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Mike Minor and Fly Balls

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Mike Minor allowed the 4th most fly balls in baseball last year. He pitches and hitters either A) swing and miss, B) pop it up, or C) hit a lazy fly ball into the glove of Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton or Justin Upton.

There is an option “D”, of course, but we’ll get to that in just a little bit.

First, here’s the word on his stuff: Minor throws his four-seam fastball more than half the time and it sits in the low 90s. Then he mixes in a slider (83–86), a changeup (82–84), and a 12–6 curveball (77–80). He’s really learned to mix his pitches well, and at 26 is already a mature pitcher.

Here’s a fun fact: Minor played at Vanderbilt University with fellow major leaguers Pedro Alvarez and David Price, all of whom were first round draft picks.

Now to option “D.” As an extreme fly ball pitcher, Minor can be susceptible to giving up home runs. It’s fly ball, fly ball, fly ball…oops, home run.

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

ewewewewewewewewewe woop woop

[PAC MAN Game Over Sound]

 

GAME OVER FOR MINOR?

It’s been game over less and less for Minor. Not only has he quickly learned to better mix his pitches, but that increased pitching maturity has paid huge dividends in the home run department. Don’t misunderstand, Minor is still a hugely pronounced fly ball pitcher, but those fly balls are leaving the yard less and less.

Let’s look at Minor’s home runs allowed per 9 innings (HR/9):

 
1st Half
2nd Half
Overall
HR/9 (2012)1.860.721.30
HR/9 (2013)1.030.870.97

As you can see, Minor’s home runs allowed have trended in the right direction and stayed there for a season and a half. Allowing less than 1 home run over a full 9 innings is an excellent rank for an extreme fly ball pitcher who also misses a lot of bats. This bodes extremely well for Minor’s future and places him among baseball’s top 20 fantasy pitchers.

What’s more a pitcher’s BABIP works inverse to a hitter’s BABIP. We know that fly balls kill a batter’s batting average (unless they go for homers, of course). But line drives are cash money for a hitter’s batting average. With Mike Minor inducing a metric ton of lazy fly balls and severely limiting hard hit line drives, batter’s hit a minuscule .272 against him, and that’s if they even get the bat on the ball.

The Atlanta Braves have yet another excellent young starting pitcher on their hands.

CAREER TRAJECTORY

Minor was an inconsistent young pitcher in 2012. 2013 was where he put everything together. He cut down on the home runs allowed, raised his strikeouts, and lowered his walks. These are all the things you are looking for in a fantasy baseball pitcher.

Bottom line, Mike Minor is an excellent young pitcher and has a fantastic fantasy future ahead of him. I’m scheming like the Lannister family to get Minor in my dynasty league. And I’ll never give him back.

Ever.

Join us here in the clouds where fly ball reside. It’s beautiful. All are one.

You WILL JOIN US.

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Mike Minor

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