Felipe Paulino – Paulino is someone we’ve had our eye on for quite awhile at the big league level in part because his stuff can be so electric. The 26-year old is loaded with potential but for whatever reason has found it difficult to put it all together. Last year his peripheral numbers were very strong: 93 strikeouts, 37 walks, 98 innings. Those are certainly better numbers than you’d expect for someone with a 6.27 ERA. Paulino started 2010 off slow allowing 25 earned runs in his first seven starts. At that point the Astros had lost 17 of his last 18 trips to the hill. Paulino was not only struggling but also receiving the worst run support in the Major Leagues. However, the big right-hander has finally started to pitch to his stuff. He’s currently thrown five straight quality starts with 27 strikeouts and only one home run allowed. The price will be there for Paulino and if can continue to progress the profits will there as well.
Brett Cecil – A couple years ago Cecil was the No. 1 pitching prospect for the Blue Jays. But after a slow start last spring questions surrounded the young lefty. He was passed up by other young arms in the organization and put on the back burner to start 2010. Cecil started the season at Triple-A Las Vegas but was given another opportunity after a good showing. Now back with the parent club, Cecil sports a 3.43 ERA and a sweet 45-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Still just 23 years old, the southpaw deals in the mid-90’s with a plus slider. In looking to make key adjustments he’s added a change-up and cut fastball to his repertoire which has really put him over the top. In his last start against the New York Yankees his change-up was especially baffling. Look for Cecil to continue his newfound look with solid results in 2010.
Trevor Cahill – Cahill was one a handful of highly touted arms coming up through the A’s organization at the start of 2009. He started the season with good results before hitting a rockier path after the All-Star break. This year, Cahill started the campaign on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his non-throwing shoulder. He finally made his debut on April 29 and allowed five runs, but has settled down and pitched well ever since. But after a closer look, I noticed his 3.21 ERA was somewhat deceiving. Cahill has netted only 26 strikeouts in 48 innings of work, and has not induced the amount of groundballs that were perhaps projected. In fact, he’s one of the league leaders in BAbip at .233 which will most assuredly rise as will his ERA.