Jair Jurrjens Ready To Avoid Sophmore Slump

Shermura AndersonContributor IMarch 25, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 08: Jair Jurrjens #49 of the Atlanta Braves pitches in the first inning during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

With the start of the 2009 MLB season being right around the corner a lot of teams are getting ready to send some of its top prospects back down to the minor leagues, but some have proved to be just what some clubs need to start their seasons off right.

The Atlanta Braves are looking good and a revamped rotation should have them right in the thick of the NL East come September. The Braves come into the season with only two returning starters from '08 that played most of the season.

Returning full-time starters are Jorge Campillo, and Jair Jurrjens, who is looking to build off an impressive rookie season, a rookie season in which he went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA, there's a lot of pressure on him to put up the same numbers or better, and I think he will do better than last year.

Last season he and Campillo were the only two bright spots for a Braves rotation that were doomed by injuries from the start and never got into the flow of things. With the additions of Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez, and the coming up of Tommy Hanson, Jair will have a breakout season if he gets the proper run support from his teammates.

The reason why I think this of Jair is because he doesn't have to be the go-to guy this season, as long as Derek "Mr. Healthy" Lowe stays healthy all season long and put up the numbers he's been putting up, Jair will be the man in the shadows striking out anyone swinging away or not, and that is a very good thing for Braves fans.

My projected stats for JJ are 17-7, 3.10 ERA, and 200 strikeouts, if you feel that I am wrong please let me know.