So, yesterday I covered the top 5 SAL hitters, and halfway promised a top 5 pitchers list for week 1 as well. This list is a bit less refined than the hitters list, but I'll be working out the kinks over the next few weeks, so hopefully my lists will be more accurate and easier to create.
For this list, the cut-off was at least 5 innings pitched, and the stats are through April 17th.
- Yeliar Castro, 21 years old, ROM -- This is a repeat year for Castro in the SAL, after posting a 4.98 ERA in 2008. So far, so good, as his first start included 10 strikeouts in 5.2 innings with 1 walk. Unfortunately, Castro got the loss after giving up just 2 earned runs.
- Eric Surkamp, 21 years old, AUG -- Surkamp came very close to taking the top spot this week, going 5 innings and giving up just 3 hits in his first start of the year. He also recorded 9 strikeouts and issued 1 walk.
- Daniel Runzler, 24 years old, AUG -- As a 24 year old relief pitcher at A ball, Runzler probably won't get much attention, so we're giving him some today. In 3 appearances, he has 10 strikeouts along with 2 walks, and has allowed just 1 earned run. To top it all off, he also has a groundball to fly ball ratio of 5.00.
- Christian Friedrich, 21 years old, ASH -- As long as Friedrich is pitching against A ball hitters, I expect to see his name on this list just about every week. His first start went 6 innings, included a 3.00 groundout to fly out ratio, 9 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 1 hit.
- Jason Knapp, 18 years old, LWD -- You've got to hand it to any 18 year old who can come in and strikeout 16 batters in his first 11.1 innings. Knapp has allowed 8 hits and issued 4 walks in his first 2 starts, and has a GO/AO ratio of 1.50 this year. With a mid-90's fastball and a change-up and curve in the mid to high 70's, expect lots of strikeouts with the occasional control problem.