PuRp of the Week
Christian Bergman has quietly become the anchor in Modesto's starting lineup and he may be the best pitcher in the Cal League. Bergman leads the Minors with 14 wins, is second in the Cal League with a 3.00 ERA and he's exceeded 100 strikeouts with only 28 walks.
Drafted in the 24th round as a senior out of UC Irvine, Christian Bergman might be considered an ugly duckling by some, because he's a little old for the Cal League at 24 and he lacks the height and stature that makes prospect hounds drool. But that's ok, because one thing the former Anteater has is a polished pitching game.
The first thing that stands out about Bergman is how smooth and easy his delivery is and he commands both sides of the plate with it. Bergman controls four pitches in his repertoire: a fastball, cutter, curve and changeup. His fastball isn't pretty, it sits around 90-91, but he has the ability to consistently spot it on the outside corner. Then when the hitter is looking for the outside corner, Bergman busts the cutter in at the hands around 87-89 to break the bat. His cutter reminds me of Jared Weaver's stuff and has about 6-7" of movement on it. The changeup is sick, it flat drops off the table at around 80 mph and then his curve comes in somewhere around 75-76 with bite on it. Everything is down in the zone and it's rare for him to hang a pitch.
Look for Bergman to finish out his season at Modesto and to follow the path of Edwar Cabrera to move to AA Tulsa next season and be in line for an early call up next season. His age works as an advantage for him, because the organization recognizes his maturity level.
Here's an infograph made of video clips from three of Bergman's strikeouts with his three best pitches superimposed:
More prospect news, including video of Christian Bergman, after the jump.
Video of the Week
Tweet of the week
Being able to say I hit in front of a future hall of famer is something I'll never forget— David Dahl (@ddahl21) July 22, 2012
Stat of the Week
5 Things on my Mind
1. There is a complete disconnect between Plan 5183 for the Majors and what pitchers do in the Minors. Guys like Edwar Cabrera are on a 5 man rotation in Colorado Springs with a 100 pitch count, only to be called up and see their pitch count and rotation spot changed. Then pitch count and rotation reverts back when they're demoted, I think it's a recipe for failure.
2. At 6'3" I think Troy Tulowitzki would have snagged a line drive in Tuesday's game that sailed over the head of 6'1" Josh Rutledge.
3. After watching this video of Josh Rutledge, I think the young infielder should get used to having his dreams come true. It's hard to believe Rutledge was playing for Alabama in the Super Regionals only two short years ago.
4. I think Tom Murphy is going to be a big time hitter for the Rockies. This comes after watching guys like Taylor Featherstone struggle at Tri City, only to explode in Asheville. Murphy is the only Dust Devil batting above .300 at the short season club. Meanwhile, Taylor has posted a +.900 OPS for consecutive months in June and July.
5. I think Eddie Butler is establishing himself as the best pitcher in the Rockies 2012 draft. He is fifth in the organization in groundball-to-flyball rate and now he's getting close to double figure strikeout totals every game.
How high do you think Christian Bergman will rise in the Rockies organization?
TOR - he'll be an ace on the Rockies staff (1 vote)
Solid starter - probably a 3 or 4 for the Rockies (10 votes)
AAAA - He might be a bullpen piece (5 votes)
AAA - Alan Johnson 2.0 (1 vote)
AA - His lack of velocity will get exposed in Tulsa (1 vote)
18 total votes