Liotta, the White Sox pitching prospect –not the actor — was assigned to the team’s minor league camp on Tuesday. He allowed one run in four innings while posting a 0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The second round pick from 2004 has moved to become the team’s best pitching prospect with the promotion of Bobby Jenks and the trade of Gio Gonzalez to the Phillies. I’d expect his ultimate assignment to begin the season will be Double-A.
The soon-to-be 23-year-old had a fine 2005 and has seen his stock rise considerably, including inclusion on many of the prospect lists I’ve reviewed. I personally feel his worth is being over-reported and see the 2005 stats through the jade-green prism of scepticism. I don’t find a Barry Zito comparison apt in the present, given a low 90s fastball that is best described as flat. I acknowledge the southpaw’s 12-6 curveball, but there’s not much else in secondary pitches yet. And there are concerns in scouting reports that make mention his motion could be a little condensed.
I tend to think the 2005 results were not that dominant given his age, and combined with stuff, think he currently projects as a middle-of-the-rotation type. That analysis could be revamped if he obliterates the higher levels, but at this point I’m disagreeing with some, or perhaps their ranking methodology on pitching prospects.
Still, I do think he has the makings of a major leaguer, particularly with the left-handed gene present.