Am I Fo' Real?
Every year a handful or so of players sprint out of the gate to eye-popping starts. Most fall of their pace, and end up about where we expected, while others cement themselves are quality-players. Here I've picked five players with little track record off to hot starts and examined if they deserve a "FO REAL" stamp or not.
Quick note, I tried to leave can't miss guys off. I don't think anyone is surprised Brad Four is dealing.
The former first round saw his stock drop last year and entered the year with plenty of haters, but has since has Carr-ved up the American League (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?). He's allowed only 4 Earned runs in 28 innings, forming a paltry 1.27 ERA. While it's nice to see him succeed, there are plenty of red flags. first of all, righties are hitting .310 off him. Additionally, his K:BB rates is 1.5:1, far from special, and he's averaging 5 2/3 Innings per start . He could keep up the smoke and mirrors act for a bit, but his lack of plus stuff or command is going to hurt him in the longrun.
Verdict: No; back-end type/potentially good 100 inning reliever.
Selected 2 picks after Lemansky, Rezian was touted for him MLB-readyness. However, he looked far from it in his first two seasons; getting hammered to 5+ ERAs both years. This year though, Rezian looks like a different animal, currently sitting 3rd in the NL in ERA. He seems to have figured out a way to keep limit the longball, as he's allowed only one in 32 innings this year after giving up 30+ the last two years in not even 180 innings. He's sustained his solid walk and K rates as well, boding well for his future. Though later than perhaps thought on draft day, Rezian has finally turned a corner, and looks to be a rock solid above-average pitcher.
Verdict: FO REAL; nice #2/#3 type on a contender.
In 2033, Oakland made a gamble four teams ahead of them weren't willing to do, and drafted Curtis Lemansky #5 overall. He was no doubt the highest ceiling player in the draft, but his age and relatively rawness was scary. Not even three seasons later, that gamble is paying off in a big way. Lemansky has came on faster than most could've imagined, and is now ransacking the American League to the tune of .359/.411/.641 with potential for more development. His line will inevitably drop, but Lemansky should solidify himself as a perennial source of offense from leftfield. Look for him to consistently hit around .300 and be a perennial contender for the SLG and ISO titles while swiping 15-20 bages
Verdict: FO REAL; potential middle-of-the-order hitter on a championship level team.
Once a can't miss prospect, for the Minnesota Twins, expectations have since been recalibrated as his development stalled. A series of poor performance in the majors has gave him the dreaded "Qraduple-A Player" label, but he's came on in a big way this year, currently sitting 3rd in SLG, 5th in OPS, 5 in VORP, 4th in ISO, and 1st in total bases in the NL. However, even though it would make a great story, and there seems to be some progress, I don't see Jenkins ever being a very good COF option. He'll hit for some power, but he doesn't takes walks and Ks a lot.
Verdict: No, Second division starter or platoon bat.
A personal favorite of mine for a while, I'm happy to see the center fielder getting off to a blazing start. He's 4th in the AL in VORP, 2nd in OPS, and 2nd in SLG, while sporting a .436 OBP. Hamm certainly paid his dues as an unheralded 4th round pick, and now he's looking like he'll have a very nice big league career. Hamm's SLG is going to drop, and the 8 homers in inly 97 ABs is very surprising, but he should continue to put up on-base percentages around .400 with some solid pop. Couple that with fine defense in center that's plus on either corner, and you have a great all-around package.
Verdict: FO REAL; Very good CF, albeit potentially needing a platoon partner
Last edited by Joba_the_Beast; 11-16-2012 at 07:00 PM.
TKO Royals GM 2015 -2040
"Ain't nothin' but a KC thang"
12 - 100 Win Seasons
5 - AL Pennants
3 - World Series Titles
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." - Abraham Lincoln