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2013 Kannapolis Intimidators: Season Preview

Not much in Low-A, at least for now

The Intimidators' pitching staff is the group to watch in 2013. While there aren't any highly rated prospects in Kannapolis to open the season, there are the usual "interesting" ones.

The staff will feature some guys who are on the outskirts of White Sox prospect lists. RHP Brandon Brennan is a 2012 4th round pick and is the highest drafted pick on the club. The 21 year-old had some trouble at Great Falls last season, finding himself hit around quite a bit. He's a sinkerballer who has the makings of a back-end rotation guy.

My boy LHP Jefferson Olacio will again start the season for the Intimidators. Still just a teenager at 19, there will certainly be an expectation that the big southpaw improves his control and starts to develop the secondary offerings to complement his fastball.

RHP Euclides Leyer also is returning to Kannapolis after getting a late-season promotion there last season and if you're looking for a sleeper, he's a good pick. The 20 year-old Dominican has a low-90s fastball and, after having spent prior seasons with short-season clubs, will look to raise his innings total into the triple digits.

RHP Myles Jaye also returns to Kannapolis after spending all of 2012 there. The 21 year-old had a lot of trouble both missing bats and throwing strikes, which isn't a good combination. Jaye hasn't gotten a great deal of prospect attention, except by Baseball Prospectus, who, even with two different writers, has had him at #9 on their White Sox lists the past two years. He's a raw arm with a lot of work to do on, well, basically learning to pitch.

The position player side is less interesting. 2B Micah Johnson is the only player in Baseball America's top 30, coming in at #25. The 22 year-old 9th round pick in 2012 has excellent speed but the bat wasn't impressive in the hitter-friendly Pioneer League: .273/.375/.391. Some have thought he might be a candidate for a move to center field, which would certainly help his offensive profile.

3B Rangel Ravelo is once again back with the Intimidators. His second season in Kannapolis was prematurely ended midseason due to a personal/family matter. While he's still young at 21 years old, three years in Low-A is not ideal so he needs to be a fast-mover in 2013 to retain any semblance of prospect status.

OF Jason Coats was a very late signing, with the White Sox waiting until January to sign the 29th round pick out of TCU to ensure that the graduated senior's repaired right ACL was in good shape. Before that injury, he was well-regarded and considered a 6th-10th round pick. He's old for the level as a 23 year-old but, given that he completed four years of college ball, should be able to graduate from Low-A quickly.