We sat down with Staten Island Yankees manager Justin Pope for a Q&A session to get his thoughts on…
Sizing Up The Starting Pitchers - Part One
Highest Ceiling RHP, Rafael DePaula: Normally we don't include pitchers from the Dominican academy here but DePaula is a special case since he already has two plus pitches in his arsenal even before making his way States-side. He also struck out 85 batters in just 62 Dominican Summer League innings and held batters to a paltry .162 average. The tremendous numbers are just the gravy, however. The meat of his game is his mid-90s fastball and plus breaking ball, and the changeup, easily his weakest pitch entering the 2012 campaign, has shown improvement and has long-term above average potential. He still has to command the fastball better but there's no doubt that he has potential frontline starting stuff if the command and the changeup improve. RHP, Gabe Encinas: One of a couple of pitchers in this group who doesn't exactly have the numbers behind him to prove his tremendous upside, Encinas could easily fall into the 'sleeper' category after finishing his 2012 season going 3-...
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