Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome Cole Kimball

The Nationals' #7 BA prospect Cole Kimball made his MLB debut a minute ago, and he looked every bit the part. Jim Riggleman wasn't afraid to use Kimball in a one-run game, and you could see why.

Kimball sits at 93 and touches 95 with his fastball. He has a curveball and a real knockout of a splitter. He struck out 31% of batters faced in AA last year, and 24.5% in 13.2 innings at AAA this year.

Bob Carpenter credited the Lerners' spending for Kimball, but he must have been thinking of someone else. Kimball was drafted in the 12th round back in 2006--one of Dana Brown's patented New Jersey/New York pitching finds (see: Lannan, John; Bergmann, Jason), and the Lerners had nothing to do with it.

There's only so much a relief pitcher can do to help your team, but if the Nationals can count on two cost-controlled plus-relievers in Drew Storen and Cole Kimball for the next 5-6 years, that would go a long way to stabilizing their bullpen for the long-haul.

And with Brad Peacock absolutely tearing up opponents in Harrisburg (8:1 strikeout to walk ratio isn't too shabby), we could see yet another pitcher from that 2006 draft debut pretty soon as well.

Most Nationals fans wrote off the 2006 draft a long time ago as a total wash, with Chris Marrero and Colton Willems fizzling and second-round pick Sean Black (also from NJ, by the way) going unsigned after the draft. If they get a solid reliever and a back-end starter out of it, that would at least save some face.


Nate said...

I know you've never been a Chris Marrero fan, but it's probably still too soon to write him off completely. Kid's still just 23. He'll never be a superstar middle-of-the-order bat, but that doesn't mean he can't be a serviceable, cheap stopgap 1B in the Dmitri Young mold (minus the $10M extension).

Basil said...

Maybe he was thinking of A.J. Cole.

Steven said...

Or Nat King Cole? Funky Cole Medina?