After getting his feet wet at the big-league level with a two-game stint in 2012, Kansas City Royals right-hander Jake Odorizzi is confident that he can keep his career moving in the right direction heading into the 2013 campaign.
The No. 3 player in Kansas City's organization according to MLB.com's 2012 Prospect Watch, the 22-year-old Odorizzi was acquired from Milwaukee in the famed Zack Greinke deal and remains one of the most coveted pitching prospects in baseball. He made his MLB debut as a September call-up after going 11-3 for Triple-A Omaha, and quickly flashed his potential with five scoreless innings to open his career against Cleveland.
Despite his immense potential and the likelihood that he will end up winning a starting spot in the Royals' rotation next season, Odorizzi knows that he can't simply dwell on his strong 2012 campaign and expect to waltz into spring training with a job in hand.
"No one's going to hand you anything," Odorizzi told Norm Sanders of the Bellevile News-Democrat. "Once you get higher up it's all about who's performing, it doesn't matter if you're a first-round pick or a 50th-round pick."
Owner of a mid-90's fastball and three strong complimentary pitches, Odorizzi will need to work on his command this winter in order to take the next step in his development. Along with walking more than two batters per start in Triple-A this past season, the talented hurler allowed opposing batters to post a notably high .254 mark against him from the plate.