After the jump, we continue by taking a look at the #24 player in the LSB Community Prospect Rankings, righthanded pitcher Justin Grimm...
Justin Grimm is a 6'3", 175 lb. righthanded pitcher who the Rangers selected in the 5th round of the 2010 draft and signed to a well-above-slot bonus of $825,000 (to put this in perspective, supplemental first round pick Mike Olt was signed to a bonus of $717,300). Grimm had been selected in the 13th round of the 2007 draft out of high school by the Boston Red Sox but did not sign, choosing to play for the University of Georgia instead. Baseball America rated Grimm as the #109 prospect in the 2010 draft, praising his athleticism, a fastball that touched 95 mph, and a curve that sometimes graded out as above-average, but noting that his results hadn't matched his potential, as he struggled with his mechanics and command while posting a 5.80 ERA as a collegian.
Like most above-slot players, Grimm was signed too late to pitch in the minors in 2010, and instead made his pro debut in 2011. Grimm started the 2011 season with low-A Hickory, and in 50.1 innings over 9 starts, he posted a 3.40 ERA, striking out 54, walking 18, and allowing 5 home runs. After getting promoted to Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League, Grimm continued to pitch well, putting up a 3.39 ERA in 90.1 innings, with 73 strikeouts, 30 walks, and just 2 homers allowed.
Grimm's repertoire is fastball/curveball/changeup, with the fastball generally being in the low-90s, though it can touch 95-96 mph, and the curveball being a potential plus pitch. His changeup is a work in progress, and like a lot of the Rangers' A-ball pitchers, how that third pitch develops will likely determine where Grimm's future lies. If the changeup can get to a point where it is a viable third pitch, he could have a shot at being a major league starter, although Grimm will also have to improve his command of his other two pitches. If the changeup doesn't develop, the fastball and curve alone would make him a viable relief prospect.
I'm interested in seeing where the Rangers start Grimm off in 2012. With only 90 innings in high-A, one would think that he would head back to Myrtle Beach to kick off the 2012 campaign for at least a couple of months. However, Grimm turns 24 in August, and the Rangers may decide that his development is best served by challenging him with an assignment at AA Frisco.