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Carolina Top 20 released


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The scouting reports:


Spoone was the most impressive member of the hardest-throwing rotation in the league. He carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning in the first round of the playoffs against Wilmington, one of two complete games he threw to clinch each of Frederick's postseason series.

His fastball sits consistently at 92-95 mph, touching 96. Spoone also has a big 12-to-6 curveball he can use to paint either corner or bury when he needs to, and he’s not afraid to use it in any count. He’ll also flash an above-average changeup, using the same arm speed as his fastball.

Spoone repeats his delivery well out of the windup, but flies open at times with his lead shoulder with runners on base. He struggles to control the running game as a result. His control is decent but will have to improve at higher levels.


Judging simply by Erbe’s numbers, 2007 appears to be a lost season. His 6.26 ERA was one of the highest in the minors, and he maxed out at the Orioles' single-inning pitch limit of 30 five times in 25 starts.

Despite his struggles, Erbe sat at 92-94 mph and topped out at 96 with his fastball. His upper-80s slider showed good tilt and bite, and his changeup got better. Lack of command is what caused Erbe fits and he eventually could land in the bullpen if he can't improve it.

“When he starts to get careful, that’s when he gets in trouble,” Orioles farm director David Stockstill said. “His stuff starts flattening out a little bit and he’ll leave pitches up, leave pitches in the middle of the zone. Sometimes he just wanted to do a whole lot more than he was capable of.”


After making short work of the South Atlantic League, Bergesen was greeted rudely in the CL—not only by opponents, but his teammates as well. After tossing a complete game in his first outing, he lost two straight starts and was hit in the head by a line drive in a freak accident during batting practice. He missed just one turn in the rotation but never got untracked.

Bergesen throws four pitches for strikes, beginning with a four-seam fastball that tops out at 95 mph. He also gets groundballs with his 90-92 mph sinker and keeps hitters off balance with a low-80s slider and changeup. While he repeats his delivery well, he ran into trouble with Frederick because he didn't locate his secondary pitches well in the strike zone.

The chat is currently ongoing, but this is what has been said so far:

Q: Kyle from Mississippi asks:

Did any other Fred-Keys get considered for the top 20?? Also, what was Mitch Einertson's personal issues the past 3 years and are they resloved to the point that he can make an impact eventually for the pros?

A: Chris Kline: Hmmmm . . . your Mills Cup champion Frederick Keys? Jason Berken and David Hernandez definitely were considered, and they're very similar with the arms in the 11-20 range. That's the thing about this league in 2007, especially in terms of arms--a lot of similarities. As for Einertson, I think he took a big step forward this year in his approach and maturity--not only as a player, but as a person. Maybe Callis can plug in a left fielder in the Astros' depth chart in 2008 after all.

Q: John C from Acworth, GA asks:

I know Bob McCrory of Frederick did not qualify. Where might he have fallen if he did?

A: Chris Kline: McCrory has the best fastball in the league before he was promoted, touching 97 mph while sitting in that cool, 93-95 range. He could be Chris Ray waiting to happen . . . or at least Jim Hoey.

I felt Hernandez should have made the top-20, but my feeling is that the arms were interchangeable from 11 and down. Both Hernandez and Berken probably landed in the 20-25 range.

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You have to admit that Bergesen making the top 20 is a surprise, making it over Hernandez is a huge surprise. Everything we've heard about Bergesen is that he's got average stuff, and then he gets lit up, for the most part, in the CL. Hernandez had a poor season but we've read that he's got lights out stuff and he proves it by finishing up strong and having a monster game. Maybe it's time for a new scouting report on Bergesen because this doesn't coincide with what I've read up til now. The bias I have to contest the list is what I've read on the Hangout.

You are right with the above.

I remember Bergesen being a top 50 or 60 HS talent in his draft year - at least at the beginning of the season. At the time, I remember hoping he would be the Hayden Penn of his class. Bergesen also fit into a mold that I particularly like of a high-80s thrower in HS who touched the 90s and has picked up velo as he matured. Long story short, I've held out hope that Bergesen might be able to receive this kind of recognition. I doubt anyone noticed, but I've pestered Tony for Bergesen info here more than anyone else the past few years.

It's nice to see him have the full-season success he enjoyed this year and the recognition he is receiving now. Bergesen has a ways to go, but he's made some major progess.

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Well, if Bergesen's fastball has really gotten into the low 90's and can hit 95, then he should be rising up the prospect list. Last I heard his fastball touched 91-92, but was typically in the 88-90 range. Glad to hear that his stuff is becoming more projectable.

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Well, if Bergesen's fastball has really gotten into the low 90's and can hit 95, then he should be rising up the prospect list. Last I heard his fastball touched 91-92, but was typically in the 88-90 range. Glad to hear that his stuff is becoming more projectable.

I don't know what gun they were using but when I saw Bergeson pitch he was like you said 88-90 range and maybe touching 92. So I think someone is giving someone wrong info.

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To finish off the chat:

Q: john m from nyc asks:

Was frederick's pitching staff that talented to have three players in the league's top 16? Erbe and Spoone had prospect status coming into the year but Bergesen wasn't even in book. Is Bergesen a real prospect or just the beneficiary of a weak Carolina league?

A: Chris Kline: It was pretty flipping good. Every starter could touch 95 mph; but Spoone had the most consistent secondary stuff. You can look at Bergesen either way, but his stuff is legit. At best, he's a No. 4, and really, a lot of the guys in the back end of the list will probably wind up as middle relievers with the ultimate ceiling being maybe a No. 5.

Q: Peter from NYC asks:

What is Spoone's ceiling if his control improves? Where does he rank amoung Oriole pitching prospects?

A: Chris Kline: Spoone could be a No. 2 or 3 as far as I'm concerned. He's got to be in the O's top 5.

Very high praise for Spoone.

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Think Spoone gets into the top 100 this year???

He's definately got a shot. IMO, Weiters will be in the top 30, with Rowell, Spoone, Liz and Olson all having a shot at making the top 100. If I had to guess, I would bet on Weiters, Rowell and Spoone making the list, with Liz and Olson just missing out.

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