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State of the System: Starting Pitching - Grade A

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I think I'm more bullish on the arms than many here. I agree that an A is steep, but an A-/B+ fits well, IMO. I like the depth, but acknowledge the depth at the top isn't great (e.g., Grayson, Hall and who else?). Still, I think we can fill #3-5 easily with good bullpen depth behind them. 

In a year, if Grayson or Hall looks truly special, that could bump things up. Baumann's "injury" also dampens my enthusiasm a bit, as he's one of those upside arms that theoretically could be the one to hit it big if he's healthy.

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On 9/30/2020 at 1:01 PM, jamalshw said:

I like the depth here and feel like there is more depth in the system at SP than we've seen since I've been following the minors. The major league rotation in 2021 will still leave something to be desired. Kremer and Akin still need to prove themselves after a nice showing (save that one start) in a SSS in 2020. Means looks like a dependable mid-rotation arm if not a bit more. I don't have high hopes for Lopez--and am ready to move on from Cobb--but they're placeholders at the moment.

As noted, the depth with Lowther, Baumann, Zimmermann, Wells, Bradish, Smith, etc. is great. I feel confident that with them (and Means, Akin, Kremer) we have a solid 3-5, plus some depth capable of stepping in for 2022 and beyond. One of those players (maybe Kremer or Means) might be able to step in as the #2, but we are missing a TOR arm. Hall and Rodriguez are great prospects and I'm hopeful they can be the #1 and #2 long-term, but it's possible they don't develop to that point. We may see them take the Zack Britton route. Or the Dylan Bundy route. Or the Hunter Harvey route. Or maybe they do become a top guy for a few years like Arrieta after flaming out here. I know this is a different regime with better analytics and (hopefully) better development, but it's not a guarantee that they'll pan out. 

We have depth to protect us for most of the rotation, but the options at the top are still limited and I'd like to have a couple more TOR options to feel good enough for an A grade. I'm going B.

I agree that an A is too high for this group of MLB/MILB starters.  B is a better grade.  I would think an A group would have a couple young, budding TOR starters, or at least one potential TOR starter and a couple of top pitching prospects (I just can't count Hall as one of the best pitching prospects in the game until he shows more control and consistency).  The O's could also acquire a top starter in the international draft and by trade.  I was really surprised by the analysis of the playoff teams, that most were build more by trade than by homegrown players (although I'm sure some of the homegrown players were used in trades).

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I still say A.  I do see Hall and Rodriguez as potential TOR guys.  Remember, Hall and Rodriguez were both 3 years younger than the average age at Frederick and Delmarva.  Combine that with what I believe the O's new pitching philosophy and development is now, and I believe we have something special in these two.  Its just going take another 4 or 5 years for them to truly "arrive."  The depth is nuts.  I am really interested to see which starters are transitioned into relievers and how effective they will be in those roles.  Someone said earlier that pitching should have been an overall grade encompassing relief and starters.  In hindsight, I agree.

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8 hours ago, ScGO's said:

I still say A.  I do see Hall and Rodriguez as potential TOR guys.  Remember, Hall and Rodriguez were both 3 years younger than the average age at Frederick and Delmarva.  Combine that with what I believe the O's new pitching philosophy and development is now, and I believe we have something special in these two.  Its just going take another 4 or 5 years for them to truly "arrive."  

I believe they each have TOR potential.   Having that as a ceiling, and actually reaching it, are two different things.    Yes we have a appear to have a good development system, but there are a million things that can keep a pitcher from reaching his potential, from injuries to lack of plus command to lack of superior mental makeup.   Being a TOR pitcher has so many elements that have to fall into place just right.    

Saying that, I don’t think it will take us 4-5 years to know.    If this season had been played, I would have expected Hall to reach the majors by 2022 at latest, Rodriguez 2023.    Maybe sooner than that, and their 2020 experience facing good, relatively experienced hitters may not have hindered their timetable; we’ll have to see.  And I can’t think of many TOR pitchers who took several years to become good starters once they reached the majors.   Most of them show it quickly.   
 

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

 And I can’t think of many TOR pitchers who took several years to become good starters once they reached the majors.   Most of them show it quickly.   
 

Jake Arrieta, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Sandy Koufax, Curt Schilling

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Just now, weams said:

Jake Arrieta, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Sandy Koufax, Curt Schilling

Oh Randy Johnson and Nolan Ryan can go in there too. 

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50 minutes ago, weams said:

Jake Arrieta, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Sandy Koufax, Curt Schilling

Fair enough.   I still think the majority show up pretty quickly.   

By the way, the “multi quote” function where you check the box in the LH corner of the posts you want to quote hasn’t been working on my phone the last week or so.   
 

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53 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Fair enough.   I still think the majority show up pretty quickly.   

By the way, the “multi quote” function where you check the box in the LH corner of the posts you want to quote hasn’t been working on my phone the last week or so.   
 

Please let Tony know. That tech stuff is not under my control. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

Fair enough.   I still think the majority show up pretty quickly.  

Top 25 pitchers of the live ball era (1920-present) in rWAR, and the age I eyeballed them as being established as a top starter:

1. Clemens, 23
2. Grove, 26
3. Seaver, 22
4. Maddux, 22
5. R. Johnson, 29ish
6. Niekro, 28
7. Blyleven, 22
8. Perry, 25, maybe 27
9. Spahn, 26 (WWII delays)
10. Pedro, 25
11. Carlton, 24
12. Ryan, 25
13. Roberts, 23
14. Mussina, 22
15. Jenkins, 24
16. Gibson, 25 or 26
17. Schilling, 25 but wasn't great again until 29
18. Glavine, 25
19. Verlander, 23
20. Hubbell, 25
21. Sutton, 26 or 27
22. K. Brown, probably 27
23. Reuschel, 23 or 24
24. Palmer 23 or 24, after his injury.  The year he was beating the Dodgers at 20 his ERA+ was 98.
25. Greinke, 25

Obviously there are different levels of "top starter" for each guy.  Sutton never got to Seaver's highest level, for example.  But it looks like a slim majority of obvious HOF-type starters were established in the majors as high-level performers before they turned 25, and almost all by 27.

But then there's always Dazzy Vance who had a MLB career mark of 0-4 on his 30th birthday, and was the best pitcher in the NL from about age 31-41.

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3 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

14. Mussina, 22

He really was just Athena sprung from the head of Zeus.  I doubt it is in his character but would love for him to take the baton from Palmer for a couple decades whenever that time comes...I wouldn't expect him to be Bordick-ian.   Jim has bled the colors through so many down years I truly hope it holds together for him to be with us through the peak Rutschman teams.

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