Last Saturday, I wrote about a few minor league pitchers who might or might not see action in the Majors this year. NLFantasyBB reminded me not to forget Rubby De La Rosa.
OK, let's take a look.
Rubby De La Rosa
2011: 7 GS, 38 IP, 30 H, 19 BB, 47 K, 1 HR, 3.08 ERA.
De La Rosa entered 2011 as a good but not great prospect. John Sickels gave him a B in his 2011 Baseball Prospect Book. Baseball America ranked De La Rosa as the 90th best prospect in baseball. Baseball Prospectus did not have him in their top 101, but Kevin Goldstein rated De La Rosa as the Dodgers 6th best prospect, which is consistent with Sickels.
The scouts are generally in agreement about De La Rosa's stuff. He has an explosive fastball that can hit 98 MPH on the gun but generally sits in the mid-90s when he's starting. The problem is that this is his only plus pitch. De La Rosa's slider and change are raw and still need work. He is definitely on a path to the Majors.
The two open questions surrounding De La Rosa is when will he reach the Majors and it will it be as a starting pitcher? You can't address one without addressing the other.
If De La Rosa stays on the starting path, he probably won't be up until 2012. 2010 was the first year De La Rosa put up more than 100 innings, and as mentioned above, De La Rosa needs more refinement to go every fifth day at the Major League level.
There is a lot of talk, though, about De La Rosa pitching out of the pen for the Dodgers as soon as this year. There is a definite need right now, and given the holes there, some think De La Rosa could be a wicked set-up in L.A. right now.
So if De La Rosa does make an impact this year it will probably be as a reliever. Those in deep N.L.-only leagues will want him for the strikeouts, and those in hold leagues will definitely want to keep an eye on him. I have no insight into how serious the Dodgers are or aren't about moving him to the pen, so my guess on which of these scenarios plays out is as good as yours.