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Young Pitcher Symposium: Jake Peavy

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Young Pitcher Symposium: Jake Peavy

Comparable Pitchers by Raw Sim Score

  1. Andy Benes (979)
  2. Chuck Estrada (973)
  3. Bill Stafford (973)
  4. Dennis Martinez (973)
  5. Johnny Kucks (972)
  6. Stan Williams (971)
  7. John Smoltz (968)
  8. Don Robinson (967)
  9. Bill Parsons (966)
  10. Silvio Martinez (965)
Other Comparables
Bill Gullickson
Steve Busby
Ramon Martinez
Denny McLain
Alex Fernandez
Rich Dotson
Dave Boswell

In form, Peavy's list isn't much different than Harden and Beckett: some early burnouts, mixed in with some guys who had long and productive careers, even if there was no one Clemens-like.

I must admit that Peavy is one of my personal favorites, for purely selfish reasons: I had him pegged as a sleeper as early as 1999 and was ahead of the curve in recommending him to readers. Guys like that tend to become my favorites. Human nature I guess, and it helps me forget about all the guys I'm wrong about.

I think Peavy is the most polished of the young pitchers we have discussed so far. His league-leading 2.27 ERA last year was a bit flukey, as his "component ERA" was closer to 3.20, still very impressive of course. He could easily add a run to his ERA this year without really pitching any worse than he did in '04, although I imagine the average sportswriter wouldn't look at it that way.

My main worry here is injury risk. His "strained forearm ligament" last May turned out OK, and he certainly showed no ill effects in the second half, being very tough down the stretch. If he can avoid further injury hiccups, he'll be an elite pitcher for the next ten years. Not bad for a 15th round draft pick, eh?

A question for you today: if Jake Peavy, Josh Beckett, and Rich Harden all lost 2-3 MPH off their fastballs permanently, due to specific injury, gradual wear-and-tear, or the alignment of Pluto in the fourth house, who would be most likely to adjust to the loss of velocity and remain an effective pitcher?