Being only the 21st player since the Draft's inception in 1965 to debut without appearing in a Minor League game, Mike Leake was very impressive in his MLB debut, pitching out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning. There were times where his control was a bit off (something to be expected from a rookie), but otherwise he was nearly impossible to hit, yielding just one extra-base hit, and a pair of singles ta boot. The 22-year-old righty is on track to hurl again on April 17 vs. the Pirates, a start that will be monitored owners who are shopping for the real deal.
Watching the game yesterday gave me some mixed emotions:
- Hearing the Reds announcer’s lament saying that they were OT just fluffing this kid’s feathers, he is the real deal…I believe them after what I saw.
- Wondering why Alfonso Soriano still cannot catch a routine flyball to save his life.
- The fantasy net worth of the Cubs bullpen continues to deteriorate in the early goings.
While it is a bit too early to make a run for Leake, what you could consider is scooping him up for a future endeavor. If the kid is the real deal, you’ll be the clever owner of a quality starter, or some serious trade bait. Leake is available in all leagues.
In other Reds news—since we’re on the topic— Aroldis Chapman made his own debut in Triple-A Louisville, cruising through the Toledo Hens lineup with ease and confidence as if to say “Is that all you got?”
It took the lefty only 4 2/3 innings to fan 10 on a very healthy 85 pitch count (55 for strikes so you know)
But it isn’t the flashy stat line that should be your selling point rather, Chapman’s 5 balls for 100 mph (his last pitch was clocked at 101mph); that should grab your attention.
Eat your heart out Steven Strasburg!
Chapman’s next game is at home vs. the Indianapolis Indians and he already has a 32% ownership in Yahoo leagues alone. If I were you I would add him to your watch list now, and be ready to grab if the opportunity present itself, because at this rate Chapman is showing more fantasy relevance than highly touted Steven Strasburg!
For more fantasy coverage and implications, check out The Knuckleball: Weekend Roundup.