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Beltran Booty: Rob Erlin

Posted By Howard Megdal On July 26, 2011 @ 11:01 am In Player moves,Today's Mets headlines,Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

Here at the LoHud Mets Blog, we get letters. (To send us letters, email lohudmets@gmail.com.) Needless to say, it is our youngest readers who are most concerned with the future of the team, which means that our Beltran prospect mail tends to skew younger. Little Jonny P., age 4, writes:

“When I heard the Rangers were interested and have started to become aggressive, I went to their Double A roster (usually where the best talent is) and found an interesting name that seems like an Alderson type player. He is the #4 prospect in the Rangers organization, a 21-year old LHP named Rob Erlin who seems like would be the type of prospect Alderson and company would go after. Here are his stats:


http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=erlin-001rob [1]


Just wondering if you have heard this name before? He seems like he is regarded as “a smart pitcher” who is not overpowering despite the strong K’s to innings pitched. Seems like a Chris Capuano/Tom Glavine type (hey, I’ll take that any day of the week, especially in Citi Field). ¬†Interestingly after reading about him last night for the first time, I went on MLB Trade Rumors and saw he was mentioned as the type of top prospect that could be dealt this month. Again, I realize this e-mail is no different then the 20 other e-mails you get every day saying MIKE MINOR or GARY BROWN. This guy seems like a prospect that could be head and would be a nice addition in Citi Field in a year or two.”



Great question, Jonny!

I happen to be a huge fan of Erlin. His strikeout rates have been solid at every level, his stuff grades out at a bit above average, and his command is simply impeccable. Basically, while lots of people want Dillon Gee to be Rick Reed (but his peripherals make it clear that Gee isn’t), this guy has been Bret Saberhagen in the minors. (Actually, his command has been better than Saberhagen’s was in the minors by far.)

The one worry with Erlin is his size- at just 6’ even, will his frame hold up over 10-12 seasons? Again, note Saberhagen, just 6’1”, who didn’t throw 200 innings in any season after age 25. Was that an unholy early workload, his size, or both?

That alone makes me feel like a Mike Minor, 6’4” (or in Keith Hernandez scouting terms, “Who’s that tall drink of water?”), would be the better long-term bet. But if Erlin centered a Beltran-to-the-Rangers deal, I’d be just fine with it.

I rate this potential Beltran Booty “Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreasonably good return.”

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[1] http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=erlin-001rob: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=erlin-001rob

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