The Colorado Rockies have been one of the biggest surprises during the first two weeks of this young season. They are currently in first place in the National League West with a mix of solid young hitting and pitching. Their pitchers in particular garnered little respect when fantasy league drafts took place before the season.
The Rockies pitcher you need to go out and get right now is Jhoulys Chacin. It appears he is blossoming into one of the up and coming young pitchers in the National League. He has started the young season undefeated at 2-0 with an ERA under 2.00. Most leagues have not picked up on him yet because of the small sample size.
He is a handful of games away from throwing 400 innings in the major leagues. It normally takes a young pitcher 300 to 400 innings to adjust to MLB hitters making a transition from a thrower to a pitcher. He has never had a winning record since his first call-up with Colorado in 2009. A lot of fantasy owners have shied away from him because of his lackluster record. He just turned 25 years old in January and is just scratching the surface of his potential.
He has changed his pitching repertoire to suit his strengths this season. He is throwing his fastball 66% of the time, which is a career high, and has completely abandoned his curveball. As of this writing, he’s actually yet to throw that pitch in game action. The biggest reason for this is because his curve was his weakest pitch and he is better suited using his fastball to setup his plus slider with a change up thrown in for good measure.
He is not a high velocity pitcher. If you are looking for a K/9 ratio above 8 you should look somewhere else. You will see a K/9 around 5.5 to 6. His velocity has decreased the past two seasons but he is becoming a more effective groundball pitcher as his pitching matures. He will approach a groundball ratio of 50% this season, which will alleviate any worries of him giving up an extraordinary amount of homeruns.
The amount of players that he walks has always been a concern even with the groundball inducing double plays. He is allowing a career low of 2.45 BB/9 this season. His BABIP currently sits at .231. If he can maintain anything close to this BABIP number along with his other peripherals you can expect a breakout season from him.
The biggest problem with Jhoulys has been his health. He has missed parts of the last two seasons with injuries. He was the opening day starter for Colorado with his health issues behind him he should throw more innings this season than the previous two seasons combined.
The lineup hitting in front of him can score runs at an accelerated pace. The Rockies are currently leading the National League in runs scored. Jhoulys will receive plenty of run support this season. Actually, if you need a win may want to look at additional Rockies starters to stream because of the run support all of them will receive from their potent lineup.
There is a lot to like from Jhoulys Chacin. A young groundball pitcher that has a lineup that scores more runs than anyone in the National League. Looking at his peripherals he will continue to pay big dividends for your team the remainder of this season.