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Thursday, June 23, 2011

FANTASY BASEBALL BALLS AND STRIKES: A LOOK AT THE ROOKIE STARTERS THIS SEASON



Trending Up

Cole Hamels:  Hamels has pitched just as well if not better than all-world SP teammate Roy Halladay.  He has cut into his gopher balls while also consistently keeping his K rate among the best in the league.  It could be that Halladay's biggest competition for the NL Cy Young will come from his rotation mate.

David Price:  Price's WHIP is minuscule at 1.06 and that tells you he is not beating himself.  His K rate has also ticked up this season and so upward we go in the growth of this stud pitcher.

Francisco Liriano:  Since Liriano came off the DL, he has been excellent.  He is as up and down as they come but those who got to pick him up off the waiver wire like I did, really lucked out so far.

Trending Down

Dillon Gee:  Gee was awful in his last start and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.  He has pitched way over his head so far so the bottom could be close to falling out.

Roy Oswalt:  Oswalt continues to pitch poorly as he was removed after only two innings in a rough start against the Cardinals.  He has lost some bite on his fastball which is evident in his declining K rate and now he is getting hit as well.  Not good.

Max Scherzer:  Scherzer has been disgusting this season and those who thought he was ready to take that next step realize how foolish that thinking was. 

A Look At The Rookie Starters For 2011

In the last Hit and Run column, I examined all of the hotshot rookie hitters this season and how they performed.  Today we turn to the pitchers and no doubt there have been some very big time hurlers this season that have helped their fantasy baseball owners.  So lets see how they shake out.

Brandon Beachy:  We start with Beachy who comes off an 11-K masterpiece in his first start off the DL for an oblique strain.  Beachy has mowed down opposing hitters this season without giving up walks and that's tremendous poise for someone so young.  The DL stint will allow Beachy to pitch deeper into the season and thus be of use to his owners down the stretch.

Michael Pineda:  If you didn't know any better, you would think that Pineda was really Felix Hernandez.  Pineda has been everything that King Felix is in terms of a high K rate and a very low hit rate.  Walks have come and gone but that's just because his stuff is so great.  It moves that much and thus is tough for hitters to get good wood on the pitch.  An innings limit has already been discussed but with the Mariners in a playoff push, we might see that stretched some.  Either way this guy in my view is the best young pitcher out there.

Jordan Lyles:  Lyles is incredibly young but so far he has shown he has what it takes to pitch in the big leagues.  His last few outings have seen him strike out almost a batter per inning and his control has been impeccable.  The sky is the limit here and he can even be of help the next few months before he gets shut down due to the innings limit.

Zach Britton:  The Orioles are already monitoring Britton's innings but so far he has pitched well in a very tough division.  Britton is not a strikeout guy like the others on this list but he too has tremendous control and he reminds many of a young Tom Glavine.  He wont be of much use after August so be aware of that when you make plans with your starters and innings.

These guys all make up the future aces of fantasy baseball and in the cases of Pineda and Beachy, will find themselves as early round draft picks next season.  As always there is the threat of a bounce the next season due to the innings jump but overall they all profile as huge starting options going forward.  They are all on schedule with this.

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