Brewers Top 20 Prospects - # 19 Dennis Sarfate
#19 Dennis Sarfate (SP/RP)
Previous Rank: 15
Size: 6'4" 210 lbs.
Likely 2007 Destination: Milwaukee
The Brewers selected Sarfate in the ninth round of the 2001 draft. He has spent the majority of his minor league career as a starter. While he has had some nice seasons, he's never had what I'd call a breakout year. The past three minor league seasons, he's had about 8K per 9 innings. His ERA has consistently been in the high 3's or low 4's. He's given up an average amount of home runs and hits. Sarfate's problem is that he doesn't have much control. He's given up more than 5 walks per 9 innings the past three years. That is horrible. What Sarfate has going for him is velocity on his fastball and three pitches, a curveball, changeup and fastball. Sarfate spent this year at Nashville before getting a September call-up with the Brewers. In the month before the call-up, Sarfate was moved to the bullpen, where he enjoyed better success than as a starter. His time with the Brewers and move to the bullpen has strengthened his prospect status. There is potential for him to improve as he puts maximum effort into his pitches in a relief role. In August in Nashville, Sarfate had 23 K, 9 BB, and a .557 OPS allowed in 17.2 innings. Those are very good numbers, except for the walks. They have carried over to Milwaukee, where Sarfate has pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, with 3K and 1BB.
The Brewers are out of options with Sarfate after this year. That means that if he's going to play for the Crew, it will be permanently. He can no longer be sent to the minors without clearing waivers, which wouldn't happen. So Sarfate cannot stink in spring training and could help his cause a lot with a good September. I don't think he has any future as a starter. In fact, I'm sure he doesn't. But we don't know what he can do in a relief role yet. I think Sarfate is intriguing. I'd say that if makes the team, he has the potential to post a couple of Dan Kolb circa 2003-2004 type years. He kind of reminds me of Kolb. There is just no telling at this point. I don't think he will ever be great because of his lack of control. While velocity is tough to teach, so is control. My guess is that the Brewers will give him a shot in 2007, even if he doesn't impress too much before then.
Labels: Brewers Prospects