Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Greensboro's Power Pitcher Reminds Me Of Kazmir Hysteria

On Monday night I went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game. The Grasshoppers are the A-ball affiliate of the Florida Marlins, playing in the same league as the Mets' affiliate Hagerstown Suns. Starting for the 'hoppers on Monday was left-handed pitcher Sean West. West was the Marlins' sandwich pick in the 2005 draft, picked #44 overall, 39 picks behind Mike Pelfrey.

As a left-handed power pitcher, West reminded me of Scott Kazmir because if West had been drafted by the Mets, everyone in New York would know his name and every Mets fan would be counting down the days until he made a big-league start, and crying for Omar's head for being too damned patient with him. This West kid, however, is fortunate in that even though he didn't get the fat signing bonus that Pelfrey did, is able to develop quietly in the Marlins system, without all the pressure of living up to the lofty expectations of New York. He doesn't have to become the next Doc Gooden; he has the luxury of becoming whatever kind of pitcher he is destined to become.

Sean West pitched excellent in his start on Monday, allowing just one hit in five innings and got the win for Greensboro. He has posted an 0.64 ERA over his two starts this season. If he were in the Mets system, this start would have made the Daily News, just like Mike Pelfrey's last start did. For details on West's start, you have to peruse the box scores on's minor league pages, or look on rotowire to learn that West is 6 foot 8, from Shreveport Louisiana, and "has a low 90's fastball, but is still refining his curveball and changeup," For anything more, you'll have to read an article in The Shreveport Times for a story about him anticipating Draft Day last summer.

For now, if you want to find out about West, you'll have to come down to Greensboro. They do have a beautiful park!

I am also hereby calling a self-imposed moratoriam on the dreaded "K" name on this blog. I will not invoke his name. By noting that Zambrano and Fortunato, the two pitchers he was traded away for, both went under the knife for Tommy John surgery this week, I am considering my comments officially complete. No more will I whisper or write his name.

Unless he is picked for the AL All-Star team.

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