Prospect Profile: Anthony Lerew

I’m planning to write some player profiles (a la Mac) of the top prospects in the system.  I’ll start with one of the top pitchers: the struggling Anthony Lerew.

Lerew was drafted out of high school as the 345th overall pick in 2001.  Mainly a fastball/slider pitcher, he hits the mid 90s and is said to have good control.  He’s worked his way through every level of the Braves system with consistant success. . .not really dominating, but pitching well.  Not as high of a strikeout rate as you’d like to see out of a power pitcher, but he’s real stingy with the homers.  That success earned him a rating as one of the top 10 Braves prospects by both Baseball America and John Sickles

At the begining of the year he was coming off a season that began in AA and ended with a September call up.  In spring training he was even touted as a candidate for the closer’s job in Atlanta.  As we know all too well he’s not there now, having missed the cut for the big league team at the end of spring.

And if you think that watching Chris Reitsma this season has been painful, be glad Lerew didn’t make the team.  Lerew has had a disasterous 2006.  He’s seen all of the major indicators of pitching performance go in the wrong direction.  Here are his 2006 numbers with his career lines:

  • k/9    2006=6.8      Career=7.7  
  • h/9    2006=12.6    Career=7.81
  • BB/9  2006=5.13    Career=2.93
  • Hr/9   2006=1.58    Career=0.62

So, you can see that he’s pretty much fallen apart this year.  The strikeout numbers, though never quite that good, aren’t really the problem.  It’s just that he’s much, much easier to hit this year.  And the hits aren’t just singles, as he’s already given up 8 home runs.  Why is this happening?  He pitched well in 72 innings at Richmond last year, so it’s not that he’s in over his head at AAA.  Is he hurt?  Doesn’t look like it — he’s still reaching the mid 90s with his fastball.

Or maybe it’s something new.  He was said to have been working on a new pitch, a splitter, in spring training (at the request of Fake Leo).  It’s possible that tinkering with new pitches and new mechanics has flattened out his previously live fastball.  Word from a fan who saw last night’s 3 inning, 11 hit fiasco was that Lerew looked like he was throwing BP:  hard but flat.

On the bright side, Anthony is the youngest pitcher on the Richmond staff, so he’s got enough time to figure it out.  When he does, (and his track record says he will), I think he’ll shape up to be a starter.

Anthony Lerew’s Career Stats

7 thoughts on “Prospect Profile: Anthony Lerew”

  1. And by the way, Kelly Johnson was 3 for 4 with a double and a walk tonight. He’s ready.

  2. yea… Kelly seems to be more than ready right now… too bad he couldn’t pitch… haha

  3. Kelly killed Triple-A pitching last year as well. The kid is beyond ready in terms of hitting. He just doesn’t have a position to play. To be honest, I have said before about moving Kelly to first base. A platoon at first base with KJ and Betemit wouldn’t be bad at all.

    Yes, I am not a fan of Adam.

  4. The problem with KJ was never going to be his hitting. The question was whether his arm has recovered enough to throw from the outfield or even second base. I know he has DH-ed half his games in might be hard to tell. The plan was for him to get some grounders at second base, and take Pete Orr’s spot.
    That would give the Braves’ the most awesome bench ever.
    btw, Esquivel has really picked it up since a cold start. might be worth keeping an eye on. the trio of Ramirez/KK/Campbell are burning up the SAL.
    I am not too hopeful of Lerew. Straight fastballs, no matter how hard, aren’t going to cut it at the major league level.

  5. oh, and if you are looking for a lefty 1B , KC, look no further than mr.scott thorman.

  6. Godot…I am not too sure about Thorman yet. His numbers are only slightly better than Adam’s minor league numbers…the last time I checked…maybe I am wrong…

  7. “His numbers are only slightly better than Adam’s minor league numbers…”

    Scoreboard had him at something like .300+ w/ somewher around 10 HRs the other night

    “Straight fastballs, no matter how hard, aren’t going to cut it at the major league level”

    He got plenty of GBs and had movement on his stuff previously. Thats where the hope is…and the concern of injury

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