in AA and AAA this year, Laffey totaled 17.0% and 19.2% strikeout rates while dropping his walk rate to 5.0% and 5.8%. It should suffice to say Laffey was much better. He’s a groundball pitcher who is finally getting strikeouts and doesn’t walk many batters. Laffey needed just two outs to lose his rookie eligibility and will find himself starting for the Tribe in 2008.
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