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Achtung Baby

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Hey dude,

I am torn between Jarrod Parker and Carlos Carrasco. Clearly Parker is further away from the Show, but I like to have young guys with big upsides. Carlos Carrasco was highly touted by both BP and BA heading into the season.

Who would you rather have on your minor league roster?

Thanks in advance bud.

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If it matters, Carrasco was lights out tonight. 7 innings, only 2 hits allowed with 5 Ks. (no earned runs)

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I'm a fan of both as it stands right now. Carrasco was very sharp and very nice tonight.

First, from BA this past Winter, rated as the Phillies #1 prospect (in a weak system):

Strengths: Carrasco has two plus pitches in his arsenal, starting with a consistent 90-92 mph fastball. His fastball has outstanding late life and finish, and he commands it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. He can dial it up to 93-94 when he needs to, and he could add more velocity as he matures physically. He complements his heater with one of the best changeups in the system. His changeup features excellent late fade and depth, and he'll throw it in any count. The biggest improvement Carrasco made in 2006 was with his curveball. He commanded his 71-77 mph curve better than he ever had, showing good tilt and late bite. He repeats his delivery and fields his position well. Though he didn't have an at-bat with the BlueClaws, Philadelphia raves about the pride Carrasco takes in the offensive side of the game. He's a good bunter and shows aptitude in understanding game situations from a hitter's perspective.

Weaknesses: Carrasco has a simple, compact delivery, but he can rush it at times, leading to erratic command. He arguably commands his changeup better than any of his pitches, but slows down his arm action slightly when he throws it, tipping off hitters. While his curveball is his third-best pitch, he falls in love with it at times. He needs to improve its consistency and also throw it for strikes more often, because better hitters will be less likely to chase it off the plate. Carrasco needs to have a better overall rhythm on the mound. He'll speed up when things are going his way, and slow down to a snail's pace when he's scuffling.

The Future: The Phillies already tried to jump Carrasco once, and they won't make the same mistake again. Though he's shown much more maturity, there's really no reason to rush him. While other arms from Lakewood's championship staff might leap past him, Carrasco will start 2007 in high Class A Clearwater and won't see Double-A Reading before midseason, putting him on pace to arrive in Philadelphia at some point in 2009.

2006 Club (Class) W L ERA G GS CG SV IP H HR BB SO AVG

Lakewood (Lo A) 12 6 2.26 26 26 2 0 159 103 6 65 159 .182

So last year, he was extremely impressive. 159 K/ 159 IP. That's pretty solid. .182 BAA is also very very nice. Let's also remember that he was born in 1987, so he's just turning 20 this year. He did that as a 19 year old last year- which is extremely impressive to me, especially considering that he was torched the year before when he was 18.

All of his numbers might not be there yet this year, but he still has a .228 BAA. In April he had an ERA of 4, and in May he's got one to the tune of 3.16. 38K/21 BB is a bit concerning in 52.2 IP, but I'm assuming the BB's will drop a bit and the K's may rise slightly.

If you look at his last three starts, (I'm not sure what happened May 15? 0 IP 2 H so I'm ignoring that one)

8 IP 8 K 4 H 1 R - May 9

5.2 IP 4 K 4 H 2 R- May 25

7 IP - 5 K- 2 - 0 R- May 31

So he is seemingly putting it together. Whether or not he will be a #1 starter or ace, that's doubtful in my mind. I see his ceiling as more as a pretty good #2 starter and a real solid #3. Nothing wrong with that at all, I just don't think he'll be in a Hughes, Lincecum, Gallardo class. It's possible, but I think he's likely to be a very good/ good #2 starter someday, not a #1.

That said, here's the info I have on parker:

10. Jarrod Parker, rhp

School: Norwell (Ind.) HS. Class: Sr.

B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 175. Birthdate: 11/24/88.

Scouting Report: Parker pitched for Team USA's junior national squad that won a silver medal in the World Junior Championship in Cuba last September. He has blown away scouts and hitters all spring, warming up for his initial start at 93-94 mph and hitting 97 with his first official pitch of the season. He touched 98 in that game and has continued to do so since, often working at 95-96. Just 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, Parker generates his exceptional velocity with an unbelievably quick arm. One scouting director says he has the best arm action of any high school pitcher in the draft, and he has drawn comparisons to a righthanded version of Scott Kazmir and to Tim Lincecum. Parker doesn't have Lincecum's untouchable curveball, but he does have a power curve with good depth and has shown a mid-80s slider. He hasn't needed it much against inferior high school competition, but Parker also has flashed an average to plus changeup. He didn't allow a run until his sixth start or an earned run until his seventh. A Georgia Tech recruit, he should go in the first half of the first round, perhaps to the Braves at No. 14.

9. Jarrod Parker, rhp, Norwell (Ind.) HS (10)

Parker threw well in a three-inning outing Tuesday night. He has a tendency to throw his fastball by his substandard competition, which is all he needs to do to be successful, but makes it tough to grade his secondary stuff. He was up to 96 and his high school team could be playing well into the month of June, as it was 30-0 heading into the playoffs.

Again, being in High School, it's really really difficult to say how Parker will translate to professional baseball. He came into the season I believe being the 31st best High School player in the draft and has quickly shot up the rankings into being a top 15 pick. You have to bear in mind that these are just top 15 of this draft, not a top 15 prospect. Is he a potential top 100 prospect in next years BA and on other lists? Sure. He can be. But that has so many different factors that neither of us can really know.

From what I can read, Parker would look to have a higher ceiling, but it's just near impossible to say. I'd probably stick with Carrasco personally, but Parker could end up being a legit #1, or he could flame out at AA once he gets there. Same could go for Carrasco. Difference is, Carrasco is more of a sure thing and known quantity and is only a year older and will have three years of professional ball under his belt before Parker even has one. Despite comparisons to Tim Lincecum, there's no way a high school pitcher will ever be on that path. If his team does play until June, who knows how many professional innings he'll log in 2007.

Honestly, I like Parker, but I can't justify taking him over a known quantity, a young pitcher who is doing well at HiA as a 19/20 year old after a terrific year in Low A at age 18/19. Carrasco was rated higher than Clay Bucholz on BA, even though Bucholz looks to be better, so it looks like Carrasco has more than his fair share of supporters. He clocked in at the #41 prospect this year on BA's top 100.

In my opinion, you take Carrasco, even if his ceiling may end up being slightly less than Parkers, but we really don't know Parkers.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks man, that was extremely helpful. You made some excellent points and I really appreciate the help dude.

I will stick with Carrasco.

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