No Regard

July 8, 2008

The Campaign Continues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — hoyler @ 8:06 pm

Andy Sonnanstine For 2008 AL Cy Young

No, this is not a joke. Any Photoshop wizards care to create a campaign logo? My undying gratitude to anyone who steps up.

OK, so this past weekend I predicted Andy Sonnanstine would finish third in the AL Cy Young voting. He promptly went out and threw seven shutout innings. I took that as a sign.

Yesterday, I started the first of what I hope is a week-long series on why Andy Sonnanstine is a real darkhorse candidate for the 2008 Cy Young. You can read the first part of it here.

Here’s reason three.

3. A Professional Career of Domination

I want you to find any of the top young starters (26 and under) in the game and take a look at their minor league numbers. Use Baseball Cube or First Inning, whatever, I don’t care, just check.

Now use that same service to look at Andy Sonnanstine’s minor league numbers.

Bet you’re surprised. Or maybe lazy and you just decided not to look. Too bad, I’m breaking down the numbers anyway.

84 games
74 games started
40 Wins-18 Losses
2.58 ERA
495 Innings Pitched
463 K
75 BB
38 HR

8.42 K/9
1.36 BB/9
1.00 WHIP
.69 HR/9
7.67 H/9

These are the numbers of a top prospect, a guy who would profile as a top-end starter. A decent comparison for age and minor league innings is Manny Parra, who is having a very good year in Milwaukee and was the 42nd ranked prospect by Baseball Prospectus this season.

105 games
102 games started
38 Wins-18 Losses
3.05 ERA
545 Innings Pitched
528 K
147 BB
27 HR

8.72 K/9
2.43 BB/9
1.25 WHIP
.45 HR/9
8.87 H/9

I haven’t heard anybody remotely care about Andy Sonnanstine’s performance this season, but a common counter-argument against guys who get off to hot starts early in their major league career is that there is nothing in their minor league profile to substantiate that good performance. Sonny’s statistical profile is as good as any, and while I know he had the benefit of college ball, the numbers in the minors are still undeniable. In fact, if anything, he should become a little more dominant as he adds major league innings. I’d say his lack of strikeouts to this point would be because he’s focused more on perfecting his control, probably his top skill, as well as mastering his best two pitches (something we’ll touch on later in the week) before adding another layer to his game.

Bottom line: Even if Sonnanstine can’t get his ERA low enough or win enough games to contend for the Cy Young this season, he will be a contender soon.

Check back tomorrow for another reason to get on the Andy Sonnanstine for AL Cy Young 2008 Bandwagon.

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