The Top 20 Cubs Prospects - #14 Donnie Veal
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Prospect #14 Donnie Veal
Veal has incredible stuff and sufferings. He was the 2nd ranked Cubs prospect by Baseball America in 2007, he dropped to 6th in 2008, and he was left unprotected for the Rule V last week.
And yet, while Veal's stock has plummeted, he is not yet too old or too damaged to turn things around and become a very effective major league starter. In other words, he's not as likely to reach the pros as was the #15 prospect Mitch Atkins, but if he gets there, it'll be because he's good.
At this point, Veal's best year was 2006 - between Peoria and Daytona, Veal went 11-5 in 28 starts and 154.1 innings of work, while striking out 174, walking 82, and posting an ERA of 2.22. He followed up with an 8-10 season at AA, an ERA of 4.97 in 130.1 IP, and too many untimely walks to his respectable strikeout totals.
2008 was much of the same - 5-10, 4.58 ERA, 145.1 IP, 81 BB, 123 SO, lots of heartbreak. Maybe Veal is perfect for the Cubs.
Positives and negatives:
- May have Wood-like strikeout stuff
- Has serious command and mechanical issues which have hampered his development
2009 will be make-or-break. Either Veal will put it all together, or he will lose in the eyes of scouts whatever value he had left. Considering my personal opinion on the quality of the Cubs farm system in general and its coaches and philosophies in particular, I am not at all convinced that Veal will rediscover his pitching shoes. However, if he is able to put together a string of awesome starts at AA or even AAA, then I would make him my top trading chip at the deadline in July.
Maybe he'll become a competent Major Leaguer, but probably not. Better to get a return for him while he still has value, rather than watch him ride off into the sunset as another failed minor leaguer.
Odds of reaching the Major Leagues = Scientists develop an effective Diet Donut, and it tastes great
Odds of becoming a successful player at the Major League Level = (assuming he makes it ...) Full House reunion featuring all the original cast members
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