Mar. 5, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez (27) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
More Young Pitchers, Age 25 and Under
Let's pick up a few stragglers that I should have written about yesterday. Remember, I'm not writing about anyone who is a technical rookie, nor anyone who is 26 or older for the majority of the 2012 season.
As mentioned before, this is intended as a spur to discussion. There is an awful lot of good young pitching in the majors right now. I find myself being optimistic about most of them.
Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: Age 22. You have to love his command and the terrific K/BB ratio. Sabermetrically-speaking his K/IP ratio isn't terrific, but he picks up a lot of ground balls. Some regression to the mean seems possible but I don't see any reason to believe that he won't sustain at least above-average performance.
Zach Britton, LHP, Baltimore Orioles: Age 24. Currently bothered by shoulder problems. If that heals properly I'd expect him to be a solid mid-rotation starter for some time, but that could be a pretty big "if."
Alex Cobb, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays: Age 24. Beginning 2012 in the minors, coming off of August rib surgery. Last year's numbers should be repeatable assuming good health. He's a very solid pitcher and deserves more attention than he's received.
Danny Duffy, LHP, Kansas City Royals: Age 23. He's better than he looked last year and I expect gradual improvement as he puts the finishing touches on his command.
Juan Nicasio, RHP, Colorado Rockies: Age 25. Lucky to be alive, let alone pitching. He's looked good this spring and if he is OK psychologically I think last year's pre-injury numbers are very repeatable.