John's Favorites: Favorite Young Righthanded Starter
I still think of Roy Oswalt as a "young" pitcher. 28 isn't exactly old, of course. For purposes of this exercise, I will define "young" as less than 30 years old.
I've been a big fan of Oswalt since he was in the minors. He wasn't considered a super-hot prospect in the early days, because he was short for a righthander. But he was a bright light as a prospect sabermetrically, and the scouts fell in love with him soon enough. He now has two 20-win seasons under his belt.
One thing to consider: his strikeout rate dropped this year. On the other hand, his control improved. He now has a career record of 83-39 in 155 games, 145 starts. If he avoids injury and keeps his stuff intact, he has Hall of Fame possibilities. Now, that same thing could be said for a lot of 28-year-old pitchers who then fade quickly once they get past 30, so I don't want to make too much of it. "Avoiding injury" and the "keeping your stuff intact" are easy things to write and hard things to do.