Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NY Yankees Top Prospect #5, Alan Horne

From BA -

Alan Horne, rhp Born: Jan. 5, 1983. • B-T: R-R. • Ht.: 6-4. • Wt.: 195.
Drafted: Florida, 2005 (11th round). • Signed by: Brian Barber.

Background: Horne was a first-round pick out of Marianna (Fla.) High in 2001, when he was a teammate of Angels catcher Jeff Mathis. He turned down the Indians and embarked on a three-stop college career, pitching for Mississippi, Chipola (Fla.) Junior College (where his dad played) and Florida, which he helped lead to the 2005 College World Series finals. He had Tommy John surgery along the way but has stayed healthy as a pro, leading the EL in ERA (3.11) and strikeouts (165 in 153 innings) in 2007.

Strengths: At times, Horne shows four above-average pitches, starting with a fastball that usually sits at 92-93 mph but also can park at 94-95. He flashes a power slider and curveball, and he throws his changeup with good arm speed.

Weaknesses: Horne's arm action is long, leading to inconsistent release points and below-average command, and it likely contributed to his past elbow injury. The Yankees have shortened his delivery in other ways to compensate, but it's not a correctable flaw and limits Horne's ceiling. He doesn't field his position or hold runners particularly well.

The Future: While he has frontline stuff, Horne's command relegates him to a No. 3 or 4 starter profile. Set to report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for 2008, he gives New York more homegrown pitching depth.

With "front-line" stuff, hopefully Horne can find a consistant release point and realize his full potential.

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