Dollar a day: Mike Minor

We’re not gonna take it
No, we ain’t gonna take it
We’re not gonna take it
Anymore…

Twisted Sister’s famous tune was actually about Mike Minor; look it up. The context, of course, was the Minor kid’s saying, in a February Atlanta-Journal Constitution article in reference to the Atlanta Braves: “If they dont have room for me here, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t trade me or just do something with me.”

Minor is an ultra-talented lefty with high strikeout potential and excellent peripheral stats. His 3.51 FIP and 3.63 xFIP supplement a 8.76 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate in 123 major league innings. Pitching in the somewhat-friendly confines of Turner Field, with a halfway adept—at worst—defense behind him, and he should see his unlucky balls in play average drop and incidentally, his WHIP.

So, what we have on our hands is a potential five category producer—the potential in the last category is very much in question, but let’s pretend his WHIP can be more than just respectable, which is the expectation—pitching for a contender, with a rotation spot with his name on it.

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Minor took a step forward in the second half, harnessing his fastball—which has given him the most trouble in his brief major league career thus far, with the lowest of his four pitch values—and sending his strikeout-per-nine innings rate in the right direction. His 7.06 K/9 pre-All Star break turned into a 9.34 K/9 mark afterwards, and his walk rate fell more than 1.25 per nine.

These are legitimate steps forward for the young southpaw, and don’t be surprised if he challenges for 175 strikeouts. Just call him Mike … Major.

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Comments

  1. Mark Himmelstein said...

    There’s no reason for Minor to go undrafted in anything but the absolute shallowest leagues.

  2. Ben Pritchett said...

    Greatness, Nick. But I think people are scared about the jumbled amount of the sane kind of young pitcher. I’m with you though. Minor is my favorite followed closely behind by Delgado. Every time I see Teheran pitch I like him less. Who knows if he’ll be able to translate those Pedro-esque skills to the Majors.

    Also, I hope the Braves stick with Minor since we have NO lefties in the rotation otherwise, and I subscribe to the thought you need at least one. But Minor is being a little bit of a Diva this Spring according to reports. I don’t like that.

  3. Nick Fleder said...

    Mark, agreed, though he should be an endgame option in most std. mixed leagues and is not being drafted in every league, per MDC.

    Ben, like you, I don’t love Teheran and have my reservations about Delgado, too. Couple that with my mancrush on Minor, his left-handedness (literally), and his age and polish, and I think he’s a clear 200 innings guy, barring injury. Either that or he’ll be shipped out of town, but who knows how they act with a plethora of young talent—longer leash? shorter leash?. As an aside, Hanson’s annual injury should help assure that he keeps a spot.

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