Hey, everybody! My name is Ely Sussman (aka MrElyminator). I'm a University of Miami Hurricane working towards a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. I produce sports articles and videos for BeyondU Sports, Bleacher Report, Fantasy League GM, Vimeo, and YouTube among other sites. My contributions have been featured in the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel, etc. More specifically, I'm an authority on MLB, NBA, NFL, fantasy baseball and NCAA athletics. Know that I'm a HUGE New York Yankees fan! Links to all my work will be posted here. Follow @MrElyminatorAsk me anything
So when will he arrive in the big leagues?
Not this season, I assure you.
The 18-year-old Buxton is a five-tool prospect. So far, though, only his speed and throwing arm are MLB-ready. His swing is still pretty raw and he’ll need to add more muscle to become a legitimate power hitter.
Still, his ceiling is incredible.
He has been closely compared to established outfielders Justin Upton and Adam Jones. Both were also drafted out of high school and debuted in the majors a few weeks shy of their 20th and 21st birthdays.
If Buxton begins his professional career in the coming months, Minnesota would likely assign him to the Gulf Coast League Twins (a rookie league). That’s where they placed fellow teenage outfielder Ben Revere after selecting him in the first round in the 2007 draft.
Starting in 2008, Revere spent one season apiece at Single-A Beloit, High-A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain prior to earning regular playing time with the Twins in 2011.
I see no reason why Buxton will require the same three-plus years in the farm system. Already 6’2” and 190 pounds, he is a superior physical specimen to Revere (5’9”, 170).
In speculating his estimated time of arrival, the minor-league journeys of Upton, Jones and Revere must all be taken into consideration. Upton’s and Jones’ because their skills are so similar to his, and Revere’s because he was developed by the same franchise that will groom Buxton into a potential superstar.
The Twins could logically—and this is assuming that Buxton stays healthy—play him at Beloit in 2013, Fort Myers and New Britain in 2014, and give him a final, brief trial at Triple-A Rochester in 2015 before adding him to the 25-man roster early that summer (first week of May, let’s say).
But this is just one possibility. Leave a comment with your own projection.
Stephen Strasburg (biceps tightness) is fine. Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that he will make his next scheduled start.
This was just a false alarm, but as a precaution, the Washington Nationals ought to adopt a six-man starting rotation for the remainder of 2012. With it, they can finish atop the National League East.
Spacing out each individual’s appearances reduces the likelihood of serious injury for all rotation members.
Also, it would allow the franchise’s prized 23-year-old—who will be shut down upon reaching an unspecified innings limit—to pitch in meaningful games through September.
And he would be more effective, too. Baseball-reference.com provides this comparison of his career numbers on regular, four days’ rest versus his success when given five-plus days to recover.
Obviously, the current starting five—Ross Detwiler, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Jordan Zimmermann and Strasburg—would be included in the expanded group. They have contributed greatly on a pitching staff that surrendered an MLB-low 138 runs through its first 42 contests.
Chien-Ming Wang would round it out.
The 32-year-old is completing his rehab from a badly strained hamstring.
His stats in five outings against minor-league competition were typical of the Taiwanese right-hander: 3-0, 3.52 ERA, 30.2 IP, 18 SO, 6 BB, 2 HR allowed, 1.27 WHIP.
Wang didn’t miss many bats, but he consistently attacked the strike zone and induced harmless contact.
He has always had a reputation for working efficiently and providing length to spare the bullpen. I do not doubt that he still possesses such ability.
The take-away is that Wang—a former 19-game winner with the New York Yankees—would give the Nationals opportunities to win.
But are his services worth the trouble of altering everybody’s routines?
A recent trial of the six-man rotation takes us to the Windy City. Ozzie Guillen experimented with it in 2011 as manager of the Chicago White Sox.
With half a dozen starting pitchers on the active roster between May 11 and June 25, the team went 24-17 (.586).
Now that’s worth noting. Consider the club’s overall record of 79-83.
Washington needs every possible advantage to compete with the first-place Atlanta Braves and the surging Miami Marlins in the NL East.
A sixth starter would help the Nationals in both an immediate and future capacity.