With all of the preseason rankings coming out of the woodworks, I thought this would be a good time to talk about some of the lesser known pitching talents heading into this season. Here are some of the guys i see falling to the final rounds of drafts (if drafted at all) that could well exceed their expectations:
Andrew Miller - FLA (from Detroit)
6-6 lefty who throws gas and just moved to the National League. He put together some decent starts last season, but exceeded 5.0 innings just five times. He has great stuff and I think the move to the NL could boost his numbers.
Matt Garza - TB (from Minnesota)
Former first round pick who went 5-7 last season. If he can hold down a No. 3-4 starting spot in the D-Rays rotation behind Kazmir and Shields, I see him in the 8-10 W range with a ~4.00 ERA and 6.5 K/9.
Dave Bush - MIL
I am forever optimistic about this guy. Back-to-back 12-win seasons, but he can't seem to break the 4.00+ ERA mark. He has SUPERB control (134 K to 44 BB last season) and has a bit more value in leagues that count K:BB ratio, but sometimes I think he throws too MANY strikes and you never know what you're going to get when he takes the mound. Seems like he's always done in by one 4+ run inning. This will be his fifth year in the bigs and if he can stay consistent, I think he will be a late-round or WW steal.
Scott Baker - MIN
Had a good August and September last season that included a one-hit, 9 strikeout complete game (against KC, but still impressive). I don't know much about his talent, but he was useful as a spot starter last season. Like Dave Bush, he has great control but some times throws too many strikes (102 K, 29 BB last season). This will be his fourth year in the league. I'm going to keep an eye on him in the early months.
Jair Jurrjens - ATL (from Det)
I've read varying reports about this guy. He is small (6-1, 160), but crafty and has a good shot at earning a starting spot with the Braves. I don't really know what else to say except that I won't draft him, but wouldn't be surprised if he ends up on a lot of rosters by mid season.
That is all I can come up with for now. I'm putting my list together and will add more as I pore over last season's stats. Feel free to include some of your top "Guys to Watch."