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Colorado Rockies: Why Drew Pomeranz Could Be Colorado's Ace Next Season

Andrew BurtonCorrespondent IIISeptember 10, 2012

Colorado Rockies: Why Drew Pomeranz Could Be Colorado's Ace Next Season

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    Colorado Rockies' starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz is the type of pitcher all clubs want to head their starting rotation—he's got many qualities that could make him the ace in Colorado next season.

    He was the first left-hander selected in the 2010 MLB draft and fifth-overall pick—with good reason. 

    At 6'5" and 230 pounds, Drew has great size that can throw off opposing batters. The lefty has an impressive fastball that sits anywhere between the 91 and 95 MPH range, and to complement that pitch, he can throw a mean knuckle-curve.

    These are just a few reasons as to why Drew Pomeranz could be Colorado's No.1 starter in their 2013 rotation. 

He's Still Learning

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    Drew Pomeranz is just 23 years old; with age comes wisdom, and Drew's still learning the ropes. Next year, however, he'll have what it takes to claim the No. 1 spot in the Rockies rotation.

    He has an arsenal of pitches available to his disposal, and this should place him ahead of Tyler Chatwood and Jeff Francis, but in order for him to surpass his current 1-8 record, Pomeranz is going to need to get some run support.

    Don't get me wrong, Pomeranz still makes some mistakes, but even veteran left-handed aces like CC Sabathia and Clayton Kershaw make mistakes. 

    It takes time to become a brand name, and next year will be the year that Pomeranz becomes a brand. 

    An article in The Denver Post by Patrick Saunders relayed an interview of Rockies' manager Jim Tracy and how he sees Drew Pomeranz this season. 

    "He's a young kid that is learning all about the nuances of pitching at the major-league level," Tracy said. "Distinguishing between soreness and pain, those are the things you go through when you are a young pitcher."

    The lefty hasn't even hit his prime yet!

    It's evident that Colorado's long-term plans involve Pomeranz, otherwise they wouldn't have given up Ubaldo Jimenez for him.

Hasn't Hit His Prime

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    Colorado wouldn't have traded away their ace—Ubaldo Jimenez—last season if they didn't believe in Drew Pomeranz' stuff. 

    Rockies manager Jim Tracy described the starting pitcher as "something special" and he couldn't wait to watch Pomeranz develop and "evolve" (h/t Thomas Harding/ MLB.com). 

    "I was very impressed with what I saw," manager Jim Tracy said, "but what can he become? He has a chance to become pretty special. It's going to be pretty interesting to watch it evolve."

    He's got a ton of support behind him, and with that kind of trust, it's hard to believe that Pomeranz will not try to establish himself as an ace to prove that what Tracy sees in him isn't a mirage.

    It's going to be exciting to watch this young pitcher enter his prime, and when he does, he'll be feared among many teams in the National League. 

Better Than His Numbers Show

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    Drew Pomeranz's numbers can be deceptive; he has a 1-8 record this season, but his one win was very impressive.

    The Rockies called up No. 13 to start in a game against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on July 6th—just his second start after being called up from the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. 

    This shows the trust that the Colorado franchise has in such a young kid. 

    He didn't disappoint that day.

    Pomeranz threw 6.1 scoreless innings allowing just one hit and fanning six. 

    The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders had this to say about Pomeranz' start.

    "Friday night, his fastball came at Nationals hitters like a freight train, topping out at 95 mph. Pomeranz owns a wicked curve, but his fastball was more than enough to handcuff the Nationals. Of the 81 pitches he threw, 74 were fastballs."

    At 23, the starting pitcher is showcasing his talents and making a point that he's coming for that No. 1 spot, and it starts with his arsenal.

Not Just One, but Two Go-to Pitches

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    Drew's fastball is great—clocking anywhere between 89-95 MPH consistently.

    Pomeranz can overpower batters with this pitch alone, and that makes it effective.

    If need be, he can throw his 77 MPH curve. 

    In yesterday's start against the Phillies, Pomeranz went four innings giving up one earned run and striking out three. Although the Rockies lost, it was a no decision for Pomeranz, which is a shame considering the team spoiled another great outing.

    The starting pitcher was on point and looked really good, especially his fastball.

    The four-seam fastball gives trouble to opposing batters. 

    It's been such a good pitch for Pomeranz that batters have broken bats as a result of the fastball.

    In the same Patrick Saunders article on the previous slide, the author writes that on the July 1st game against the Padres, 10 bats were cracked because of Pomeranz' fastball pitch.

    The kid's got a load of potential, and that's evident. 

He's Their Best Option

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    The only one that really could prevent Drew from becoming the ace of the future Rockies' franchise is Tyler Chatwood—who is also a youngster filled with potential, but has failed thus far to breakout. However, Pomeranz might have him beat by having a bit of a higher ceiling and being a year closer to prime time. 

    Pomeranz has 18 starts under his belt this season, while Chatwood has less than half that, but he's appeared in 15 total games this season. Surprisingly, Chatwood has the higher ERA at 5.32; Pomeranz holds a 4.80 ERA. 

    Also, opponents are batting .290 when Chatwood is on the mound for the Rockies, while they struggle a bit more against Pomeranz; batters are hitting .265 against him.

    The stat that jumps out the most is walks and strikeouts. 

    Drew Pomeranz has walked 34 batters, however, he's also struck out 66 of those opponents. Tyler Chatwood on the other hand has walked 27 batters and struck out 28. 

    As a starter, your goal is to keep the opposing team off the bases. 

    Chatwood can't get that job done—Pomeranz can!

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