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TCB Astros March Madness 2014: Lance McCullers vs Andrew Aplin

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Right-handed pitching prospect Lance McCullers vs outfield prospect Andrew Aplin.

TCB's Astros Fan Favorite March Madness Tournament is underway. From now until the end of Spring Training 64 players will spend the next several weeks facing off in a head to head public vote to determine who advances to the next round and who will eventually be crowned the communities favorite Astros player. For more details click here for the introductory post.

The rules are simple determine which player you want to advance to the next by voting for that player. Any excellent arguments made for an advancing player in the comments below may be used in the players description for the next round. Vote subjectively, objectively or by using your trusty magic eight ball. Votes will last exactly 24 hours.

In this match-up

4 - Lance McCullers

The 41st overall pick of the 2012 draft, McCullers has as devastating a two pitch mix as you'll find in the minors, with a blazing fastball that can hit triple digits with ease, and a slider described as untouchable when he has a good feel for it. He ripped up opponents at the Low-A level for the Quad Cities RiverBandits in 2013, posting a 2.91 FIP with 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings in 104.2 innings pitched. Questions about his mechanics, command and ability to polish his changeup into a useful third offering invite questions about his future role, but there's little doubt he should be a useful late-inning bullpen arm at least. -Ashitaka


13 - Andrew Aplin

Aplin has a nice combination of tools and some polish. By all accounts, he's a legitimate defender in center, he definitely runs well (career 32 SB per 600 PA so far) and his plate discipline has been largely drool-worthy. He looks like he might have some pop as well, but his career thus far has had the benifit of very hitter-friendly home parks in Tri-City and Lancaster. How much power he really has an whether he can maintain his success against higher-level pitching are questions he'll look to answer this year in AA. -Ashitaka