Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pitcher to Look Out for: Luke Hochevar

A few years back, I watched a kid, 14 years old tops, throw out the first pitch in a Twins - Royals game.  And then he threw the next 95 pitches, and the Twins barely touched him.  A couple of years later, that pitcher, still 14 years old, won the Cy Young trophy.  His name was Zack Greinke. A few years before that, I'm sure Twins fans were cursing Travis Hafner way before any other team's fans were.  Because he was killing us.  And then he hit 34 homeruns, and everyone knew his name, and then he got hurt and the Indians imploded, but that doesn't take away from the fact that I feel like Twins fans know about great players laboring in the Central before a lot of folks do.  CC is another example--how did he only become a Yankee last year?  That guy fucked us up for years!  

I get that kind of feeling from Luke Hochevar.  His problem is that he's dealing with a much more talented Twins team, and maybe the worst Royals bullpen ever.  He's guaranteed ND's and losses when he is left out there because the Royals don't trust their bullpen, and leave their starter out there one inning too long.  

But this kid looks special to me.  

He's 26 years old; he's big (6' 5") and he's got a rocket arm--he hits 97 mph on the gun, and with Jason Kendall calling pitches, he's got a guy who is going to know the right pitch, and when to throw it.  He's already given the Twins some fits, going 1-0 in two starts.

He's not perfect, obviously--just last year he was a rather suspect 7-13 with a 6.55 ERA.  But watching the guy pitch makes me think that he may not be the next Cy Young winner for KC, but that he will have the kind of year that makes an AL East Team pay him buckets of money in a year or two.  You heard it here first.

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