Sean West has two strikeouts through two innings in his major league debut against the Rays. The 22-year-old southpaw was called up on Saturday after the scuffling Ricky Nolasco was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans.
In eight starts with Double-A Jacksonville, the 6-foot-8, 200-pounder hasn't been at his best with a 4.85 ERA to go along with a 4-2 record. However, the 2005 first round pick has averaged 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 60 minor league starts. This season he has a career best 10.29 K/9. The lanky lefty features a plus slider along with a changeup and a fastball that reaches the mid-90s.
While West pitched in the Arizona Fall League, the Florida Sun-Sentinel quoted a scout as saying:
"The guy is 6-8, and the power fastball and power breaking ball are pretty nasty. He's intriguing. I just don't see how lefties would hit that guy. That's why he'd be so good in the bullpen. I know he was just in A-ball last year, but you can rush him to the big leagues and work him in that way. He looks like a two-pitch pitcher at this point, and they love that kind of guy in the bullpen."
He's still quite raw, as he walked roughly 14 percent of the batters he faced last season. He also plunked six batters and uncorked 13 wild pitches in 100 2/3 innings in 2008, his first full season back from labrum surgery on his left shoulder. He's brought the walk rate down a tad this season -- to 4.6 BB/9 -- but his WHIP is an unhealthy 1.55. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do here, but he's widely viewed as one of the Marlins' top prospects and a future staple of their pitching staff. We'll get a sneak preview for the next couple of weeks.