Thursday, September 07, 2006


The Florida Marlins Have the Best Young Pitching in Baseball

With Anibal Sanchez having thrown a no-hitter, and so many of the other young Florida Marlins pitchers doing so well, I decided to reprint an article I wrote back in February for my sister-site, Baseball Fantasy Stats.

Having scoured through so many major and minor league records over the years, I had never come across such an impressive bunch of young pitchers as the Marlins had going into this year. Most organizations didn't even have one young pitcher that could match the records of the young Marlins pitchers coming into this year. The Marlins had seven young starting pitchers with stellar records! And I did not even include Josh Johnson, who is having a fine year, but I doubt he will be able keep it up over his whole career.

The Team With the Best Young Pitching in Baseball is - The Florida Marlins

With the losses of Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca, Juan Pierre and Mike Lowell from their offense, and Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett from their pitching, the Florida Marlins will struggle this year. There is hope for the Marlins future though, as they have the best collection of young pitching talent in baseball today, and maybe of all time.

From a fantasy perspective, some of these young pitchers are so talented, they will have an impact this year. Don't forget, the park and the division they play in will help them compile stats. Here's a quick look.

DONTRELLE WILLIS - 24 years old. The D-Train was awesome last year, posting a 22-10 record with a 2.63 ERA. In his minor league career, never above AA, he averaged 7.4 K's per 9, while walking just 1.7 per 9. So far in the majors he's averaging 6.8 K's and 2.6 BB per 9. He was a relatively high strikeout, low walk pitcher in the minors and that's what he's been in the majors. He might not win 20 again this year, but he's still a great pitcher, and a great fantasy pitcher.

JASON M. VARGAS - 23 years old. His minor league record, 168 innings/176 K's/46 BB's, is great (like D-Train, never above AA). That works out to 9.4 K's and 2.5 BB's per 9. He didn't embaress himself in the bigs last year, going 5-5 with a 4.03 ERA and a complete game. He's a high strikeout, low walk pitcher who might be able to help you this year.

SCOTT OLSEN - 22 years old. Another one who's minor league record is great, 396 innings/431 K's/156 BB's. Works out to 9.8 K's and 3.5 BB's per 9. Didn't embaress himself either in a brief stint in the bigs, going 1-1 with a 3.98 ERA, and striking out 21 batters in 20 innings. He's certain to have a fantasy impact in the future, and maybe even this year.

YUSMEIRO PETIT - 21 years old. Acquired from the Mets in the Delgado trade, his minor league record is excellent. In 401 innings, he's averaged 11 K's and 2 BB's per 9 innings (401 innings/491 K's/91 BB's). He's obviously ready for the majors this year, and with his high K rate, will have some fantasy impact this year, provided he's in the rotation. Having traded him and Kazmir, I guess the Mets don't like high strikeout pitchers with tremendous talent. The sky is the limit for this kid.

ANIBAL SANCHEZ - 22 years old. Yet another one who's minor league record (never above AA) is great, 328 innings/396 K's/103 BB's. Works out to 10.9 K's and 2.8 BB's per 9. Another high strikeout pitcher who can make a fantasy impact if he's in the rotation this year. He came to the Marlins in the Beckett trade with the Red Sox. The Marlins may have gutted their team, but at least they got back some real talent that will help them in the future.

RICKY NOLASCO - 23 years old. Acquired from the Cubs in the Pierre trade. His minor league record is great too, 567 innings/567 K's/177 BB's. Works out to 9 K's and 2.8 BB's per 9. Another high strikeout pitcher who could have some fantasy impact this year if he's in the rotation.

JOSE L. GARCIA - 21 years old. Unlikely to make it to the bigs this year, but his minor league record so far (nothing above A ball yet) is tremendous, 210 innings/255 K's/44 BB's. Works out to 10.9 K's and 1.9 BB's per 9. He does that again this year in AA and AAA, he'll be in the majors next year.

CHRIS RESOP - 23 years old. The Marlins signed Joe Borowski, and their AAA closer last year was Travis Bowyer. If Borowski doesn't work out or gets injured, Resop could end up closing games this year. In A and AA ball his record is 103 innings/139 K's/28 BB's, with 37 saves. His K rate is 12.2 and his BB rate is 2.5. He's a much better closer than Bowyer, who walks way too many batters to be an effective major league closer (averaged almost 5 BB's per 9 at every level in minors). One to keep an eye on.

The Marlins may have gutted their team this year and are unlikely to have a winning season this year, but with this awesome collection of young pitching talent, their future looks bright.

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