=== Dr's Prognosis ===
Except for the obvious caveat of health ... there is one, and only one, variable to watch as you enjoy Pineda's monster-stomp to AL impact.
That is: does he really execute that location, in the way that we've caught glimpses of, and in the way the scouts have claimed that he does?
Pineda does touch 100; the broadcasters confirmed that. His motion is a nightmare for hitters; the mechanics are on vid and were on display in ST. If he really has Doug Fister command -- as we have seen glimpses, and as his A/AA games reflect -- he will star in the American League, period.
Maybe he'll get up here and his command will disappoint. That's the ONLY variable left to be confirmed for Michael Pineda. But if he has this vaunted command, then the secondary pitches and all that stuff aren't important issues. The M's will have a hot property on their hands.
=== Most-Comparable Dept. ===
Pineda is hard to comp, which is a good thing. In the past, we've loosely suggested Rafael Soriano.
Tell you who Michael Pineda does remind me of, though. It's Walter Johnson. Here are the similarities - count them up:
- Works off a fastball
- Batters joked about Walter's curve (only assuming scouts are right about Pineda)
- Sits 95, touches 100
- With a super-compact motion
- Very big guy (Johnson was one of the biggest men in the NL)
- Very low BB rates, excellent command, in part due to the compact motion
- K rates not as crazy as you might think -- because he's a 1-pitch location guy
Obviously, I'm not suggesting that Pineda is going to win 417 games. :- ) But Big Michael, with his compact motion, his sizzling fastball, and superb command, does remind me stylistically of the Big Train.
No, I can't think of anybody else who'd have been like that, in the rotation. Rafael Soriano, for example, was a RH sidearmer, touch 100, fastball-only ... but he was wild in the zone. Here you're talking about a Catfish Hunter template, add 5 mph. Who fits that template? Well, Johnson did. Jeremy Bonderman, maybe, when he first came up.
Perhaps you're talking about a poor man's Walter Johnson with Michael Pineda. Or maybe Rotochamp thinks that this is what Johnson, time-warped, would look like in 2010 baseball? :- )