This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
As the season is now underway, it's fun (and perhaps productive) to discuss random thoughts and observations on some new faces on the mounds around baseball. In fantasy, the answer to the ultimate question (does he offer value) is always elusive, but still worth seeking. I'm not sure that all encompassing answer is contained below, but hopefully we'll inspire some interactive conversation about some new pitchers who can help us all achieve the optimal pitching staff. It's worth a shot, so let's go.
Be careful. Don't be fooled: One of the most difficult things to sort through during the first few weeks of the season are those newcomers who post very impressive numbers over their first two or three starts of the season. Six shutout innings with eight punchouts, followed up with six-plus innings of one run ball and another handful of strikeouts. And, this guy was a relatively unheralded rookie who wasn't even guaranteed a roster spot when spring training began. You have to sort things out and identify the pretenders.
- Pedigree: On the whole, major league scouts are very intuitive. When scouting young pitchers, they usually rather quickly know who has a higher ceiling, and who is likely to be a back-of-the-rotation arm at best. Some teams focus almost exclusively on raw ability – that triple-digit fastball is a sure way to attract scouts – but most look at other things, too. Mound presence is a huge plus. A good "feel" for the game is something that