Egbert Provides Unusual Profile

Aaron Poreda is the White Sox top prospect, but the hard-throwing lefthander was a 2007 draft pick and only pitched in the Rookie-level Pioneer League last year. The team’s next two prospects–righthanders Lance Broadway and Jack Egbert–are closer to the major leagues. White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn commented on what Broadway and Egbert will have to do to take that next step in their development.

"Perhaps the best suited for our ballpark of the (alternates), Jack has had great success inducing groundballs and strikeouts over the past two seasons," Hahn said. "The key for him is getting him healthy and back the path he was on at the end of the 2007 season.

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"(Broadway) added a sinker to his repertoire last spring training that has increased his ability to get groundballs and makes him better suited for our ballpark," Hahn said. "Consistency with that pitch — and his putaway curveball — will be the key to his success."

Egbert has an excellent sinker that helps keep the ball on the ground, as he induced a 1.93 groundout/airout ratio (a GO/AO of at least 1.5 in a large enough sample is a good general barometer of a groundball pitcher) and allowed just three home runs in 161 2/3 Double-A innings last year.

What’s unusual about Egbert is that, despite a fastball with fringe-average velocity that sits in the high-80s, he averaged 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings last year. Egbert had five games last year with at least 10 strikeouts, including a seven-inning stint against Jacksonville in which he had 13 strikeouts, no walks and two hits allowed.

He’s basically Bizarro Jeff Samardzija.