Name: Brad Peacock
Notable 2011 Stats: 2.01 ERA, 1.87 FIP, 4 HRA, 23 BB, 129 K, and 41% GB% in 98 2/3 IP with Harrisburg (AA);
3.19 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 5 HRA, 24 BB, 48 K, and 37% GB% in 48 IP Syracuse (AAA);
2.39 ERA, 2.63 FIP, 9 HRA, 47 BB, 177 K, and 40% GB% in 146 2/3 IP total in minors;
0.75 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 0 HRA, 6 BB, 4 K, and 31.6% GB% in 12 IP with Nationals
Why He’s This High: After dominating in High-A in 2010, Peacock came out and posted a truly ridiculous statline in Double-A this season. He then pitched well in Triple-A and got a brief September look with the Nationals, where he allowed just one run in twelve innings.
Peacock throws 90-94 mph bullets with his fastball, and he backs it up with a plus slow curveball and a solid-average changeup. He has good command of the heater and changeup, and the quality of his pitches makes him effective to both lefthanders and righthanders.
Obviously, Peacock is nearly ready for the big leagues, and he could open 2012 as Washington’s fifth starter. He should certainly be in the team’s rotation by midseason, as he just needs a few starts at Triple-A to work on the command of his curveball before he has nothing left to prove in the minor leagues.
Why He’s This Low: Peacock will be 24 in February, so he’s not all that young for a guy who has yet to get much MLB exposure. That means he’ll need to adapt quickly to the big leagues.
Peacock is fairly small, and his mechanics don’t lack effort, so there are some concerns about his ability to be a workhorse in the rotation. His height and high arm slot result in his fastball being quite straight and lacking good plane to the plate, so he’s a flyball pitcher.
All three of his pitches rate as average or better, but they all have some sort of issue: his fastball is straight, his curveball is so big that he can’t locate it consistently, and his changeup still lacks consistency. If he can’t make up for or minimize those deficiencies, then he could be more of a mid-rotation strikeout pitcher than a front-of-the-rotation guy.
Conclusions: Peacock has a very intriguing arsenal of three pitches, and he’s nearly ready to take the ball every fifth day in the big leagues. He should be a very valuable starting pitcher as long as he’s healthy, and could well burst onto the scene much like Brandon Beachy did last year. His stuff isn’t quite top-of-the-line, and he’s got some roughness around the edges, but we shouldn’t let that get in the way of his numerous strengths and excellent track record.
Check out all of the Seedlings To Stars 2012 Top 100 Prospects here!
For more on the Nationals, check out District On Deck!
Follow us on Twitter: Nathaniel (@stoltz_baseball), Wally (@thebaseballfish), James (@JAYRC_MCB) and Joe (@ReleasePoints). You can also keep up to date with all things S2S by following the site on Twitter (@Seedlings2Stars) or liking our Facebook page.