The Chicago Cubs selected Casey Coleman in 15th Round (461st overall) of the 2008 draft. The 22-year old 6′, 190-pound right-hander hits from the left side of the plate. The Cubs 2009 Minor League Pitcher of the Year was compared to Greg Maddux over the winter by Ryne Sandberg. In 2009, Casey Coleman posted a 14-6 record with a 3.68 ERA in 27 starts with AA Tennessee … in his first full season of proball. Coleman pitched 149 innings with 84 strikeouts, 58 walks and he allowed 142 hits. Coleman improved defensively as well in his second season in the minors and posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
According to the Vineline’s “Fifty Names From the Farm“, Coleman possesses the best command in the Cubs system and is in the top four in poise, mechanics, athleticism, and durability. Casey Coleman doesn’t have a 98 mph fastball or anything flashy like that. He is a pitcher who relies on command, and he does it well.
Coleman throws a lot of strikes and locates his pitches well. Casey’s best pitch is his changeup and Baseball America rated his changeup as the best in the Cubs’ system. Coleman also throws a nice sinker that enables him to record a lot of ground ball outs. Towards the end of last season he started using a cutter and it helped him get more strikeouts. He can also handle the bat. At Florida Gulf Coast University in 2008, Coleman hit .314/.344/.500 in 172 at bats with five home runs 11 doubles and three triples.
Coleman has already made a name for himself in the Cubs’ system, despite only having played one full season in the minor leagues. Coleman will start this year in AAA Iowa but if he can build off of his solid performance of a year ago his major league career could be right around the corner. Coleman more than likely won’t be a frontline starter in a Major League staff although anything is possible. Coleman projects as a solid middle of the rotation starter … and for a 15th round draft pick that would be a bargain.
This is a big season for Casey Coleman. Some feel Coleman was a little lucky last year because of all the hits he allowed.
Hopefully this year he can continue to improve on his location and cut down on the walks. Coleman has a tendency to try to be too fine with his location, which sometimes gets him into trouble. Coleman needs to work on being more aggressive, that was evident in his time with the big league team during spring training. If he can limit the number of hits he surrenders and continues to show good command, it shouldn’t be long before he is ready for the major leagues.
For more on Coleman check out the article I wrote about him awhile back on the Bleacher Report comparing his stats to Greg Maddux’s minor league statistics.
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