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2014 Fantasy Baseball: Still In On Drew Hutchsion

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Source: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images North America

He’s got a 6.23 ERA this season and had a 4.60 ERA in his 11 starts in 2012, but I am still high on Drew Hutchison. Call me crazy, but I like the kid’s velocity after returning from Tommy John surgery (92.4 in 2014 against 91.4 in 2012) and strikeout potential.

Hutchison has had one solid start and one really bad start. He has had command problems, but with more experience his track record points to that improving. Pre-Tommy John surgery, Hutchison was a highly thought of prospect on a team with one of the better minor league systems in the game. Missing a season and a half has obviously hurt his stock, but he looks to be healthy and ready to produce a quality major league season.[am4show have=’p3;p4;p7;p11;’ guest_error=’Front Office’ user_error=’Front Office’ ]

Nothing should be taken too literal from just two starts, that’s the important thing to consider here. There is a good chance that many in your league will see his numbers and either dump him, try and move him, or pass by him on waivers. That’s your opportunity to buy low on Hutchison and reap the benefits of a potential quality year.

Mike Podhorzer of FanGraphs.com expects Hutchison to be mix league worthy all year and noted that his spring K% in 9.2 innings of 44% made him at least somewhat of a breakout candidate. For what it’s worth, spring numbers are not worth digging deep into, but with a player who has been out for so long and had limited major league before then, any positive sign is a sign worth noticing.

So far the strikeouts have piled up, as he has 10 in 8.2 innings. The results are not there, and as noted that has been due to command problems as he has walked six batters. In the past, Hutchison was a highly regarded command specialist. At no point in his professional career did he have a walk rate above 7.1% until he reached the majors back in 2012. The key for Hutchison is continue to maintain velocity while finding his command. Given his past, I am confident that he can do that.

Hutchison is a bit of a gamble, but of the pitchers scattered along the wavier wire, he is the one with the most upside and a high enough floor that he should be owned in most leagues. It makes sense to pass on him in some situations, but if you are pitching weak and looking to buy low on a guy with a quality history outside of his Tommy John surgery, Hutchison is that guy.

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