|Smiling not allowed!|
|Teeth show weakness|
4. Robert "Ben" Paullus, RHP: This 22 year old, 6'1 190 lb hurler was a 19th round draft pick last year. His statistics were great, but he fell off towards the end of the season, but that was due in part to a 5 run outing late in the season. He finished the season with a 3.86 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 30.1 IP. He walked 12 batters in that span, and held hitters to a .186 average. When he was drafted, he was throwing a low 90's fastball that could hit the mid 90's, and an 80 mph curveball, as well as an 82 mph change up. Paullus had some good success with that repertoire year one, but he still needs significant work on his mechanics and his control. It may take Paullus a bit longer to develop than the guys above him on this list, but he's still a potential fast mover and he has great stuff that could allow him to really mow down hitters in Charleston and Tampa this year.
5. Caleb "Gotham City" Cotham, RHP: 24 year old Cotham saw his first action since shoulder surgery in 2011. Shoulder surgeries are tricky, but it would be easier to come back from that as a reliever than as a starter, and so far he has impressed. When he first came up, he was sitting at 90-93 mph, topping out at 95 mph. He also threw a change up and a curve ball. Surprisingly, he seems to have maintained his velocity in 2011, hitting 90-91 regularly. There's a chance that number will increase even more as he is let loose this year. He throws a sinker with late movement as well. He throws an 85 mph power slider that he had trouble commanding this year, but that command may come with time. His results were excellent in 2011, with 32 K's in 23 innings and a 1.96 ERA. He'll be one of the older guys in Charleston, and he's still got a lot to prove. He may be the biggest sleeper in this crop of bullpen players.
Some of the other players worth noting who may appear in Charleston this year or may not include the following: Brett Gerritse is a big, softer throwing RHP who is still young enough at 21 to add some MPH's to his fastball. Cory Cowsert was an independent league signing who saw some success last season in the GCL. Corey Maines is another guy who could see some significant innings for this team. Michael Recchia and John Brebbia also looked sharp in 2011 for Staten Island, although I don't know much about their scouting reports except that they will be 23 and 21 respectively this season. Both struck out greater than or equal to one batter per inning last season. Never sleep on a young prospect, that's what I always say.
Overall, we are looking at a very solid bullpen in Charleston this upcoming season. The one thing that is missing is a left handed pitcher, but who needs that when you have 5 relievers as good as the guys above with some others who have had plenty of success filling out the rest of the innings.
Up next, the ever-exciting hitters of Charleston. It's crazy to think that this team has a potential all star at every position in the field, except maybe catcher.