In this list, I'll be counting down the 11 best young pitchers in baseball today. I did 11 because there were 11 guys I needed to give notice to.
My Apologies to:
Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Broxton, Joel Zumaya and J.A. Happ
Nick Blackburn has been a key component of the Twins' rotation this season. He is 8-7, with an ERA of 3.99, and 60 strikeouts. Blackburn features an upper-80s to lower-90s fastball with good movement and control, an above average change-up, and slow, change of pace breaking ball. With Liriano's struggles, he has really emerged as the ace of this staff. Look for him to be a key part of Twins' rotation for years to come.
This year, Zach Duke has proven that his masterful 2005 rookie season wasn't a fluke. He has pitches well, but with little run support. He is 9-10, with an ERA at 3.4, and 78 strikeouts. He could headline a good Pirates rotation within a few years with all the prospects they were picking up at the deadline this season.
If your not an O's fan, chances are you haven't heard too much about Brad Bergesen. In a few years, he is projected to battle for the ace of the Orioles with Brian Mutusz. He has had a good rookie season with a record of 7-5, an ERA of 3.43, and 65 strikeouts. Bergesen features a mid-90s fastball and a good hook. Watch out for this kid in the future, he is truly something special.
Ricky Romero has easily been one of the most impressive rookies I've seen this season, and is my favorite to win the AL rookie of the year. For the Jays, he is 10-5, with an ERA of 3.7, and 95 strikeouts. Romero has a fastball that runs in the lower to mid-90s, a very good change-up, and a very good curve. Once Halladay is out of the way, Romero will be the ace of the Blue Jays for years to come.
This was a tough decision, deciding on who belonged here, Romero or Hanson. I chose Hanson because of the pure dominance he has displayed, and the ability he has already shown for winning big games. He is 7-2, with an ERA of 3.05, and 55 strikeouts. Hanson features a good mid-90s fastball with good movement, a very good slider, and a straight up filthy curveball. Watch for him and Jair Jurrjens to headline a fantastic Braves team in a few years.
One of the many young, impressive Dodgers' pitchers. This season Kershaw is 8-6, has an ERA of 2.73, and 133 strikeouts. He has a good mid-90s fastball, and a fantastic slow curve in the low 70s. Kershaw and Billingsley will headline a strong Los Angeles rotation in a few years.
This season, Billingsley has emerges as the ace of the Dodgers. He is 11-6, with an ERA of 3.73, and 143 strikeouts. Billingsley has a good fastball that runs in the lower to mid-90s, a very good curve-ball, and a very good cutter. He and Kershaw could be the greatest 1-2 punch in baseball for years to come.
Jair Jurrjens has pitched fantastically this season, but with little run support. He is 9-8, with an ERA of 3.01, and 103 strikeouts. Jurrjens features a fastball that runs from 92-95 MPH with superior movement and control, a great change-up with movement and a decent slider. I have said on my profile that Jurrjens is the most talented young pitcher in the games that's not named Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, and Zack Greinke. I stand by that thought. Now what order will the final three come in?
Zack Grienke has been one of the many surprises of 2009. He is 11-7, with an American League leading 2.43 ERA, and 167 strikeouts. He features a very good mid-90s fastball with good control and movement, and an absolutely filthy slider. Keep watching this kid, He is something special.
King Felix has become the ace of the Mariners over the last few years. He is 12-4 with an ERA of 2.74 and 158 strikeouts. Hernandez throws a good fastball in the mid 90s with very good sink, a decent change-up and a nasty curve-ball.
Easily, in my mind, the best young pitcher in baseball. He has already won a Cy Young Award and is well on his way to a second one. He is 12-3 this year, with a Major League leading 2.19 ERA and a ridiculous 205 strikeouts. He has a good lower to mid-90s fastball that can be pushed up to 97-98 mph, a very good curveball, and the best change-up in baseball.
There you go.
That's my list.
Comment this and tell me if I left anybody out or if you enjoyed this.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated.