By now, you’ve surely heard of Tom Milone, the Nats pitching prospect that is often referred to as “fascinating” or something like that. He’s a 24 year old lefty starter who’s been very impressive the last few years. In 2009, he had a 2.91 ERA in high-A ball, at age 22. Last year, in AA at age 23, he had a 2.85 ERA; but in about 7 more IP than 2009, he had 49 more Ks and 13 fewer BBs. So his K/9 jumped from 6.3 to 8.8, and his K/BB went from 2.94 to 6.74. This year, his ERA has been a little higher, currently sitting at 3.81, and his K/9 has gone up a bit to 9.8. But what’s finally getting people’s attention is his current (and, sure, unsustainable) K/BB rate of 16.40. In 75 2/3 IP, he has issued 5 walks.
That’s where John Sickels comes in. He writes for SBNation (where Rob Neyer now lives) and today put out the first Tom Milone article I’ve ever seen from a nationwide (not a Nationals-focus) source. He goes through some of those stats that I listed above, which I’ve talked about ad nauseum (and will continue to do so), but he does add this little nugget
His ERA is actually misleading; his FIP is much better at 2.25.
So that shows that maybe he’s succeeding even more in AAA than it appears. Of course the reason that people don’t talk more about Milone, as many of you know, is his complete lack of fastball velocity. There isn’t much more than that, nobody would poo poo a guy who strikes out a hitter an inning but doesn’t have a great secondary pitch, it’s all about the fastball. Sickels, though, doesn’t really seem to think that makes him fringy, just a bit risky. Here’s what he says: Read the rest of this entry »