A)Tough call, but I'd go with Liriano. I think whichever one's current team goes further in the AAA playoffs will be second to reach the majors. Zumaya's team currently holds first place in their division by 7 games, while Liriano's team is 1 game back of the first place team. As long as they are in the minors this year, they can both continue to get starts rather than bullpen work, which both would probably get right now at the major league level.
B)Probably Liriano, but it's still too early to tell. I have a feeling Minnesota will find room for both Scott Baker and Liriano in the rotation next year. Zumaya's chances depend on how many spots in the Tigers' 2006 rotation are left open to competition. I expect at least one, which will be left for Verlander, Zumaya, Baugh and maybe others to compete for.
C)I give a very slight edge to Liriano mostly due to slightly better command so far despite the fact that I think Zumaya has better pure stuff. There seems to be long term concerns over Liriano due to his past arm issues, while Zumaya will have to cut down on the walks.
One more thing to keep in mind about the two is that Zumaya is just over a full year younger than Liriano, so there is time to close whatever gap there is between the two if he can just cut down on the walks a little bit.
Liriano right now is the better prospect, as he is putting up amazing numbers in AAA. He is a lefty with a mid 90's fastball, real good slider, & a change to boot.
Zumaya is the definition of young power pitcher, but I feel they are moving him to fast right now. Yes he can pitch well, but in the end moving him this quickly before letting him get a handle on the walks ... isn't the smartest thing IMO. He is a 2 pitch guy who doesn't have control of either at the moment, he is getting by with stuff and that will end unless something changes.
Liriano should defiantly get the first try of the two, Zumaya just needs more time ... where as Liriano is basically ready right now for a shot.
Long term really is where the tough question comes in. Do you want a more complete picher that has around the same upside, but a history of injuries .... or a young pitcher who has been injury free (though that obviously won't last forever) with real bad control problems and is more of a thrower still.
My opinion might be somewhat biased as I have seen Liriano more then Zumaya, but injuries always happen. Liriano has had 2 consecutive years where he hasn't had any problems. So in this case I'd take the more complete SP with basically the same upside IMO.
hybrid wrote:Zumaya is the definition of young power pitcher, but I feel they are moving him to fast right now. Yes he can pitch well, but in the end moving him this quickly before letting him get a handle on the walks ... isn't the smartest thing IMO. He is a 2 pitch guy who doesn't have control of either at the moment, he is getting by with stuff and that will end unless something changes.
He has come a long way with his changeup which has been key to his success. He no longer is a two pitch pitcher like he was last year, although he still does need to work on his command of all the pitches, but when he is on, he is about as tough to hit as it gets. Prior to this season, Zumaya primarily threw a fastball and hard curve, but now the changeup has surpassed his curve to become his second best pitch.
It's also arguable as to whether or not Zumaya is moving too fast. He was no longer being challenged at all in AA. What I would like to see, though, is for him to open up 2006 in AAA. He'll definitely be given an opportunity to win a rotation spot next spring, but I'd still like to see him given a little more time to develop even if he has a great spring. But I'm convinced that either Zumaya or Verlander will open the 2006 season as part of the Tigers' rotation when a spot is left wide open for competition in the spring.
I know more about Zumaya than Liriano being a Tigers' fan who likes to follow prospects, but I certainly can't argue with the fact that Liriano is the more MLB ready player right now. I only hope that next year when Zumaya is the same age as Liriano is now, that Zumaya will become anywhere nearly as polished as Liriano is right now.
Thanks for the info mcqfesijiba, was not aware his change up has come that far along. Yes it arguable whether he is being moved to fast, but when a kid has always had control problems ... I'd like to see him prove he can throw strikes at least in one level in the minors.
It's easier for him to always try and strike guys out and not worry about walks. Though when you don't walk guys they get better pitches in 3-1/3-2 counts, which will most likely hurt all his numbers except walks. At some point you have to be able to make that step. He reminds me somewhat of Billingsley, Chad would just K people and wouldn't worry about walks. This year they are making him throw strikes and at times he has struggled with this, though IMO it will work out in the end for him.
Zumaya certainly has the stuff, I just question his control/consistency with it and moving him at this point.