I am wrapping up the 2012 What To Watch for series on the mound this year. Because of the volume of pitchers on a roster, I won't cover everyone. Let's will start with those who were starters for the majority of their time in Greeneville. We will cover the relievers in the final episode. The year they pitched for the G-Stros, the highest level they have played at and their age on opening day are listed in parentheses.
R. J. (Ruben) Alaniz (2010, Lo A, 20) - Held his own as a 19 year old in the Sally League. Will he repeat Lex or move on to Lancaster? Will he continue to start or make the move to the pen?
Jimmy Barthmaier (2004, MLB, 28) - Was re-signed as a minor league free agent by the Nationals after an unimpressive 2011 season. Will he break camp with AA, AAA or release papers?
Richardo Batista (2010, 11, Rookie, 20) - Batista repeated Greeneville in 2011 and had his best season yet. Can the lefty harness his pitches and cut down on walks and wild pitches?
Jose Cisnero (2009, Hi A, 22) - Cisnero's ERA suffered in Lancaster. After three years of mid 3.00 ERA, he jumped to a 6.06. But his strikeouts jumped as well. In 2011, he fanned 152 in 123 1/3 IP. How will he adjust to AA hitters? Can he bring the walks down? How long does he continue to start?
Luis Cruz (2008, 09, Hi A, 21) - Got off to a rough start in Lancaster in 2011 and was sent back to Lex where he fanned 92 in 91 innings. How will he fair in Lancaster this time?
Brad Dydalewicz (2008, Lo A, 21) - Missed most of the season due to an injury. Low A or Hi A for him this year? Can he reduce his walk numbers?
Mike Foltynewicz (2010, Lo A, 20) - Folty showed strides in May, June & July of his first full season but appeared to hit a wall in August and September. Which team will he break camp with? Can he show good results for a complete season?
Gabriel Garcia (2009,2010, Lo A, 22) - Moved from starter to bullpen in 2010. Showed some promise there striking out 68 batters in 69 1/3 IP. However, the long ball monster got him 10 times last season. Can he improve on 2011, while pitching in hitter friendly Lancaster?
Kyle Greenwalt (2007, 08, AA, 23) - After a rough start to 2011 in AA, Greenwalt was sent back to Lancaster as a reliever. He excelled there and was returned to AA. There he was some better but still not great. Will he be a reliever or a starter? Can he show improvement in a return to AA?
Juan Gutierrez (2004, MLB, 28) - Had season ending surgery in 2011 and was then signed by the Royals to a minor league deal. Will start 2012 on the DL. Will he be able to return from the surgery and resume his work as a solid arm in the bullpen?
Adrian Houser (2011, Rookie, 19) - Pitched well in six games in Greeneville after starting in the GCL. Will he be in Lexington to start the year? Will what he worked on in instructional league and mini camp show up on the mound this spring?
Chris Lee (2011, Rookie, 19) - Finished strong in his last three outings. Combined for 14 K's in his last 12 IP with only 1 earned run. But he also walked 11 during that stretch. Will improvements seen at the end of 2011 carry over into 2012? Extended Spring or Lexington?
Arcenio Leon (2007, 08, AAA, 25) - Struggled in AA & AAA last year. How will he fair in big league spring training? Where will he start 2012?
Jordan Lyles (2008, MLB, 21) - Spent most of the season in the bigs last year. Will he be in the Houston rotation when camp breaks? What will his second full season in the bigs hold?
Luis Ordosgotti (2011, SS A, 19) -The highlight of the 2011 starters in Greeneville. Showed real promise. Does he have the maturity to pitch in the SALLY as a teen?
Troy Patton (2004, MLB, 26) - Is the only piece from the Tejada trade still in the Orioles system. Will he make the team out of spring training? What will his role in the pen be?
Felepe Paulino (2004, MLB, 28) - Seemed to like pitching for KC after a failed stint as a Rockie. Will he earn a spot in the rotation out of spring training? Will this year be the year he lives up to expectations?
Jose Perdomo (2011, Rookie, 20) - After a great 2010 in the GCL, he came to the Appy and got lit up. He was put on the shelf and didn't pitch after the middle of July. Will he be back in Greeneville or in Tri Cities for 2012? Will he be healthy enough to pitch anywhere?
Juri (Yuri) Perez (2009, Lo A, 21) After missing most of 2010 with injury, he was sent to Lexington where he was lit up. At Tri Cities, he found much more success. How will Lexington treat him this season? Can he return to the form he showed in Greeneville prior to the arm injury?
Tyson Perez (2011, Rookie, 22) Mixed results season to start his pro career with 42 K in 43 IP but 10 HR and 50 hits. Will he make Lexington's starting rotation?
Carlos Quevedo (2009, Lo A, 22) - Quevedo put up decent numbers in Lexington last year. He rarely walks hitters but the long ball has been his thorn in the flesh. If he goes to Lancaster, how will his HR numbers look then?
Euris Quezada (2010, SS A, 22) - Quezada had his season cut short with injury after having his best outings of the year. Will he be healthy for 2012?
Francis Ramirez (2011, Rookie, 20) - A mid season call up from the GCL showed some real promise in four starts for Greeneville. More advanced stats from Fangraphs temper the excitement with a BABIP of .204. In other words they say he was very, very lucky. Which pitcher is he, the one who gave up 20 walks in 30 1/3 IP in the GCL or the one who gave up two in 18 2/3 IP in the APPY?
Ross Seaton (2008, AA, 22) - Showed some improvement in AA in '11 after a rough 2010 in Lancaster. Will he be in AAA or repeat AA?
Jose Trinidad (2008, Hi A, 24) - Will start season on DL. Will he pitch at all in 2012?
Vincent Velasquez (2010, Rookie, 19) - Missed all of 2011 after TJ surgery. How will he look and where will he be playing?
Tom Vessella (2006, AAA, 26) - After two years in Indy ball, Vessella returned to affiliated ball in 2011 with the Giants. He pitched in four different levels (low A, hi A, AA, & AAA). Can his comeback story continue in 2012?
Henry Villar (2008, MLB, 24) - After a cup of coffee with Houston in 2010, Villar started in AAA but was a bit over matched there. He was returned to AA where he put up much better numbers? Will the second time starting at AAA be the charm? Can he get another cup of coffee this year?
Projected placement of those still in the Astros organization:
Oklahoma City (AAA)
Corpus Christi (AA)
Lancaster (Hi A)
Lexington (Lo A)
Extended Spring Training