Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wouldn't be surprised

In my 25 years in life I have always been a Detroit Tigers fan. Since high school I have followed their off season moves and the trades throughout the season, but it wasn't until I went away to school that I really start looking at the Tigers' farm system and kept an eye on who they drafted. The first person that I followed was their 2nd round draft pick out of the University of Arkansas, Drew Smyly in 2010.

I believe I have stated in a preview post about me being left handed and how I tend to follow towards left handed pitchers, so Smyly was a perfect choice for me. In his first season in professional baseball Smyly was one of the best pitchers for the Tigers in their farm system (I know that doesn't say much considering the Tigers rank near the bottom in farm system every year). Between high A and AA ball he went 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA. He struck out 130 batters in 126 innings pitched. After his successful first year in professional baseball it earned him a chance to make the Tigers team out of spring training in 2012. He started out in the rotation with 18 games started before moving to the bullpen where he came out of the pen 5 times. He had a good rookie season with a ERA+ of 107. The next year he would pitch strictly out of the bullpen for the Tigers where he would have a 2.37 ERA.

In 2014 he would be moved back to the the rotation. He started out the first half of the season with Detroit before being trade in a three team traded that sent him and prospect Willy Adames to Tampa Bay Rays for David Price. (Austin Jackson went to the Seattle Mariners and the Mariners sent Nick Franklin to the Rays). His time with Detroit in 2014 was average with a ERA of 3.93 and a ERA+ of 101, but with the Rays they worked with his locations. In a small sample size of 7 start his ERA+ was 220 (100 is average). Now this past week an ESPN writer wrote saying how Smyly could be a Cy Young Candidate and be someone like Corey Kluber coming out of nowhere to win the award.

I have always respected the pitching talent that has came out of the Rays system. Most of them have spent time in the minors before the majors. If they work with him enough I believe Smyly has enough talent to be in the running for the Cy Young and I wouldn't be surprised if he wins the award sometime in his career. I wish Smyly the best with the Rays and I will continue to follow his career.

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