The next starting pitcher in my projected rotation is a guy who has pitched at the MLB level for three years and is only entering his 25 year old season. In September of 2012 he displayed reasons not to question why the Atlanta Braves selected him 7th in the 2009 draft. With only given up three earned runs during the last month of the season, the Braves hope that success will carry over to 2013.
The opening day starting rotation will look differently then last seasons; Tommy Hanson has been traded, Jair Jurrjens was let go, Brandon Beachy is recovering from surgery, Randall Delgado was traded last week and Tim Hudson, last spring training, was recovering from back surgery. Mike Minor, believe it or not, is the only returning pitcher to the Braves opening day starting rotation.
Going back to 2006, when Minor was in high school, he had 188 strikeouts in only 86 innings while having a .08 ERA. Then, in college at Vanderbilt he thrived as the team’s ace and strikeout king. In Minor’s short stint in the minors (2009-2011) he developed into a pro strike out pitcher earning an average of 10 K/9 during that period.
In 2012, Minor went 11-10 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.154 WHIP. He had 145 strikeouts in 179 innings. He had the lowest run support per game, except for Beachy, at 4.4 runs. Mike did see the ball fly over the fence on occasion as he had a 1.3 HR/9 ratio giving up 26 for the year.
Minor is a strikeout pitcher who will give up the long ball. With the lineup the Braves have assembled for 2013, run support shouldn’t be a problem. Minor should continue to develop into a solid middle rotation pitcher who will help the Braves for years to come.