The Year of the Rookie: The Starting Pitchers

September 22, 2007 at 8:06 pm 5 comments

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Every year we see new starters. Some are very good, some are awful, and some are future studs. This year is much like that. I will only profile starters that meet the “rookie” requirements (career 50 IP or 45 days on the 25 man roster prior to 9/1). I will tell you their potential (future #1-5 starter or reliever) and give you a look at their stats as well. So here we go with the rookie starters:


You have to understand my ranking of starters. A #1 guy doesn’t mean he starts opening day. It takes a special pitcher to be a #1 and I believe there are only 20-25 guys that can be classified as true #1 starters.

Also, won-loss records don’t mean a whole lot to me. I look more for ERA, K/BB rate, K/IP, BAA, and BB/9IP. I don’t think you can discredit a guy for his won-loss record (take a look at Matt Cain). That’s why I think Lincecum is the best rookie starter this year. His rates are incredible and his stuff is ridiculous. No disrespect to Dice-K, he’s done a great job in the tough AL East and I actually have him ranked 3rd, just behind Jeremy Guthrie.

I had to leave off a few guys that are going to be absolute studs. Clay Buchholz is special. A #1-2 type with outstanding offspeed stuff and great command. Joba Chamberlain (see relievers) is another. Franklin Morales of Colorado is a #2-3 type and will give them a good 1-2 punch with Jeff Francis. Homer Bailey has #1-2 stuff but needs to get better command of his pitches. Ian Kennedy of the Yankees has the command and feel of a #1-2 but the stuff of a #4-5. He will make a nice #3-4 starter.

This has been a great year for rookie starters, but most of the great one’s still have rookie eligability for next year and that should make for a wonderful rookie crop in 2008.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Year of the Rookie: The Relievers The Year of the Rookie: The Hitters (The Rest)

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. suzy  |  September 24, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    geez Jonathan i guess your the only one that knows this much about your players??? Kudos dude

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 24, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks! I love baseball! It’s an easy task for me.

  • 3. charlie  |  September 25, 2007 at 9:19 am

    It’s hard to come across successful rookie starting pitchers. Sometimes they have alot of success because the hitters haven’t seen them before, but also, they might not have as good as stuff or experience as say your typical John Smoltz. Also you’ll have your defectors from other countries like Matsusaka and Iwaga.

    Take Hideo Nomo for example. His firs season or so, he was completely unhittable. Then hitters figured out his timing and mechanics, and it was a tee-ball game all over.

    It takes a very special person to start in the majors as a rookie and make a large impact. With all that said, I think we’ll see bright futures from Lincecum, Guthrie (especially if he can get out of Baltimore), Gallardo, and Hughes in the next few seasons. Following that, we’ll see Garza, Owings, Hirsh, Kendrick and Miller take their lumps for a few seasons then become above average pitchers.

    Many top notch pitchers had slow starts to their career as they learned to adjust from AAA hitters to MLB hitters.

    Very good stuff Jonathan!

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  September 25, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks Charlie! You are so right when you say that you can’t predict a pitcher on his rookie year performance. Tom Glavine was awful his first two years, going 7-17 in his 2nd season. Bud Smith threw a no-hitter and you say “who?”. That’s why I predict more on “stuff” and command rather than stats. I think Slowey will be better than his stats. I think Bannister is a #5 starter at best, he doesn’t miss nearly enough bats. Phil Hughes has a good mixture of command and stuff. Lincecum has the best of the bunch though.

  • 5. stormypayne19  |  October 18, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Even though Dice-K had more K’s and Wins i still think the better rookie starter was Brain Bannister from KC…. with the way KC stuggles year in and year out i think it’s important for them to have starters that can maintain a 3.61 ERA…


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