Monday, January 7, 2008

Prospect Corner: Phil Hughes

Here is an interesting in-depth discussion of Phil Hughes from

From the post:
Generally I don’t like to base prospect evaluations off of month-by-month stat analysis, but I think it is worthwhile to note that Hughes spent his summer bouncing between AA ball, AAA ball and the major league team after his early season leg injury, and it seems that he took a while to find his stride. His August numbers could be due to all that bouncing around.

Looking at his September numbers, I think we can begin to see what kind of potential Hughes really has. Though his strikeout rate dropped compared to August, he showed better control with only 10 walks and managed a 2.73 ERA. Of course, every pitcher is capable of having a good month every now and then, so I don’t expect Hughes to keep his ERA under 3.00 all the time. However, I think Hughes could be a good candidate for a sub-4.00 and even sub-3.50 ERA within the next year.

It is very likely that Hughes will be able to maintain a major league GB% close to 50%, and I think he could keep a K/9 rate of 7 or higher with a low BB/9 rate of less than 3.

If [minor league comparable] pitchers are any indication as to what we can expect from Hughes, I’d say that over the next 2 seasons Hughes will probably keep an ERA in the 3.75 to 4.00 range and then by the age of 24 or 25 we’ll begin to see him consistently post an ERA under 3.50 or better. As long as he stays with the Yankees and stays off the DL, I think he could win 15 games a year, and possibly 20 by the age of 25. If I was a Yankees fan, I’d be pretty excited about that.
Most of his predictions are reasonable, though any trade to Minnesota would deem it moot.

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