Thursday, May 28, 2009

Promote Pat Venditte!

By now, I am sure most of the Yankee faithful have heard about Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher out of Creighton that had a rule named after him following a back-and-forth showdown with Ralph Henriquez of the Brooklyn Cyclones. What most may not be aware of is just how dominant Venditte has been thus far in the minors:

2008 - Low-A - 32.2 IP, 13 H, 10 BB, 42 K, 0.83 ERA

2009 - High-A - 20.0 IP, 15 H, 1 BB, 31 K, 0.90 ERA

While it is highly unlikely that Venditte could be as dominant at the Major League level (at nearly 24 he is older than the bulk of his competition), it is not inconceivable that he could be a worthwhile addition to the bullpen at some point in the future. He throws 90-plus with both arms, has good control of his off-speed stuff with both arms, and garners a ton of groundballs (57% thus far). With that sort of acumen for groudballs, Venditte may actually be able to retain some of his dominance at higher levels - he is allowing a .341 BABIP this season, which may be attributed to the weaker fielders at High-A. In short, Venditte has proven himself at Single-A and, with the Yankees bullpen in shreds, the organization could benefit from seeing what Venditte has to offer against tougher competition.