Minors / Reds - General

On Phil Dumatrait

There has been much discussion here and elsewhere about Phil Dumatrait, the lefty who is off to a good start at AAA Louisville. Dumatrait, as you will recall, was a highly-touted prospect (a first-round choice) acquired from Boston in the Scott Williamson trade.

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at Dumatrait, given the Reds’ constant need for quality starting pitching. Here’s what prospect guru John Sickels had to say about Dumatrait in his Baseball Prospect Book 2007 (go buy it!):

Dumatrait is a typical lefty, operating with an 87-89 MPH fastball, a curveball, a slider, and a changeup. Although he has the arsenal of a finesse pitcher, he acts more like a power guy, having problems with his command at times, and often falling into a rut of using one pitch too often. He needs to do a better job of mixing his pitches. He did well in Double-A last year, but his ratios took a big hit after he moved up to Triple-A, ending up below average across the board. He is physically recovered from 2004 Tommy John surgery, but is still trying to get his command back to pre-injury levels. Grade C, and a good example of a guy who could disappear quickly, languish in Triple-A for a decade, or figure something out and have a sudden burst of success. Any improvement will show up first in the K/BB ratio.

I saw Dumatrait pitch in Chattanooga a couple of years ago, and I was somewhat impressed at that time. This season bears watching for him; we’ll know soon whether he’s going to be more than a spare part on the major league level.

5 thoughts on “On Phil Dumatrait

  1. I got to see him twice last year in Louisville with the first being his AAA debut … his debut was rough and he got slightly hammered, but he recovered nicely the next time I saw him (which was a month later)

    he’s got talent, but I’d be afraid of rushing him to Cincy … he seems to me to be the thing that could get overwhelmed if he’s pushed along too fast … if he’s putting together quality numbers in Louisville, I say call him up in late July, early August

  2. Interesting comment from Sickels. I always thought of Dumatrait as a finesse lefty, but “acts like a power guy” seems pretty astute based on his issues with walks.

  3. I know it’s way too soon to start projecting Belisle as a kickass starter, but if he pitches like he has in the first two starts, if that is the real Matt Belisle, then we have Harang, Arroyo, Belisle, and Homer (goosebumps thinking about that potential rotation) set for a few years. So there is going to be tough competition for that last spot until 2012, really. Wow. Really, if Dumatrait would work out, or Cueto, or just one more guy, we could be playing ball in October for awhile…

    Lot of ifs there, though.

  4. The best thing about Dumatrait is that he was hitting 93 MPH this spring. Reports had him tpping out at 88 last season in Louisville. If he can maintain speeds in the low 90s and hit 93 occaisionally then his prospects are much better than they were before the season began.

  5. Daedalus – I’m glad that all the “if’s” are pertaining to the 4th/5th rotation spot and not the rotation as a whole. It wasn’t too many years ago that I read a lot of comments like “The major league rotation is terrible. There is some hope on the horizon. IF these guys pan out, we could have a rotation of Howington, Basham, Hall, Moseley, and Kelly in 2-3 years.”

    These guys were all in AA or lower. Now when we talk about next year or the next 2-3 years, we’re pretty confident in Harang, Arroyo, and Bailey. Belisle is giving us fresh hope for someone who can contribute and he is already at the major league level. So, now our hope is for a list of guys like Dumatrait, Livingston, Lecure, Wood, Cueto, or Fisher to do well enough to fill what we hope is only one rotation slot. More than one guy makes it, then their is depth for the injury risk. More than two guys make it, and the Reds have major league currency that they can spend in trades for help in other areas.

    I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but my point is that it is pretty exciting to talk about the need to fill the final spot or two spots in a rotation instead of talking about a complete 5-man overhaul.

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