C.J. Edwards’ stock is rising faster than any other youngster in the Rangers farm system maybe even in baseball. He has hardly no name recognition because of where he was drafted and what he looks like. The lanky 6 foot 2, 155 pound righty was drafted in the 48th round out of South Carolina in 2011. He waited behind a year after signing and started his professional career last year.
C.J. Edwards was named the eighth best prospect in the Northwest League by Baseball America. (photo courtesy of MiLB.com)
In the Arizona Rookie League Edwards threw 20 innings while allowing just 6 hits and no earned runs. In those 20 innings he struck out 25 batters and walked 6. After showing he could dominate rookie leaguers, the men in Baseball Operations decided to send the kid to the low-A Spokane Indians in the Northwest League. While in the Northwest, C.J. continued to show dominance. He pitched 47 innings while allowing 11 runs and striking out 60 batters.
Edwards outshined arguably all of the pitchers on the Spokane Indians’ roster in 2012 and will look to do the same in 2013 no matter where he is placed. Talent-wise Edwards is up there with Alec Asher, Nicholas Tepesch, and like names. If Edwards can put on some muscle he will have a chance to be a freak of nature. How often do you see a 155 pound kid occasionally hitting 94-96 MPH on the radar gun? Uhhhh… not very often.
Baseball America ranked C.J. as the number 8 prospect in the Northwest League last year. Which is high praise for any 20 year old kid, let alone one that was drafted after 1,463 others went before him. If I’m Tim Purpura, the Director of Player Development for the Rangers, I would most definitely send the kid to Hickory for a taste of full-season baseball. I think Edwards (now 21 years old) will continue to improve and eventually become a well-known prospect in the world of baseball.
“Most 48th round draft picks don’t develop into players, much less prospects, but C.J. Edwards has a chance to change that tradition. I first stumbled upon the long and limby Edwards during the Fall Instructional League in 2011. I was charting pitches behind the pitchers tasked with charting pitches, and I thought the South Carolina native was one of the many talented Dominican pitchers in the Rangers system. My cultural and linguistic ignorance aside, I didn’t get a chance to see Edwards on the mound until the spring of 2012, where I once again assumed he was Dominican. The 6-foot-2 155 pound righty was easily one of the more interesting arms in camp, with a whippy low-90s fastball that could touch higher and a charming curve that could miss more advanced bats. Edwards carried over his exhibition success to the short-season circuit, where in two stops the 20-year-old arm (now 21) allowed only 32 hits in 67 innings of work, sending an impressive 85 down on strikes. Now in his second instructional league camp, Edwards is already flashing a high quality changeup, a fading low-80s pitch with a little sink that plays very well off his fastball. One would think that escaping the complex league level would represent the height of a 48th round pick’s professional reach, but apparently C.J. Edwards isn’t aware of such limitations, and looks to take another step forward in 2013.” — Jason Parks