He has unbelievable stuff, plus he's a lefty right behind Johan. The high ERA was just because of some rookie mistakes (small # of innings magnifies his mistakes). He is going to be great if he stays healthy.
Sorry, but the number of elite prospect starters that have shown up in the <ajors and lived up to the expectations in the last 10 or so years can be counted on one hand and you will have fingers to spare. Prior...Oswalt...maybe Felix Hernandez this year.
Remeber Jesse Floppert...or Carlos E. Hernandez...or Edwin Jackson, etc.?
liriano is a hardthrowing lefty which gives him an advantage because there are so few of them. i look at 2004 ollie, post allstar break 2005 kazmir, and pre allstar break 2005 bedard, and see that hardthrowing lefties without good control have a big legup on hardthrowing righties without good control (so many). so in that sense, i think he's a much better bet than Foppert, Hernandez, and Jackson.
liriano can't spot his fastball and he often leaves it up high in the zone which accounts for homers and the high ERA. his lack of command on the fastball may mow down minor league hitters, but major league hitters have far better eyes and patience.
But because he throws so hard and his stuff is filthy, I think as long as he develops average command on the fastball (not johan command) to set up his unhittable slider and serviceable changeup, he can do well in the rotation this year. Being that he's a converted outfielder w/o much pitching experience, I think the chances on him improving that command, with more exposure and coaching, are very high.
well now that you have him....just sit back and enjoy the ride, it may be bumpy but stick with him, hes young. just wondering....what kind of league are you in (keeper or non, auction or draft) and where did you get him or what did you pay.
Strengths: Some scouts say Liriano's stuff is better than that of Twins teammate Johan Santana, the 2004 American League Cy Young Award winner. They say Liriano throws harder, has a better slider and owns a changeup that is equal in quality. When he gets rolling, Liriano can dominate for long stretches behind a 94-96 mph fastball that has reached 98 mph and a hard, tight slider that comes in at 89 mph. He can throw the slider for strikes in any count, and he also features a plus changeup. The fastball and slider grade out as the best in the system. He has thrown a curve in the past, but has pushed it aside for now. While at Triple-A Rochester, Liriano fanned Red Sox prospect Kevin Youkilis twice on a total of six pitches, much to the amazement of players on both sides because Youkilis might have been the most patient hitter in the minors. Liriano has a reserved personality and shows good baseball aptitude, a strong work ethic and solid makeup. It’s not uncommon for him to beat his teammates to the ballpark and start running and long-tossing well before the others arrive. He has learned English well and has no trouble communicating with teammates and coaches.
Weaknesses: Liriano's history of shoulder woes means his durability must be monitored. He battled mechanical issues early in 2005, failing to repeat and flying open too often, which caused him to labor noticeably. Once he got to Triple-A, Rochester pitching coach Bobby Cuellar did a good job of keeping Liriano’s delivery on track and showing him the benefits of maintaining a smooth motion. Liriano also had problems with overstriding in 2004, causing his arm to drag behind his body. He has bouts where he doesn’t command or trust his fastball the way he should, but minor league pitching coordinator Rick Knapp has stayed on him about that.
I have to echo what Yanks2004 said. Counting on a rookie starting pitcher as a contributor to your team will generally get you burned. It is OK to pick these guys up in keeper leagues, but one should do so with the expectation that a solid contribution is probably years away. Look at the nest pitchers in the game today--even guys like Clemens, Maddux, Glavine, Schilling, Hallday and Johnson had stints of medicority of a year or more to start their careers.
Well, rookie starter might be a stretch at this point. The Twins, suprisingly, held onto Lohse and offered him arbitration. That means the opening day rotation is most likely Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse, and Baker. Terry Ryan has said they want Liriano getting his share of innings and that he won't start the season in the bullpen if he doesn't make the major league rotation... which would mean more seasoning in Triple-A. Not that he has much to prove at Triple-A anymore.
Baker projects to be a two-or-three starter, and is already a very solid fourth starter caliber pitcher. Very polished but his ceiling isn't much higher than his current value. He'll win the fifth spot out of spring training.
If Lohse gets dealt before opening day, however, then I would expect Liriano to start the season pitching in the bigs. Although, dark horses like Matt Guerrer or Boof Bonser might be used to shelter Liriano a bit longer.
Just for fun's sake, the conservative PECOTA pegs Liriano for a 3.87 ERA and 1.29 WHIP with 150 K and 57 BB in 158 IP. That projection hasn't taken into account how much the Twins will let Liriano pitch, but what he would likely produce as a starter from opening day onward.
As far as potential and ability, I think Liriano is as safe as pitching prospects come. His name was mentioned every time the Twins brought up trade talks for a hitter. A lot of different scouting departments love the kid. The cocern is if he can keep his mechanics stable and consistant and avoid any more shoulder problems. If he gets to the show, Rick Anderson is the most underrated pitching coach in baseball (moreover, simply one of the very best), so that's encouraging. If Anderson can coax a 3.44 ERA out of Carlos Silva and a 4.18 ERA out of Kyle Lohse you have to be excited about his chances with someone that can actually miss bats.