Rangers left-handed pitching prospect Robbie Erlin's perfect pitching performance in five innings for Class A Hickory got Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein's attention. Here's what he wrote today about Erlin, who had nine strikeouts in five perfect innings.
A third-round pick last June, the only knock against Erlin is his size, as at six-foot and 175 pounds he's a bit on the small side. Again, that's the only knock against him. It's hard to find a 19-year-old without a big weakness in his game, but Erlin sits at 90-92 with his fastball that features good movement, he'll flash a well above-average breaking ball, and even a surprisingly polished changeup for his age. Throw in clean arm action and the ability to pound the strike zone and you have a formula for domination Low-A hitters, and Erlin did just that in his first start of the year after starting off in the bullpen (and allowing one run in 20 1/3 innings) in order to monitor his workload.