Top 50 Prospect Profile: Danny Muegge

<p>The new year is here, and the <b>FutureBacks.com Top 50</b> debuts tomorrow.&nbsp; The Top 50 will feature profiles, commentary, and analysis from the FutureBacks.com staff, Diamondbacks coaches and officials, as well as Scout.com experts.&nbsp; <b>Danny Muegge</b> is 6'5&quot;, in this <b>FREE PREVIEW OF PREMIUM CONTENT </b>we see why he may have a spot in the bullpen in his future.

Vital Statistics:

Name Danny Muegge
Position Pitcher
Age 23
Height 6'5"
Weight 180
Bats Left
Throws Right
'04 Club Lo-A South Bend Silverhawks (Midwest League)

The Devil Rays took Muegge in the 31st round of the 2000 draft out of McLennan (TX) CC, but he elected to go to the University of Texas, and moved up to the 19th round by 2003 where the Diamondbacks took him.  At 6'5" its easy to see why teams liked the right hander, but what's surprising is that this isn't a hard thrower.  Solid control and a deceptive delivery are what gets Muegge by, and his control and confidence are improving seemingly every start.

Past and Future:  A high school draft pick, then taken again from community college, and finally signed with the D'Backs out of Texas.  He's progressed a little more slowly than the Diamondbacks were hoping, but with a big frame there is some speculation that he will fill out and add somewhere between three and five miles an hour to the fastball.  He's pitched in pressure situations with the Longhorns and figures to be a middle relief stalwart.  Was moved from the pen (in Yakima) to the starting rotation (in South Bend) for '04 and had a solid showing highlighted by a complete game shutout in his final start of the season.  Was left in Lo-A for the entire season, but figures to have the opportunity to move up, especially if he's moved back to the bullpen.

'04 Club W-L ERA IP K/BB
Lo-A South Bend Silverhawks (Midwest League) 14-4 3.12 153.0 104/42

Pitches:   A fastball with some movement that the Diamondbacks truly hope will pick up a few miles an hour, but a deceptive delivery and tight curveball are his calling cards.  He throws a change up that rates as average, but will more speed on the fastball the difference between fastball and change could improve to the ideal 10 mph range.  Inconsistent with his control, but when he's locating within the strike zone he's shown himself to be very effective.  Economical delivery allowed him to go six innings or more in 12 of his last eighteen starts at South Bend.

ETA:  He's getting the opportunity to prove himself as a starter, but the deceptive delivery has a lot to do with his success and he might be better suited to a bullpen role.  Figure him to start the season in Hi-A Lancaster as a starter, but probably will be moved to the bullpen when he's promoted to Double-A Tennessee mid season.  At least a couple of years away, watch for an '07/'08 debut, could be earlier if the adjustment to the bullpen goes smoothly.

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