Citizens Bank Park: NA (first season)
Values ~ 2000: $5 2001: $0 2002: $20 2003: $10
Millwood gives batters a heavy dose of his low 90s fastball and mixes in a hard slider, curve and occasional change and can be absolutely dominant when he hits his spots. He's more successful when he keeps the ball lower in the zone, but last year Millwood left the ball up, as evidenced by his giving up more HRs and flyball outs. Millwood's disappointing 2003 is thought by some to be a matter of a lack of conditioning, which left him tired late in games, especially as the season progressed. He's supposed to have hired a trainer this offseason; a svelte Millwood this spring might be worth a few extra dollars.
Values ~ 2000: $4 2001: $1 2002: $14 2003: $12
Padilla throws a low 90s fastball and an effective high 80s slider. Philly thought he was closer material but he struggled until he was made a starter after a demotion to AAA in 2001. Since then, he stayed on top of his pitches and did not vary his arm angle as he used to do, trusting his stuff more than trying to rely on deception. Padilla was involved in a serious car accident after last season and although he walked away, there were some conflicting reports on what injuries he incurred. Watch this spring but I'm inclined to think he's fine.
Values ~ 2000: $3 2001: $9 2002: $16 2003: $8
A 27 year-old lefty who sped to the bigs after being drafted in the second round, Wolf throws a high 80s fastball, curve and change. He has posted high strikeout rates despite not having overpowering stuff. Wolf changes speeds and works both sides of the plate effectively. He teases batters with a change away and then busts a fastball inside. Wolf has so far put together seasons where he's been very strong for a half and struggled during the other half. A good addition as a #2/#3-type starter to your staff.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: $9 2002: $7 2003: $4
Milton had mid-season knee surgery in 2002 to repair a partially torn meniscus and needed additional surgery last spring that caused him to miss most of 2003. Milton's plate command improved dramatically over the past few years and he's delivered fairly consistent value to owners when healthy. Like Radke, Milton throws a high proportion of strikes, but is more inclined to work the count with his mid-90s fastball, cutter, curve and change. He's a pronounced flyball pitcher and his HR rate remains high. Assuming he's healthy this season (and he pitched pretty well in three late season games) he's a pretty solid buy.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: -$2 2003: -$2
Myers has a fastball that reaches the mid 90s with good movement, an outstanding 12 to 6 curve and change. He got off to a very strong start last year, running up a double-digit value for owners but pitched poorly in the second half. Myers is just 23 and there is some thought that his stuff is ahead of his emotional development. He had a run-in with his pitching coach last season, so it's possible evidence that some maturity will help his development.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: NA 2003: $3
Madson was the AA Eastern League's best pitcher in 2002 and turned in a solid 2003 in AAA (Hit Rate = 1.00; K/BB Ratio = 3.29 with a .27 walk rate; HR Rate = .057) which started strong and faded toward the end. Madson's fastball is average, but he has an excellent change and a good though inconsistent curve. He's expected to return to AAA.
Values ~ 2000: -$1 2001: -$6 2002: NA 2003: $3
Telemaco was called up during the second half, inserted into the #5 starter role and pitched creditably. Telemaco has good movement on his slider and sinker and mixes in a four-seam fastball that is in the high 80s. If he makes the roster, it will probably be to work out of the bullpen. Filler pick.
Values ~ 2000: $2 2001: $26 2002: $26 2003: $35
Wagner returned from elbow surgery almost as good as new. His K rate, still better than 1/IP is not quite as good as his pre-surgical levels, otherwise the numbers are very, very good. His high 90's fastball/slider combination has enabled him to dominate hitters. Expect to pay accordingly. Wagner has tendinitis and swelling of the middle finger on his pitching hand and has said that he expects to pitch with the condition all year.
Values ~ 2000: $8 2001: $1 2002: $12 2003: $23
After working as a swingman early in his career, Oakland put Worrell into the bullpen fulltime in '99 and he has pitched better in relief. Worrell throws a fastball in the 91-92 range and a good slider and splitter. Last year Worrell became the unexpected fill-in closer for Nen but will return to a set-up role here.
Values ~ 2000: $3 2001: $3 2002: -$4 2003: $20
Last offseason, Cormier worked extensively with Kerrigan to reconstruct his delivery and mechanics and to re-introduce a slider into his repertoire and it paid off in spades as he rebounded to become one of the leagues more effective relievers. Cormier is a groundball pitcher, which enables him to have a good HR rate. He's become more of a finesse pitcher as his fastball is subpar and he relies on his breaking pitches. While he should pitch well again this year, it's probably asking too much to expect a repeat of last year's value.
Values ~ 2000: $24 2001: $17 2002: $13 2003: -$3
Chicken or egg? Hernandez claims his poor 2003 was due to infrequent use. However, his numbers have all gradually gotten worse over the last 3-4 years so last year wasn't a shock. At 39, is no longer the pitcher who could dominate hitters with a high 90s fastball, splitter and slider. Pass.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $3 2003: $3
I saw Junge's major league debut, an inning of mop-up relief. He has a low 90s fastball that he was high with and a splitter with not a whole lot of break. I didn't see a third pitch. He didn't have a whole lot of control, probably due to nerves. It's worth noting he pitched better in later outings and showed better command and a better breaking pitch. Junge was having a solid season at AAA (Hit Rate = .81; K/BB Ratio = 2.63; HR Rate = .043) and appeared to be ready for a call-up when needed when he required mid-season shoulder surgery. Worth keeping an eye on once he's healthy.