Sunday, June 21, 2009

Travis Talks prospect list: Prospect #8

I will be bringing you 2 of the top prospects in the whole minor league system today. First I wll bring you the number 8 prospect in the Twins organization. Later today I will be bringing you the number 7 player. I hope everyone enjoys and will add their 2 cents to the discussion on if you agree or disagree with the pick. Also I want to wish everyone a very happy Father's Day! I am trying out a new font let me know what you think of it.

8. Anthony Swarzak 23 (9/10/1985)

2008 teams: New Britain and Rochester

  • Anthony Swarzak was a 2nd round pick by the Twins in the 2004 draft out of high school in Davie, Florida. After signing with the Twins Swarzak started his Twins career with the GCL Twins where he went 5-3 with a very good 2.63 in 9 starts. In 48 innings Anthony walked only 6 and struck out 42 for a whip of 1.08. In 2005 Swarzak split the season between Beloit and Fort Myers. He started season in Beloit where he went 9-5 with a 4.04 era in 18 starts. In 91.1 innings Swarzak walked 32 and struck an impressive 101 for a whip of 1.24. Those impressive stats led to a promotion to Fort Myers where in 10 starts Anthony went 3-4 with a 3.66 era. In 59 innings Swarzak walked 11 and struck 55 for a whip of 1.41. Swarzak spent the entire 2006 season back in Fort Myers at 20 years old. In 27 starts Swarzak went 11-7 with a very good 3.09 era. In 145.2 innings Swarzak walked 60 and struck out 131 to lower his whip to 1.31. The great season at Fort Myers led to a promotion to AA New Britain for the 2007 season and that is where his career and life would change forever. On April 20, 2007 Anthony Swarzak was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for abuse of a non performance enhancing drug. It was later revealed to be Marajuana and after the suspension Swarzak was punished by the Twins for this by being demoted to Class A Fort Myers. In retrospect it was something that really motivated Swarzak and probably changed his career in a positive way. Being suspended by MLB probably was the best thing that could of happened to Swarzak because it probably helped him turn his life around. Swarzak was not at Fort Myers very long as he only made 3 start with the Miracle and went 0-0 with a very good 2.30 era. In 15.2 innings Swarzak walked 5 and struck out 18 for a whip of 1.21. Swarzak then was promoted back to New Britain where he had a very good year for the Rockcats. In 14 starts Swarzak went 5-4 with a very good 3.23 era. In 86.1 innings Swarzak walked only 23 and struck out 76 for a whip of 1.17. Many including myself believed the 2007 season at New Britain would earn him a promotion to AAA Rochester for the 2008 season, well the Twins did not agree and sent him back to New Britain. I don't know if he was upset about not being promoted, but Swarzak was not very good at New Britain in 2008 as he went 3-8 with a not very good 5.67 era in 20 starts with the Rockcats. In 101.2 innings he walked 37 and struck out 76 and saw his whip jump from 1.17 in 2007 to 1.60 in 2008. Swarzak for some reason was then promoted to Rochester even though he really did not earn the promotion. For whatever reason when he got to AAA Rochester Swarzak took off once again. In 7 starts for the Red Wings Swarzak went 5-0 with an awesome 1.80 era. In 45 innings Swarzak only walked 14 and struck out 26 for a whip of 1.22. This year Anthony started the year back at Rochester and did very well leading to a promotion to the Twins. At Rochester Swarzak in 8 starts is 3-4 with a very impressive 2.29 era. In 51 innings he has walked 13 and struck out 34 for a whip of 1.20. After Glen Perkins went out with a elbow injury Swarzak got the call to the Twins and he did not disappoint. In 5 starts with the Twins Swarzak went 2-2 with a very good 3.90 era. In 27.2 innings he walked 10 and struck out 18 for a whip of 1.34. Including in those starts is 2 shutouts and his era is schewed by 2 bad starts. In 3 of the 5 starts Anthony made they were quality starts and gave the Twins a chance to win. Anthony Swarzak is a very good control pitcher with an awesome 12-6 curveball that when it is on is dominant. He has picked up a slider to go with it that is decent. Anthony is a control pitcher who will not walk many and will not strike out to many either. He works on the corners and when he hits his spots he is hard to hit. He usually goes from 89-94 on the radar gun and most of his pitches are 91-92 which is plenty fast enough. Anthony is back at Rochester now, but everyone knows it is just a matter of time before he is back up with the Twins either in the rotation or in the bullpen. Swarzak took the ball and ran with it when given a chance with the Twins this year. Anthony Swarzak has a very bright future at only 23 years old and projects out as a number 2 or 3 starter in the big leagues. He is a long ways from April, 20 2007 and has totally changed his life and career around from then. Lesser Men would of let that derail their career, but Anthony has shown what he is made of and I truly believe he will be a mainstay in the Twins rotation for many years to come.

  • 2009: Split season between Rochester and the Twins

  • Projection: I project Anthony to have a very successful and long career in the major leagues. Anthony Swarzak will be a mainstay in the Twins rotation for the next 10-15 years.

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