Monday, April 28, 2008

Fantasy Generals Speculator Part Six - Hughes v. Kennedy

After a week off, the Generals are jazzed for another Speculator. This week we weigh the merits of Kennedy v. Hughes. I find it interesting that people have jumped off the Hughes bandwagon with such force. While reports are that his velocity is somewhat down this season, consider that Kennedy's velocity is always down. Furthermore, playing in front of this Yankees defensive lineup, without a true plus pitch will prove costing for Kennedy more often then not.

Here is what I wrote:

Brandon Heikoop–They are Yankees and I often dismiss Yanks at the draft that are overvalued. Consider all the Yankee fans out there that can’t see past the fact that Mike Mussina is a terrible starting pitcher?

However, that is not the question. The question asks if there is any hope for Hughes or Kennedy. Personally, I was never sold on Kennedy. His minor league numbers, while impressive, are vastly skewed due to small sample sizes and incredible luck! Any minor league pitcher who has a BABIP below .300 with average stuff is that much luckier. Kennedy does not have electric stuff. His best pitch is a changeup, but with a less then stellar fastball and an average 3rd offering, Kennedy will struggle once hitters begin to key in on his change. I will borrow a quote from Kevin Goldstein here when he says, “Kennedy is pretty much the poster child for the kind of player who can put up ridiculous numbers in the minor leagues, but when it comes to the majors, he’s not as good.”

As for Hughes, I’m still high on him. I am absolutely enamored with his stuff. I also think people are forgetting that Hughes was on his way to a no-hitter before pulling up lame. Unlike Kennedy, Hughes does have electric stuff. He also has the typical, projectable body of an upper tier pitcher. In almost every league I am struggling between trying to trade for Hughes and hoping for one last bad start where his owners will jump ship. However, if that bad start is a solid to great one, what will his price jump up to?

In conclusion, Hughes is the guy for me, without any question about it. He is going to be a top of the rotation ace while Kennedy, valuable in his own right, will settle in at the end of the rotation.


Further explanation by Goldstein is as follows,

So now, before we go projecting stardom, let’s do a quick exercise based on what we know. Close your eyes, and try to think of every starting pitcher in the big leagues. Now think of every good right-hander who is six-foot or under and sits in the upper 80s. Done with your list? It’s not a long one, is it? In fact, it’s probably at zero, unless you count guys like Maddux who actually did sit consistently in the low 90s during his peak years.

Unfortunately, I like to play the odds. I don't see Kennedy becoming an ace in New York. Because of this, I have a tough time seeing him sticking in the big apple as the expectations for him by Yankee fans are inherently high.

Check out what the other Generals have to say at the Speculator.


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