Halfway Checkpoint on “Pitchers of the Future”

In my first post on pitchers who I thought had the potential to dazzle someday, I discussed the Jays’ Marc Rzepczynski and the Marlins’  Ricky Nolasco.

Unfortunately, Rzep started the year on the DL and has only accumulated 48 2/3 unimpressive innings at AAA Las Vegas. We’ll have to wait on him, but Nolasco has been pitching all season. His K/BB ratio is eerily exactly the same as he finished in both 2009 and 2008: 4.43…identical to the hundredths place. Despite great K/BB ratios, Nolasco has given up far too many homers, 20 already in just 116 innings for a 1.55 average per 9 innings. His comparison, CC Sabathia, has given up just under 0.8 HR/9, about half that of Nolasco, due in part to a much better groundball rate. If Nolasco is going to make the next step, he’s going to have to keep the ball in the ball park.

In the second half, I expect Nolasco to keep up his K/BB rates, and there should be some regression in his HR/FB numbers toward the league average. From here on out I expect at ERA around 3.7 just as I expected from the first half the season (he has posted a 4.66 ERA up to this point).

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