Friday, December 24, 2004

Scott Kazmir Report

Scott Kazmir, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Drafted 15th Overall, 2002 Draft, HS, Houston, TX
Bats L/Throws L
20 YO, 6'1", 170 lbs

Most serious baseball fans know his name. Everybody with so much as a passing interest in prospects knows his name VERY well as well as his radar gun readings, usually in the mid 90's. The public concerns that the Mets had about his delivery and coachability is something I chalk up to revisionist history by an organization that got blasted for a terrible deal. They GAVE Kazmir away, and it was a ridiculous decision.

That being said, Kazmir isn't a perfect prospect. His control deteriorated this season as he walked 63 batters in 134 1/3 innings between 4 different teams, highlighted by his 21 walks in 33 1/3 innings for Tampa. He still maintained a healthy strikeout rate with 145 K's over the course of the season. Chances are that the Rays are going to keep him in the big leagues all season. I'd like to see him spend half a season in Durham getting his control ironed out and consolidating his gains while keeping his arbitration clock on hold. Also of note, many have typecast him as a future closer instead of a future ace. Putting him in the bullpen at this point would be a waste of his considerable talent. While it is true that his stuff and his build look more like Billy Wagner than Curt Schilling, he hasn't given any evidence of lacking stamina or of being especially injury prone. Give your team a chance to maximize a young pitcher's value.

Standard TINSTAAPP caveats apply. He still could blow out a labrum or keep walking a bunch of hitters.

ETA: 3 months ago
4 1/2 Stars

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