Fantasy Football

Braves Brandon Beachy Makes Quick Work of Marlins, National League


Brandon Beachy (see credits below)

Since the early 1990’s the Atlanta Braves have prided themselves on superior starting pitching. For decades the Braves were led by pitching coach and alchemist Leo Mazzone, but now in 2011 Atlanta has welcomed in a new era. With the front office reins handed off to incumbent General Manager Frank Wren in 2007, the Braves have loaded up with promising young arms to keep their pitching stables loaded for years to come. Heading the list of Atlanta’s sub-25 year old arms is Brandon Beachy, 24, a dark horse amidst a cache of high-ceiling arms like Julio Teheran (rated #5 prospect by Baseball America entering 2011), Mike Minor (# 37 according to BA), and Arodys Vizcaino ( # 93). 

Here we put Beachy under the microscope to unearth how the hard throwing, undrafted right-hander has made such a resounding impact for one of baseball’s top clubs.

Debuting in September of last season, Beachy made a noteworthy first impression by posting a 3.00 ERA over three starts. His effectiveness in 2010 was reason enough for the Braves to give a long look in Spring Training before ultimately handing Beachy a starting role with the club on the opening day roster.

After tossing a 7 inning, 2 hit, 6 strikeout performance against Florida last week, Beachy left the game feeling confident going forward that he could play a large part in Atlanta’s success looking forward towards October. “It’s the same story I’ve had most of this year,” Beachy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following last week’s start, “I go out and try to pitch and be perfect and [not] fall behind. I think I can make that perfect pitch every time.”

Beachy will be counted on to maintain his impressive 1.18 WHIP and should Atlanta continue their winning ways, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the young righty slotted behind Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hansen, Tim Hudson and compete against veteran Derek Lowe for the number four spot this October.

Brandon Beachy isn’t alone as an underdog pitcher who has come on strong through the summer.

St. Louis’ veteran starter and trade-deadline-darling of 2010, Jake Westbrook has elevated his performance to the tune of a 1.93 ERA over his past two starts. Westbrook won’t tally up strikeouts like his pitching mates Chris Carpenter and Edwin Jackson, but his pinpoint control has kept runners off base and allowed his defense to make plays behind him. Yielding just three walks in his previous four starts, Westbrook will be leaned upon heavily should the Cardinals find themselves playing October baseball.

A reliever throughout the entire season, Marlins’ right hander Clay Hensley has been bumped up to the starting rotation where he hasn’t disappointed newly appointed manager Jack McKeon. Hensley has a 2.65 ERA in July as a starter while boasting a WHIP of a microscopic 0.94. 2006 was the last time Hensley worked as a starter as a San Diego Padre where he posted a respectable 11-12 record over 29 starts with a 3.71 ERA. With the Marlins likely conceding the remainder of 2011, Hensley is a safe bet to have an opportunity to prove himself as a starter. Again. 

(July 28, 2011 – Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America)

Written by Conor Gereg exclusively for

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Tags: The Fantasy Fix, Fantasy Baseball Daily News, 2011 Fantasy Baseball Tips, 2011 Fantasy Baseball Advice, Injury Updates, Conor Gereg, Brandon Beachy, Atlanta Braves
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