#28 Jake Odorizzi
Kansas City Royals
Previous Rank: 35
As the highest ceiling player moved for Zack Greinke last winter in the blockbuster deal between the Royals and Brewers, the expectations were significant for Odorizzi this year. He excelled in the Carolina League and earned himself a promotion to Double-A. His numbers took a hit a little bit in his 12 starts for Northwest Arkansas as we might expect for a 21-year-old in an advanced league, but he still finished the year with an sub-4.00 ERA and 157 strikeouts against 44 walks in nearly 150 innings.
|2011||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||KCR||10||7||.588||3.73||27||27||0||147.0||44||157|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||2||6||.250||4.12||23||14||0||67.2||18||62|
|A (1 season)||A||7||3||.700||3.43||23||20||1||120.2||40||135|
|AA (1 season)||AA||5||3||.625||4.72||12||12||0||68.2||22||54|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||5||4||.556||2.87||15||15||0||78.1||22||103|
|2011||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A+-AA||KCR||10||7||3.73||147.0||1.211||8.2||1.0||2.7||9.6||3.57|
|Rk (2 seasons)||Rk||2||6||4.12||67.2||1.345||9.7||0.7||2.4||8.2||3.44|
|A (1 season)||A||7||3||3.43||120.2||1.152||7.4||0.5||3.0||10.1||3.38|
|AA (1 season)||AA||5||3||4.72||68.2||1.282||8.7||1.7||2.9||7.1||2.45|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||5||4||2.87||78.1||1.149||7.8||0.5||2.5||11.8||4.68|
He likely will begin the year back in the Texas League, but a quick promotion is possible given the shortage of quality starters in KC and the urgency of competing in the Central before Alex Gordon and Billy Butler begin their declines. Odorizzi is undoubtedly the top pitcher in the system, and we at The Sombrero really hope, for Kansas City’s sake, that they don’t do something stupid like trade him for a mid-level starter this winter or at the 2012 deadline if they are still in the hunt.
His fastball reaches 96 mph and sits at 93-94, and his breaking ball is a sledge when in the zone. His command of it needs to improve, but he has a couple of years still before it absolutely must be reliable. He throws a slider and a change as well, but they are behind the fastball and curveball and will be no better than 50s. Still, Odorizzi is a strike-throwing fireballer with a projectable, athletic frame and results that suggest he will be a consistent No. 2 at worst.