Reviewing rookie starters

Last week it was Phil Hughes, and this week it’s Tim
Lincecum. With the highly touted Giants’
pitching prospect set to make his big league debut Sunday night against the
Phillies, fantasy owners everywhere will be watching. But the big question is whether Lincecum will
throw a gem, get shelled, or do something in between. When taking a look at the major league debut
performances of other big name prospects from the last couple of years, the
answer seems to be the latter.   

 

  PITCHERS IN THEIR FIRST CAREER MAJOR LEAGUE
START

  Hamels 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K  92 pitches ND

Billingsley 5 1/3 IP,
6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K  98 pitches ND

Jered Weaver 7 IP, 3
H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K  97 pitches W

King Felix 5 IP, 3 H,
1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K   81 pitches L

Cain 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER,
4 BB, 2 K  103 pitches L

Liriano 5 IP, 2 H, 2
ER, 1 BB, 6 K  69 pitches ND

Hughes 4 1/3 IP, 7 H,
4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K  92 pitches L

Pelfrey 5 IP, 5 H, 2
ER, 4 BB, 3 K  104 pitches W

Verlander (2005) 5
1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K 95
pitches L 

Olsen 6 2/3 IP, 4 H,
1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K  89 pitches W

Josh Johnson (2005) 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K 100 pitches ND

Anibal Sanchez 5 2/3
IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K 96
pitches W

 

The common thread here (with the exception of Jered Weaver
and Olsen) is that these guys do not tend to go deep into the game, thanks in
large part to fairly high pitches/inning numbers. Only Weaver and Olsen finished the sixth
inning. Another thing to be concerned
about from a fantasy perspective is the frequent habit of young starters to
take a walk on the wild side. The BB
results here are mixed, with Hamels somehow managing to give up no runs despite
issuing five free passes. So what’s the
lesson learned here? Owning Tim Lincecum
may be fun, but start him at your own risk. Don’t expect brilliance right away.

 

– Zach Steinhorn, MLB.com 

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