Three top pitching prospects are about to take over the 2013 season and your fantasy roster. Act now and you could have a trident of rookie pitching helping to carry you to the playoffs. One of them has already made his Major League debut this season, another's team has stated he'll be doing so soon and for the third it's only a matter of time before he's called up to the show. Here's a sneak peek at some future aces...
On the mound: Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles
Nobody is more outwardly superstitious than Kevin Gausman. He makes Trevor Bauer look normal. One sock, drink of water, another sock, drink of water and during games at LSU he was known to munch on powdered doughnuts in the dugout. Gausman made his debut last week and although it was a bit shaky (5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 5 K's) he still managed to keep very good control of his pitches, only walking two batters. Check out his numbers from this and last year in the minors and your head might explode. So far this year he had only issued five walks in 46.1 innings, falling one strikeout short of an even 10 K:BB ratio, good enough for second in the majors behind Adam Wainwright, well ahead of Bartolo Colon's 7.5. Though his advancement to the big club may not produce a repeat performance, you can expect Gausman to keep his WHIP low and rack up the K's. Sounds like somebody is asking for a locker filled to the brim with doughnuts.
On the way: Zach Wheeler, New York Mets
Word has been given by the Mets organization that Wheeler is going to make a few more starts at AAA-Las Vegas before being called up, placing his debut somewhere between June 6-11. He's been wild yet effective in the minors, sometimes getting himself in trouble (6 BB, 4 ER on 4/19) and sometimes mowing down the opponents (8 K's, 1 BB, 0 ER on 5/5) but is consistently posting an even K:IP rate. Last year he tossed a complete-game shutout at both AA and AAA, again with a nearly even K:IP ratio. If he can come remotely close to that mark as a rookie, he'll be worth making a spot for on your team.
On the radar: Kyle Gibson, Minnesota Twins
The Twins have had a lot of problems at the back end of their rotation this year and Gardenhire has already called up rookies Pedro Hernandez, Samuel Deduno and PJ Walters. None of them have been worth picking up for fantasy owners but we may not be seeing Gibson yet because of his late-2011 Tommy John surgery. The Twins want to make sure he's completely ready before being called up, even though he was able to pitch 28.1 innings last season. He's been showing signs of excellence already in 2013. Two of his last three starts were CGSO's where struck out eight and walked two in each game. Though those few innings in 2012 were a bit tasking, he's made a case to be the next call up in the Twins organization. I would be surprised if he's called up before Wheeler and shocked if we make it to June 15 and he's still in the minors.
You can check out more stats on these guys at their MiLB.com pages (click their names) or flip on the O's/Nats game this Tuesday the 28th to watch Gausman get his first Beltway Series start.
I love you all...except Hawk Harrelson.