Charles Huggins: Jays Prospect to Watch in ‘10 (6 of 10)


Charles Huggins, 24 years old, 6’0″ 185 lbs, from San Mateo, California.

LHP Charles Huggins may be more of a long-reliever than a starter if he ever makes it to MLB, but he does have enough upside to make it there as a starter if everything falls into place for him. He was chosen int eh 23rd round of the 2008 draft and has done nothing but shine since then.He was used as a reliever after being drafted in ’08 and got 49 Ks in only 29 innings in a short stretch in Auburn. He spent the majority of the 2009 season in HiA, but did kick things off with a stellar 34.1 IP, 40 Ks, and 1.57 ERA on a very bad Lansing team. Once he arrived in HiA Dunedin, he was able to pitch 99.2 innings, get 83 Ks and only 30 walks, and maintained a 3.42 ERA and 1.20 whip.

Charles, in my opinion, may end up in the pen where he can become a lefty specialist. His age, 24, is pretty advanced for HiA and he should be able to dominate there as a result, but he hasn’t done so thus far. He did have a decent start to the 2010 season, 5.2 IP, 7 Ks, 2 walks,  1.235 whip, and 5 hits allowed, but it remains to be seen if he has a good enough season to get the needed bump to AA. What I can tell you is that once he came up to HiA, his hits per 9 innings jumped from 6.3 in LoA to 8.1, indicating the fact that he became much more hittable in HiA and also had a harder time striking people out. If that trend continues when he gets a shot in AA, it could be disastrous for him.

However, what Chuck does have is a propensity to throw strikes and pitch to contact. He’s aggressive in the zone and has enough stuff and movement to get by. He’s also excelled at every level he pitched in, even if the performances were not as dominating as they were in the lower levels. Until he has such a hard time that coaches hold him back, I’ll remain a fan of his and do hope he can make it to AA at some point in 2010.

With a much better team behind him in 2010, Chuck should be able to gain confidence and make real progress this season. Don’t draft him yet, but keep an eye on him as he could be a replica of Shaun Marcum, who also surprised many people by how effective he became as he moved up the ranks. He belongs on my Jays prospect to watch list and should be monitored closely as a future Jay.

Others listed on the Jays Prospect to Watch List in ’10

7 – Dustin Antolin, RP, LoA Lansing

8 – Deivy Estrada, SP, DSL

9 – Ryan Tepera, SP, LoA Lansing

10 – Welinton Ramirez, OF, HiA Dunedin