Harsh words from Call to the Pen's "This Week in Prospects" on Ross Seaton:
t’s unfair to pick on a guy who pitches in Lancaster for his 5.37 ERA, but Seaton just doesn’t strike guys out. He’s K’ed just 36 in 58 innings this year, and just 88 in 136 2/3 last year. If you’re only getting 5 or 6 K/9 in the low minors, how are you going to get anyone to swing and miss in the majors?
Seaton has some stuff—a low-90’s heater and solid slider—but the only reason he gets hyped is that the Astros’ system is so weak. He can get grounders, but isn’t the Chien-Ming Wang-type of guy who can live on grounders alone.
Right now, Seaton projects as a filler fifth starter, a la Shane Loux. He’ll probably need to move to relief to have any sort of big league impact, and even then, he’s not a lock to make much of a positive contribution.
These things are true:
-Seaton isn't flashing much in the way of strikeout power: 5.5 K/9 in 2010 so far, down from 5.8 K/9 in 2009.
-Walks are up. 3.1 BB/9 in 2010, up from 2.6 in 2009.
-Hits are up. 11.2 H/9 in 2010, up from 9.0 in 2009.
But keep in mind, he's still 19. This is his second full season in pro ball, having only pitched in three games in 2008. So maybe projecting him to the bullpen is a little premature.