Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Braves-relief-pitcher
For three years now we’ve been waiting for Mike Minor to live up to some of his immense potential. Minor made his pro debut in single-A back in 2009 after being selected seventh overall and went on to pitch 14 innings, striking out 17 batters while allowing just one earned run and nary a walk. That earned him a promotion to double-A to start 2010 followed by a short stint in Triple-A before the Braves came knocking. After just 24 starts and 129.1 innings in the minors, Minor (I promise, that redundancy was inevitable) had finally made it to The Show. And he wasn’t half bad. His 5.98 ERA was pretty hideous, but 9.52 K/9 and 2.43 BB/9 are great rates — both are better that what Clayton Kershaw put up last season — so no one really cared about the ERA. His 3.77 FIP was much more telling of the promise that resided within Minor’s left arm, and fantasy managers couldn’t wait for March drafts to roll around the next year for a chance to own the next big thing (slight hyperbole). Then Brandon Beachy beat Minor out in spring training, forcing everyone’s favorite southpaw pitching prospect to triple-A for half the season (where Minor continued to impress), and a mid-season call-up left fantasy owners wanting once again. Minor’s strikeout and walk rates weren’t as good, but his velocity was up and his FIP was 3.39. Next year’s the year! Eh, sort of. Minor’s strikeout rate fell again, and though his 4.12 ERA was a career best (barely), his FIP rose a whole run to 4.38. His velocity dropped to 2010 levels, and he got fewer opponents to offer at pitches outside the strike zone than in either of his first two seasons. In a word, Minor stagnated. Still, that .226 OBA was pretty darn good (even if it was fueled by a .252 BABIP), and I’m still optimistic that this 25-year-old can have a nice impact in fantasy leagues in the near future. At a Glance Strengths: K/9, BB Neutral: W, L, ERA, WHIP, QS, IP Weaknesses: none Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Jeff Samardzija (CHC) Likely scenario: Matt Garza (CHC), Derek Holland (TEX), Phil Hughes (NYY) Worst-case scenario: James McDonald (PIT) Mike Minor 2013 Fantasy Projection In all honesty, I didn’t like listing Minor’s weaknesses as “none” because that insinuates that he isn’t a flawed player. To the contrary, he’s a very flawed player, but those flaws are more intangible things like “trust” and “reliability,” and we’ve already factored those into our projections by taking our best guess at what his innings total will be. But if you could guarantee me that Minor would start 30 games and approach 200 innings for the Braves, I’d love to be on board. His WHIP will probably go up even if he does improve as a pitcher just because he doesn’t have much room for improvement with his walk rate and I seriously doubt he’ll repeat a .226 OBA, but that doesn’t mean he can’t win 13-16 games, strike out 180+ batters and finish with an ERA around 3.40. All of those marks are in play, and a fast start out of the gate will have fantasy owners on board once again. But if Minor doesn’t start to live up to expectations this year, I’m out. Fine. Until next year.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bengals troll Browns with April Fools’ Day joke

Malcolm Jenkins on McCoy trade: Could've gotten more

Does Romo restructure pave the way for Peterson?

Todd Gurley: 2015 NFL Draft Profile

Colts' Robert Mathis hopes to be back by training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron thought Kyrie was a ballhog when season started

Muhammad Ali rooting for a Pacquiao win over Mayweather

Report: Cowboys to restructure Tony Romo's contract

Blake Griffin frustrated with lack of fan support at home

Eli Manning expects Giants' offense to take off in 2015

Bruce Irvin apologizes for DUI April Fools' joke

Albert, Costas and Michaels to work together for the first time

A’s closer buying tickets to fill stands at LGBT Pride Night

13 U.S. senators call on FIFA to strip Russia of 2018 World Cup

The San Antonio Spurs are beautiful again

Auriemma blasts men’s college basketball: ‘The game is a joke’

Westbrook: I'm not Angry Man off the court, I'm a chill guy

Fourth man sentenced in 2007 killing of Sean Taylor

Players who could have their arbitration years bought out

Rookie of the Year: Should there be a winner?

What's next for the Phoenix Suns?

Aaron Rodgers to appear on celebrity version of 'Jeopardy!'

Dark horse Cy Young candidates

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dark horse Cy Young candidates

Final Four fact or fiction

Why WrestleMania 31 was an all-time great

Five worst QB situations in NFL

WATCH: Curry drops CP3 with crossover

Durant wants to spend career in OKC

This isn’t Tom Izzo’s greatest March masterpiece

Are the Angels being overlooked?

Top 20 players in the Final Four

Report: Tiger's plane spotted in Augusta

Moss shares story on meeting Deion

Five coaches already on the hot seat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.