There are some highly touted prospects pitching this season and below I will breakdown the stats for the top 5 in my opinion:
Tommy Hanson (20 Yrs Old):
4-0 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 5.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9. I think Hanson has the brighest future of this group but his numbers so far this season are smoke and mirrors. Hanson has a very low H% (% of balls hit into play that go for a hit) at 24% while the league average is 30%. Hanson is benefiting from stranding runners on base as 83% of the baserunners are stranded with a league average between 70-75%. As his H% corrects itself more of those runners will come around to score and inflate his ERA. I would expect some bumps in the road short-term and long-term I see him as a fantasy ace.
Brett Anderson (21 Yrs. Old):
5-7 with a 4.86 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 6.6 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Anderson has been over shadowed by fellow prospect Trevor Cahill but Anderson may be the better of the two for the long term. Unlike Hanson, Anderson has not been lucky as he has a 31 H% and only 69% of runners remain stranded. Anderson has been popping up on radar screens as of late becuase he has been striking out more batters in his last 2 outings with 7 vs. DET and 9 vs. Bos. On July 6th Anderson threw a CGSO in Fenway while only surrendering 2 hits. The Boston outing has increased his price but he will be a good speculative K source for the 2nd half of the season.
Rick Porcello (20 Yrs. Old):
8-6 with a 4.14 ERA, 1.46 WHIPm 4.9 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Porcello has been struggling as of late which made the Tigers skip his final start going into the ASB but Porcello could have a solid 2nd half as they will look to get him extra rest to limit his innings. It is hard to expect anything from a 20 yr old pitcher in the majors but his k/9 is dissappointing. As Porcello went flying through the Det system, his K/9 was low and the organization was saying that they were limiting what pitches he could throw and that was the cause of the low K figures. After seeing him for the 1st half of this season I am having a hard time with his Josh Beckett comparison. He is only 20 and he will develop into a great fantasy pitcher but I don't think it will be this season
Rickey Romero (24 Yrs. Old):
7-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. Romero has performed the best of these 5 pitchers and he is my favorite to win the AL ROY. Romero was selected with the #6 pick in the 2005 draft by the Jays. The 2005 draft was loaded with #1 Justin Upton #2 Alex Gordon #4 Ryan Zimmerman #5 Ryan Braun #7 Tulowitzki #10 Maybin #11 Andrew McCutchen #12 Jay Bruce #23 Ellsbury #25 Garza and #28 Colby Rasmus. For 2009, I think Romero has the most fantasy value of this group but I just wish he pitched in a different division.
David Price (23 Yrs. Old)
3-3 with a 4.70 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 9.6 K/9 and 6.3 BB/9. I don't care how good you are or how many hittesr you K, if you walk 6.3 batters per 9 you are going to get crushed. Price performed great in last year's post season and that just added to the hype machine but it looks like Price needs a little more seasoning. I thought Price would be more polished at this point being he attended college for 3 years at Vandy while Porcello, Hanson, and Anderson went to the minors from high school. It is obvious that Price can miss bats and also the strike zone but when he gains command of the stike zone he will be an elite pitcher. If I were building a "real" team I would take Price over Hanson due to Price being left handed but from a fantasy perpective I would take Hanson.
I guess Jonathan Sanchez really wants to stay in the rotation as he threw a 11 K 0 BB no hitter last night against the helpless Padres. Sanchez was recalled from the minors to fill in for Randy Johnson who is on the DL. Even with this outing Sanchez has had a terrible year posting a 3-8 record with a 4.69 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 5.3 BB/9 and 9.0 K/9 in 78.7 innings. There was some hype surrounding the 26 year old Sanchez coming into this year becuase he is young and strikes out a lot of batters but his numbers have never been good and in 2008, which was his first full season, he killed your ERA and WHIP by posting a 5.01 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 158 innings. You can expect the FAAB bidding to get crazy for Sanchez after this performance and I would reccomend you save you $ and your ratios and stay clear from him.
Vald and Hunter could miss a month
Vasquez to miss start
Mets aquire Francoeur and Braves get Church
Jordan Schafer could miss rest of year
James McOwen's hit streak snapped at 45