Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Milwaukee Brewers PWMBA: Yovani Gallardo

I'm going to try to remain impartial in writing this and pretend that Yovani Gallardo doesn't make me feel all fuzzy.

Yovani Gallardo is an awesome, handsome dude who rules. It would be supergreat if we hung out and went bowling or something.

Gallardo is the most promising pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers and he is only 23 years old. He has some tremendous minor league stats and a solid half season after being called up in 2007. In 2008 however his season was stopped after only 24 innings when he tore his ACL during a collision with reknowned jerkface Reed Johnson of the Chicago Cubs. As such Gallardo only had 134 Major League IP coming into this season.

Gallardo's minor league numbers indicate he will be a high strikeout pitcher who prevents home runs and that is awesome. His K/9 at various stops in the minors look like this: 11.94, 9.89, 12.75, 10.34. So far in the majors he is at 8.01 (including this season so far). His BB/9 have consistently sat around 3 and his WHIP just about 1.25. All in all he is looking solid.

The only real question mark is how the injury will affect him. He has been effective in spring starts and doesn't appear to be favoring. As he pitches more he will continue to develop his curveball in addition to his changeup and slider, making him a more effective pitcher.

I think a key for him is developing the changeup and slider. His curveball is fantastic but if you look at his pitch types right now he is throwing his fastball 65.8% of the time. At the Major League level that may lead to more home runs given up to better hitters. If he can rely more on his slider and changeup then he may be able to get some tougher outs. As it is right now he is already diverse and effective I'm just looking at what could make him an elite level pitcher.

Various projections however seem to question his ability to stay healthy, with most predicting around 100 IP this year. I have to disagree on this point as he has shown the ability to throw more than that (188 total IP in 2007). His stints on the DL to this point have been related to his legs and not major arm problems that would be more of a reason to sound an alarm. I predict something more in line with his Bill James projection of 196 IP. I do think James prediction of 9.23 K/9 is a little high and expect something closer to 8.5.

I wish there were more to hope for in the Brewers rotation. I really do.

Oh yeah, Gallardo can hit too. He is an amazing man.

1 comment:

  1. His DL stints have also been flukey. He's not Rich Harden (or, at least, he hasn't been so far during his short career).