Like the Gameday threads, I have decided to switch from tables to links to bring you all the statistical goodies y'all have come to know and love.
Without wasting any more of your precious time, I present to you -
Pitchers impressing me -
- Obviously, Masahiro Tanaka has to be the first name discussed. The Yankees ace has shown the transition from Nippon to MLB was easier than making a Pop Tart. In 78.2 innings so far this year, Tanaka has struck out 88 (10.1 K/9) to just 12 walks (1.4 BB/9) for an absurd 7.33 K/BB ratio and equally head-spinning 2.06 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Major League Baseball should not be that easy your first crack at it. Major League hitters are only batting .215 against him and he's sporting a 2.52 FIP with an 8-1 record, 1.7 ground outs to fly outs and he has already been good for 2.4 fWAR.
- Recently promoted right hander Eddie Butler of the Rockies has also been excellent in his second full season. Although the strike outs have not made an appearance yet, he's still been able to limit the hits and walks, keeping his team in the game. For the year he's tossed 68.2 innings in AA Tulsa with a 2.49 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 1.18 WHIP. Only 40 batters have gone back to the pine with a K (5.2 K/9), 19 have worked walks (2.5 BB/9), and the opposition is only hitting him at a .237 clip. He also doesn't have any pronounced platoon splits or home/road splits. The Rockies are planning to have Butler make his MLB debut this weekend.
- Hunter Harvey came into the year with a fair amount of questions about his game, as does any prep pitcher about to begin his first full season in the minors. He's answered quite a bit of them emphatically, posting a 1.68 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through 53.2 innings so far for the Orioles Low A Delmarva. He's striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings (64 total for the year), with 20 walks (3.4 BB/9) and a 3.41 FIP. The opposition is tagging him to a .168 batting average and he has a 3-3 record.
- Daniel Norris returned to the Florida State League this year after getting a one start cup of coffee at the end of 2013. He came back with a plan too - dominate. Norris has done so through his first 56.1 innings, only allowing seven earned runs which is good for an amazing 1.12 ERA. Batters are hitting .213 against him while he is striking out 10.5 per nine innings and walking just 2.2 batters per nine. Advanced pitching independent metrics rate him well with a 1.55 FIP, and he's also sporting a 1.05 WHIP.
- Twins right hander Jose Berrios oozed potential when the Twinkies picked him out of Puerto Rico in the first round of the 2012 draft. He dominated his first season out and is back at it again. Through 56.1 frames, he's put up 10.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, a 2.24 ERA, 2.33 FIP, and 1.17 WHIP. Opponent are only hitting .227 against him and he's got a 5-2 record so far.
- The biggest break out of the year on the mound has been from Ben Lively out in the Cal League for Bakersfield, the Reds' A+ affiliate. After a blistering first 10 starts where he was running out a 1.03 ERA and .170 opponents batting average, he's came back down to earth recently. His ERA now sits at 1.95 with a stellar 0.85 WHIP. He's figured out the secret to succeeding in the offensively charged Cal League is to limit base runners (1.6 BB/9, .190 BAA) and strike as many people out as possible (10.5 K/9). Lively leads the minors with nine wins and sports a 2.81 FIP.
- Luke Jackson has been leading the Rangers AA Frisco staff with a 2.80 ERA through 61 innings, and also leads the Texas League with six wins (Edit - Jackson now has seven wins). He's also been adept at limiting base runners with a 0.95 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9 and a .191 opponents average. Jackson has struck out a batter per inning so far with a 2.76 ERA and a save from his only relief appearance.