Sure he's only thrown a total of 25.2 innings of pro baseball and 2 innings in the Cactus League, but already Trevor Bauer is making people believers.
The reigning Golden Spikes Award winner and 3rd overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in last summer's First- Year Player Draft has a big fan in ESPN baseball insider Keith Law, who joined Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Monday.
Law believes unequivocally that despite his limited pro résumé, Bauer should be part of the Diamondbacks' starting rotation...this year.
"They have weak options at the back of the rotation, so giving Bauer the job right away just increases their potential win total," Law said. "It might only be two extra wins over the course of the season, but you can't say on opening day whether or not those two extra wins are going to matter or not."
Those "weak options" Law is referring to are lefty Joe Saunders and right-hander Josh Collmenter, who with all due respect to Law, were pretty good for the N.L. West champions a year ago. The duo combined for a 22-23 record and an combined ERA of 3.56.
"Take a guy like Collmenter and send him to the minors in favor of a guy who's only got two months of pro experience under his belt," Law said. "But it would be the right thing for the franchise. They are clearly better with Bauer in the rotation than Collmenter or Joe Saunders."
Bauer has baseball people intrigued with his unique warm- up activities, his quirky on-field antics and his ridiculous array of 9 different pitches, the most important of which, according to Law, is his curveball.
"If he can consistently (control his curveball) over six or seven innings, this guy could come out and strike out 200 batters this year, and I think the Diamondbacks could really use somebody like that in the rotation," he said.
With Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson and Trevor Cahill seemingly locked into their spots, there could be some real competition for the D-backs' last two rotation spots between Bauer, Collmenter, Saunders and maybe Barry Enright or Wade Miley.
However it shakes out, one thing is certain: this is a problem roughly 20 to 25 other major league teams wish they had to work out this spring.