And then sometimes you go off your gut, the first time I saw Carlos Zambrano and (Mets' fans don't look) Scott Kazmir pitch, I grabbed them immediately and they've been keepers ever since.
First time seeing Zambrano, I liked the movement on his fastball and breaking stuff and he had a fearless aggresson to him that most young pitchers don't have. I also thought he showed signs of having a rubber arm. He was throwing gas no matter what, he just got wilder when he got tired. I thought, "man if this guy cuts down the walks, he'll be a monster."... Now I'm thinking... "If the cubs can just score some runs and the bullpen holds" because he is a monster.
First time seeing Kazmir, It was like seeing Ron Guidry back out on the mound. I thought his velocity was coming not just from his arm, but from perfect mechanics, and I knew as soon as he could locate better, which I expected to be soon because his mechanics were so consistant, I knew he'd be a top tier Johanne Santana type guy with an under 3 ERA and 200 plus Ks.
This year three guys stand out above all the others Liriano, Jered Weaver and King Felix.
Liriano looks like Minnesota has secretly cloned Santana.
King Felix stat's don't look so hot at frirst glance, but his age and his ability to locate all his (very good) pitches impresses me. To me, all he needs is more physical stamina, which will come. I also get the sense that the Mariners are forcibly not letting him unleash his best stuff very much. It's almost like he's still in the minors, and they're saying, "we know you can get these guys with wicked sliders, but we just want you to work on locating your fastball and change up this outing."
As for Weaver, although their mechanics are nothing alike, to me his pitches remind me of Maddux in his prime. Mutliple types of fastballs at varios speeds and movements hitting the edges of the strike zone, the occassional freezing curve, the major difference is, Weaver can also go up and in with a plus fastball. He's got such a variation of speeds and movements, that as a hitter, I wouldn't know what to look for. I think the only strategy is to wait and try and slap single something.