Picking players in the first round is always a hot topic. And while your first round selections WILL NOT make your team, it is those players who are on the cusp of being first rounders that could significantly impact your team’s performance.
J.A. Happ is one of those players.
Last year Happ enjoyed a very promising season going 12-4 for "Dem Phightin Phils" while posting a 2.93 ERA.
But what is noteworthy is the fact that Happ has already pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings this year in Spring Training, and if this keeps up, one has to imagine his value will sky rocket.
Happ is already surrounded by some of the best that MLB has to offer in just about every position, not to mention the Phillies penchant for winning games that they look like they aren’t; a situation that bodes well for any pitcher.
But for Happ to ever be considered an elite arm, worthy of first round status, he will need another year behind him.
In addition to the experience there is a small matter of his average career 6.7 K/9 rate that really need to elevate if he is to be seen as one of the best in fantasy.
Still, Happ is a guy you could target early and reap the benefits later on.
I think the kid will lower that ERA to about 2.53; he will increase his K/9 rate to about 7.5; and provide 4 complete games with at the very least 4 shutouts.
Will Happ be a first round consideration? No.
Does he have the tools to perform as a first rounder in 2010? Absolutely.
For more insight on other first rounders that could be, check out my piece on Nelson Cruz.