2010 in Review: Dan Cortes

Dan Cortes, stolen from the Royals  in the 2009 Yuniesky Betancourt deal (along with the now-invisible Derek Saito), showed us exactly what kind of pitcher he is in his four appearances with the major league club.

9/26/10: 1 inning pitched, 3 strikeouts, 0 walks, 0 hits allowed.  Cortes was nasty.  His fastball and curve looked excellent, and he mowed down all three of the Rays hitters he faced with ease.

9/29/10: 1.1 innings pitched, 1 strikeout, 3 walks, 1 hit allowed.  Cortes looked confused, as if he had momentarily forgotten the concept of a strike zone.  He was wild, and thus ineffective.  Admittedly, the start was against Texas, but Cortes was nonetheless very bad.

He’s 23 years old, 6’6″, and under club control for 6+ years.  He was wild but somewhat effective as a starting pitcher for the last couple of years.  After making the transition to the bullpen, his walks decreased and his strikeouts increased.  He’s a flyball-centric lefty.  If his change-up and other secondary pitches improve even slightly, Cortes can realize his potential to be a nifty relief ace.

That’s about all you need to know.

Outlook: Positive.  I like Cortes, and I think he’ll make a great reliever – especially in a ballpark that suits his style.  Who’s to say he won’t enjoy a lot of success as the Mariners’ closer from 2011 on?  Then again, prospects are volatile, and Cortes might never even be an average major-league pitcher.  Fortunately, the odds are with him.

Tags: Kansas City Royals Texas Rangers Yuniesky Betancourt

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