Potential sleeper: Andre Rienzo

The White Sox have had quite a few pitchers display dominant seasons and blow through the low minors in recent years. Gio Gonzalez, Brandon McCarthy, Fautino De Los Santos and most recently Dan Hudson to name a few. This year, we haven't seen that kind of dominance from anyone in the minor league system. However, maybe next year Andre Rienzo can be that guy.

Pitcher of the Month: Andre Rienzo

Rienzo draws similarities to the aforementioned De Los Santos. In 2007 De Los Santos burst onto the prospect scene and dominated at both levels of A ball before being traded for Nick Swisher. He started with Kannapolis, quickly worked his way into the rotation and got stronger as the year went on. This season, Rienzo was brought into Kannapolis in May and after a couple relief appearances has become a regular in the Intimidators' rotation.

Both De Los Santos (Dominican) and Rienzo (Brazilian) started their pro careers in the Dominican Summer League and had strong numbers at 20 years old.

IP ERA K/9 BB/9
De Los Santos 48.1 1.86 11.4 1.9
Rienzo 40.2 1.33 9.9 2.0

The numbers are similar with a slight edge to De Los Santos. This was Rienzo's second go around in the DSL, but he only pitched 15.1 innings in 2007. The two start to differ the following season. De Los Santos went straight to Kannapolis while Rienzo spent 2009 in Bristol.

Rienzo had a 8.1 K/9 and a 2.2 BB/9 with a 4.14 ERA in 54.1 IP with the BriSox. Still strong numbers, but they took a bit of a drop. Now let's compare De Los Santos' Kannapolis numbers (age 21) with Rienzo's 2010 (turned 22 July 5).

IP ERA K/9 BB/9
De Los Santos 97.2 2.40 11.2 3.3
Rienzo 77 4.32 10.8 2.9

The only big difference was De Los Santos' ability to limit hits, and therefore runs, much better than Rienzo. This could be due to overpowering stuff, this could be due to luck. De Los Santos had a 3.32 FIP compared to Rienzo's current 3.40.

From a stuff standpoint, De Los Santos had a good low 90s sinker, a solid slider and a developing change up when he was with the White Sox. Rienzo has a mid 90s fastball and developing off speed pitches. His fastball certainly helps him to over power hitters at this level. His secondary stuff will be counted on as he moves up the system, but he certainly has good potential and he matches up comparably with De Los Santos. It's impossible to use De Los Santos to try to predict Rienzo's future because De Los Santos had elbow surgery in 2008 and has since been converted to the bullpen. Hopefully, Rienzo has better luck than that.

Filed under: News and notes

Tags: Andre Rienzo

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