Rick VandenHurk, starting pitcher
Can he pitch in the major leagues?
VandenHurk, whom I thought was a so-so prospect last year, did almost nothing in 2011 to change that opinion. He was the only Tide to stay in the starting rotation all season (26 starts, 0 relief appearances, 154 innings), thereby demonstrating his durability. He showed good control (40 walks in those 154 innings) but not much ability to miss bats (108 strikeouts in those 154 innings.) Essentially, his outlook is the same as last year’s — given the right opportunity and luck, he could have a three-to-five-year major league career as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
In 2011, I saw Rick VandenHurk make 11 starts. In ten of those starts, he pitched at least six innings (he went five in the eleventh.) In the first six innings of games, VandenHurk had a 2.77 ERA. In those games, he pitched 2 1/3 innings in the seventh inning or later, and gave up 7 runs in those 2 1/3 innings.
VandenHurk has signed with the Blue Jays for 2012 and was added to their 40-man roster.