2013 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

30 Prospects in 30 Days: Trevor Bauer – SP – Cleveland Indians

Image Courtesy of: marc_tacoma
Image Courtesy of: marc_tacoma

Trevor Bauer is a highly touted prospect recently acquired by the Cleveland Indians from the Arizona Diamondbacks.   He has an incredibly high ceiling in terms of potential in that his stuff, once polished, can be that good.  However, Bauer is very young, only 22 years old, and with that age comes a stubborn immature attitude, according to former teammates and coaches.  Most recently Miguel Montero claimed Bauer never listened and was difficult to work with.  Granted, new manager Terry Francona is a players coach, but I cannot help but compare Bauer to a young AJ Burnett, who was also a rocket armed hot shot that came up at the age of 22.  He had electric stuff, walked the ballpark, and could implode at any given pitch, caring more about striking out every batter than actually pitching with craft.

Bauer is expected to be the fifth starter in the Indians rotation, but as recently as two weeks ago Francona said that he isn’t guaranteeing anybody roster spots and will let spring training decide who gets a locker at Progressive Field to start the season.  I like Bauer’s stuff, and I believe one day it will form him into an impressive top of the rotation pitcher. But that is not the case right now.  In a small sample of him pitching in the majors in 2012, Bauer had a rough time finding the strike-zone, among other things.  Let’s take a look at his introduction to the show:

IP

ERA

WHIP

SO

BB/9

16

6.06

1.653

17

7.2

 

Yes this is a small sample, but Bauer has shown from A-ball, through other stops in the minors, to his brief appearance in the Majors, that he has serious control problems.  Take that control problem and move it from arguably the worst hitting division in baseball (NL West) and move it to the AL Central where the Indians have to face Fielder, Cabrera, and Victor Martinez all season, among others, and it spells trouble.  You also have to add the fact that he now has to face a DH more often, so he’s pitching to an Adam Dunn instead of a Ted Lilly every time through the order.  Think he’s going to get closer to the strike-zone then? I don’t.

Look at the four worst walks per nine innings last year in the majors: Ricky Romero – 5.22, Edinson Volquez – 5.17, Ubaldo Jimenez – 4.84, Tim Lincecum – 4.35.  All four of these pitchers wound up having bad seasons, and these walk ratios contributed to that significantly.

In closing, I do think Trevor Bauer will be a good major league pitcher, but not in 2013.  If you are lucky, he will win you 8-9 games with a chance to destroy your week’s ERA/WHIP with one bad start.  I would steer clear of drafting Bauer for this year’s draft, and maybe give him a glance in 2014. There are plenty of late round pitchers you can snag that will give you more value this year (Alex Cobb, Wandy Rodriguez). Let Bauer be someone else’s draft mistake.

 

–      Twitter – @JohnnyCrashMLB

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