garf112 wrote:although Baker will still be a good pitcher; you should run the numbers on him, LL.
Blech...no thanks on Minn pitchers. They can have era's under 2 for half a season and have their offense be bad enough that they can't beat Bigfat Colon in the race for the Cy Young.
Seriously though, Baker looks good everywhere but that fly ball percentage. The problem is that fb% is a tough number to change...you have to change what type of pitcher you are to change that. Given his 2.58-1 fly ball to ground ball ratio he's going to give up a TON of homers at the major league level. Last year in about the same number of innings he was closer to a 3-2 ratio (still high but not as bad as this year) so there's hope he can get that in check but right now he's giving up WAY too many fly balls. The 7.2 k/9 and 1.4 bb/9 looks great though and are right in line with where he seemed to be heading in the minors. If they can get him to keep the ball down he could be a steal off the FA list or late in the draft next year - he has the control and dominance to get by...he just lets guys get too much loft on the ball.
It seems to me that for every two dominant starters that blossom at 22,23, there is at least one that blossoms later on in their careers (typically in the 26-29 age range).
Pitchers also tend to fully come into their own a bit later than hitters so a guy having a career year at 30 or after isn't out of the question.