SleepersMay 17, 2006

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Sleeper Watch

By Hongfu Chen

Tony Armas Jr. has always had baseball in his blood: his father Tony Armas was one of the top sluggers in the 80s. Though Jr. never learned how to hit (.104 career average), he was one of Baseball America’s top 100 prospects several years ago and has been considered a potential breakout candidate for the last couple of years, but has always disappointed, mostly because of injuries. Well, he’s looking very good so far this year. He has six quality starts in eight appearances, and his only poor start of the year came against the Marlins, so chances are that he’s just had a bad day that game.

Some of you might simply dismiss it as a fluke, but Armas has played an extremely hard schedule so far. He has faced Atlanta twice, along with starts in Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Houston, and St. Louis, and he has excelled in all those starts. What’s more, his K rate is back up and his walks per inning are almost chopped in half compared with last year.

Granted, Armas has shown signs of brilliance before and then gone on to dissapoint. But I’m willing to believe from what I’ve seen from him so far this year that he can put up a mid-3 ERA with a K/9 ratio of above 6 and 10-15 wins. Now if he can only stay healthy…

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