kentx12 wrote:Any reasons why alot of you seem to be having no love for Billingsly? I am extreamly high on him for this year and many more to come.
I think it's because Billingsley figures not to be as overpowering as Lincecum or as well-rounded as Felix can be. Bills has good stuff, a solid low to mid 90's fastball and a very good slider that can keep hitters honest. Reminds me somewhat as a Darren Dreifort type but possibly with better luck in staying healthy.
Here's how I have them for 2008:
1) Felix - Can be a complete pitcher. I think his approach will improve as he'll look to get more groundballs and K's and try not to overpower with the heater that induces flyballs.
2) Cain - Just needs to keep his walk rate down as he managed to in late '06 that had really sparked high hopes for him in '07. He and Felix are surely the most seasoned of the lot.
3) Lincecum - Has filthy stuff, would be fantastic if he doesn't have to overthrow.
4) Billingsley - Clayton Kershaw's loftier ceiling in some way overshadows his top-of-the-line status for the future in my opinion, but that won't diminish how great he can become. Same as Cain, just needs to improve on cutting walks and in his pitching efficiency. The latter is most important in my mind. Billingsley tended to surrender a good deal of foulballs (Brad Penny syndrome I like to call it) which ate away at his pitch counts and he cut down on that in stretches in '07, which gives great hope for a breakout '08.
5) Hughes - The most polished elite pitching prospect to have graduated in '07. Had gone through the usual growing pains as expected, but had shown flashes that he's getting over them late last year.
6) Gallardo - I think he has the better raw upside than Hughes and Billingsley and is right up there with Felix and Lincecum, but would like to see how he fares with a heavy dose of workload under his belt heading into '08.
In a perfect world, I'd have them ranked for '08 and beyond like so: