Seattle Mariner SP Michael Pineda: 2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

Andrew SwansonContributor IIMarch 9, 2011

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Michael Pineda #36 of the Seattle Mariners poses for a portrait at the Peoria Sports Complex on February 20, 2011 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fantasy Baseball fans and writers are constantly searching for the next big thing. A prospect who possesses a mixture of both freakishly good, god-given talent, and the mental fortitude to excel in the Major Leagues.  

One possible candidate for this year’s next big thing is Michael Pineda, a 22-year-old pitcher for the Seattle Mariners.  A native of the Dominican Republic, Pineda was heavily scouted and signed with the club when he was only 16 years old.  

Pineda has an excellent cache of pitches, including a knee buckling breaking ball and a fastball that has been clocked as high as 100 mph. Perhaps the most surprising asset of Pineda is his maturity at such a young age. As Jamie Navarro, his former minor league pitching coach states, “From day one, I saw something in that kid that not too many pitchers have. With Michael, it’s just a matter of time. He’s getting more comfortable, getting more mature.” 

In 25 minor league appearances in 2010, Pineda went 11-4 with a 3.36 ERA and 154 strikeouts. In addition, he had an impressive strikeout of 11.1 per nine innings while with AAA Tacoma. 

Although Pineda is currently listed as the number five starter for the Mariners, he is in a heated battle with veterans Nate Robertson and David Pauley.  It is possible that he may start the season in the minors, however we believe that he spend the majority of the 2011 with the Mariners.


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