Another night of offensive struggles for Erie, were all that kept the Tiger's minor leaguers from…
Prospect Profile: Preston Larrison
Preston Larrison Position: Right-Handed Pitcher Height: 6-4 Weight: 220 Born: 11/19/1980Bats: Right Throws: Right Background A 2nd round choice out of Evansville in 2001, Larrison was thought to be a first round talent heading into his junior season, but after posting a 5.25 ERA, the Tigers were able to pick him up with their second choice. Preston started his professional career on the right track despite his collegiate struggles, posting ERAs of 2.47 and 2.39 in his first two seasons. Like fellow youngster Jeremy Bonderman, Larrison almost made the Tigers opening day rotation in 2003, but ended up being one of the final cuts, after which he headed down to AA-Erie. The 2003 season ended up being a disaster for Larrison as he continued to try and get to the Major Leagues with one big outing. After missing much of the 2004 season recovering from surgery, Larrison struggled to establish himself again in 2005, posting a combined 4.94 ERA between Lakeland and Erie. Scouting Report Preston's bread and butter is a low-90s sinking fastball that has fantastic downward action at the plate. He can spot the pitch to either side of the strike zone, but struggles to keep it consistently below the belt, meaning it often gets hit hard as it loses movement up in the zone. His curve and change have lagged significantly behind his sinker, and can't even be considered average offerings at this time. Preston struggles with conditioning and with keeping his weight in line, leaving him susceptible to injuries and bouts of tiredness that hamper his performance. Until he takes his training routine seriously, he's unlikely to progress any appreciable amount. He has good instincts on the mound, and understands how to set up hitters; he just can't make the pitches his mind tells him to in order to get the outs. Overall, Larrison is an array of unrealized potential, and it's looking more and more like he just doesn't have the attitude to be an overly successful professional pitcher. Performance Year Team W-L ERA G GS SV H BB SO IP 2005 Lakeland/Erie 5-5 4.94 16 16 0 86 21 36 71 Health Record Larrison was yet another Tiger to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2004. Preston returned and was healthy in 2005, and he saw both his command and velocity return in short order. His weight and conditioning have always left him at risk of injury, so expecting a full season from him is unwise. The Future Larrison looked solid this past spring, as his velocity began to return, and he began to look like the pitcher of old. The Tigers assigned Larrison to AA-Erie to start the season, in hopes that he would re-establish himself and move on to Toledo at some point later in the year. If Preston's control begins to return in much the same fashion as his velocity, he still has a chance to be an intriguing pitcher. Larrison has always had the raw stuff to be a contributor at the Major League level, but he definitely has some work to do. The 2006 season should prove to be a make-or-break year for Larrison, and unless he comes on strong at AA, he could find himself sliding farther and farther from not only the Top 50, but also a chance at a Major League job.
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