Friday, March 2, 2007
I've been engaged in a bit of a debate about Chad Billingsley in one of the online forums. My 'opponents' think he's a top prospect who may be ready for a breakout season. I don't. In 90 major league innings last year, he struck out 59 and walked 58. That's awful! He was a little better later in the year, but not good. His minor league stats (available from The Baseball Cube here show a guy who will have a good (but not phenomenal) strikeout rate, but will be VERY wild in the majors. He's got a shot to be an ok major league pitcher, but he won't be good this year, and if the Dodgers put him in their rotation ahead of Kuo, they're making a very big mistake. He belongs in middle relief or at AAA. Someone suggested that his minor league number looks a lot like Randy Johnson's...and that's true. But they also look like a lot of guys who never made the majors. And based on his age, even if he followed Johnson's career path he'd be 4 years aways from being an effective major league starter, and 8 years from having his first exceptional season. Stay away, unless you're in a deep and/or keeper league.