- Full name Michael David Minor
- Born 12/26/1987 in Chapel Hill, TN
- Profile Ht.: 6'4" / Wt.: 210 / Bats: R / Throws: L
- School Vanderbilt
- Debut 08/09/2010
Drafted in the 1st round (7th overall) by the Atlanta Braves in 2009 (signed for $2,420,000).
View Draft ReportBaseball America's reigning Summer Player of the Year, Minor vaulted into first-round consideration with a dominant performance for USA Baseball's college national team, including two victories against Cuba. Minor could be the third lefthander drafted in the first round out of Vanderbilt in the last six years, and he's more Jeremy Sowers than David Price. Like Sowers, Minor has more pitchability than stuff, with a fastball in the 86-89 mph range and a plus changeup that grades as his best pitch. His other strongest attribute could be his pickoff move, a weapon he broke out repeatedly against Cuba last summer. Minor's future may depend on his breaking stuff. He formerly threw a slider as his primary breaking ball, and at times it was an above-average pitch with depth. He showed he could throw the pitch for strikes or bury it. Minor added a solid curveball this fall and threw four pitches for strikes this spring, but some scouts think the curve has sapped some of the life off the rest of his offerings. Vanderbilt's catching problems--at one point they used a fourth-string catcher due to injuries--also limited Minor's repertoire, making him hesitant to throw his breaking balls as chase pitches. Minor will be all over draft boards in June, and could go anywhere from the first half of the first round to the back half of the second.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Atlanta signed Minor to a $2.42 million bonus in 2009, the biggest in franchise history and the largest ever given to the seventh overall pick in the draft. His pure stuff was better than expected last year, when he reached the major leagues three days after his one-year anniversary of turning pro. He tied a Braves franchise rookie record with 12 strikeouts in a start against the Cubs but tired in September. Minor mixes three pitches with impressive command and acumen. His best offering is his changeup, which could become a plus-plus pitch as he gains experience. After throwing his fastball in the upper 80s in late 2009, he added velocity and worked at 91-94 mph in the early innings of his starts last season. His heater has significant movement, as does his slurvy curveball, which dives with three-quarters tilt. Minor can add and subtract with his pitches to keep hitters off-balance. He has a great pickoff move and fields his position well. In addition to needing more strength, he'll have to challenge hitters more often instead of being so fine in the strike zone. Minor should open 2011 as Atlanta's fifth starter. He has a ceiling as a No. 2 starter, though he may not serve in that role with Tommy Hanson, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado all part of the Braves' future.
Drafted in the 13th round out of high school, Minor was the Southeastern Conference freshman of the year in 2007 and Baseball America's Summer Player of the Year in 2008. After a 6-6, 3.90 junior season, Minor signed for $2.42 million, a club record and the most ever for a No. 7 overall pick. Minor's repertoire consists of four pitches, with his plus changeup rating as his best offering. His fastball has excellent movement and sits in the upper 80s, and he is capable of increasing and reducing the velocity of the pitch to keep hitters off balance. Both his command and control are outstanding, and he didn't walk a batter in 14 innings after signing. His pickoff move is also a significant weapon. Minor still is trying to determine which breaking ball to work with. He threw an above-average slider with good depth during his first two years at Vanderbilt, but he had trouble snapping the pitch and locating it after adding a curveball last spring. He's not overpowering and his repertoire is similar to that of former Vanderbilt ace Jeremy Sowers, who hasn't been able to finesse his way past big league hitters. After pitching in the Arizona Fall League, Minor could open his first full season in Double-A. His greatest attribute is his overall pitching savvy, which should make him at least a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues.
Minor League Top Prospects
The seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, Minor rocketed through the minors and reached Atlanta barely a year after signing. The Braves summoned him four times this season, and with each recall his progress was notable, particularly with his breaking pitches. Minor's lively 91-93 mph fastball and his changeup give him two plus pitches, and he can add and subtract from them to keep hitters off balance. He learned during his big league trials that get-me-over breaking balls weren't going to cut it, so he dedicated himself to refining his curveball and slider. He generally does a good job of throwing strikes. "Those third and fourth pitches are now better, crisper," Brundage said. "He has more of a plan where he wants to throw those pitches."
Minor reached the majors just three days after the one-year anniversary of his signing as the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft. The minor league strikeout leader at the time of his callup, he won his first three decisions and tied a franchise rookie record with 12 whiffs against the Cubs before fading in September. Though his fastball sat in the upper 80s for much of his draft year, Minor found extra velocity in 2010 and pitched at 91-94 mph in the early innings of his starts. His changeup is his best pitch, with some scouts grading it as a future plus-plus offering. He also has a slurvy curveball with three-quarters tilt. Control and command are two of Minor's strong suits, though he wasn't always as sharp while trying to harness his added velocity. He also can get too fine and nibble at times but actually did a better job of challenging hitters following his callup.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Changeup in the Atlanta Braves in 2011
- Rated Best Control in the Atlanta Braves in 2010