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Top Prospect Alert - Rob Purvis

By Robert Sherry

Rob Purvis: A first round compensation selection (45 overall for losing Robin Ventura), Purvis was one of several pitchers that the White Sox grabbed early in the 1999 draft, including Matt Ginter, Brian West, Danny Wright, and Jon Rauch all in the first three rounds. While Rauch and Ginter went on to have the best seasons of anyone in the group, Purvis had a decent 2000 and while staying more in the background out of the spotlight.

Drafted out of Bradley University, Purvis debuted and played briefly at Rookie-level Tucson (4 games) before finishing out the season at Burlington (6 games). In all, he went 0-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 20.1 innings, 22 hits allowed, three saves, 10 walks, and 15 strikeouts, in 10 games.
In his first crack at playing a full pro season, Purvis was assigned to Single-A Winston-Salem. For the Warthogs, he pitched effective, going 11-10 with a 3.38 ERA, 2 complete games, 167.2 innings pitched 139 hits allowed, 87 walks, and 114 strikeouts in 27 starts. He also only allowed six homers. Purvis finished off the season making one start at Double-A Birmingham (0-1, 4.50 EA in 4 IP, 6H, 3 BB, and 3 SO). Look for him back there in 2001.

Looking at 6-foot-2, 200 pound Purvis, the biggest thing that stands out with him is that he needs to improve his control. In addition to the 87 walks with Winston-Salem, he also had 22 wild pitches. He's not really a strikeout type who is going to go out and just throw the ball by batters so this makes improving his control even more important. Otherwise, he had a very fine season.

When you try to project the White Sox future rotation, you have to start at the top with Garland and Rauch. Add in some of the pitchers they already have in place and it's going to be tough to find spot for all of these pitches. I wouldn't place Purvis any higher than a No. 4 because of the depth. If he can equal his 2000 season in 2001, Purvis could be a late-season call-up.


 

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