Pretty good piece by Michael Baumann over at The Ringer on everyone’s favorite rookie pitcher, Amir Garrett:

As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to get too attached to young pitchers. They flame out, they get hurt, they will disappoint you. But since rules are made to be broken, y’all should know that I irrationally like Amir Garrett.

It’s not that the rookie Reds left-hander is going to win any Cy Young awards down the line; his ceiling is probably somewhere around mid-rotation innings eater. In his first two big league starts — 12.2 innings, two earned runs — Garrett has thrown in the low 90s, and he doesn’t have an unorthodox, eye-popping off-speed pitch, like Jharel Cotton’s demon changeup. If anything, Garrett’s a refreshing change in a day and age when it seems like every top pitching prospect is a 6-foot-4 right-hander out of Dallas with a 97 mph fastball and a bastard slider. There’s a billion of them because they’re grown in test tubes on a farm, and they’re all named Logan.

In fact, much of what I like about Garrett has little to do with his game. For starters, “Amir Garrett” is a really great name; it’s what you’d name the outlaw-with-a-heart-of-gold protagonist in a basic cable space Western.

Read the whole thing; it’s worth your time.

10 Responses

  1. CI3J

    There’s a billion of them because they’re grown in test tubes on a farm, and they’re all named Logan.

    I guess Ondrusek was one of the failed experiements.

  2. MrRed

    Thanks, Chad. So he’s a “poor man’s Mark Buehrle”? Just how poor are we talking? If he ends up being Mark Buehrle, I think most Reds fans would be pretty happy with that.

    • IndyRedMan

      Jimmy Key was another lefty that didn’t throw that hard but had a great career (186 wins, 3.51 era)

      • MrRed

        Good call (and another former Blue Jay pitcher). I’d take that outcome too.

  3. greenmtred

    I think I’ve seen him in the mid-90s every once in awhile, or is my memory failing me? A lot of very good pitchers have had low 90s fastballs, and have been very good because the movement, location and strategic use of them are exemplary. Also, since so many pitchers are throwing mid to high 90s (Sunday’s radar readings from both teams would have been unimaginable 20 years ago), wouldn’t you expect hitters to adjust to that and hit it?

    • IndyRedMan

      Batting averages are down, HRs are up, and pitchers injuries are up. That’s the fallout imo of everyone throwing 94+. I don’t think its really good for the game but I don’t know how they can change it? Its like mens tennis where their serves are so fast and powerful that the rallies have been taken out of the game!

      • Gaffer

        While I see your point, what you see is the “selection” affect. Guys who throw hard get outs and they throw better sliders too, which also gets hitters out. They get promoted.

      • greenmtred

        Gaffer: I think it’s likely that most pitchers get sorted into the prospect group when they’re very young–high school, probably, if not before–and, at that age, there’s not a lot to go on. The hitters they face mostly can’t hit really hard fastballs, so they succeed and move up the ladder. I saw Felix Hernandez on a televised game–must have been against the Reds–and he was rarely throwing harder than 92, as I remember it. Cueto, too, who has been a pretty decent pitcher, yes?, can hit 95 or 96 (or could), but mostly stayed at 92 or 93. Greg Maddox has been invoked many times in similar discussions, but he’s a valid example, too, in spite of being an outlier due to his extraordinary control and knowledge of the craft. Time will tell, but pendulum effect seems like a possibility to me: Hitters will get better and better at hitting high-octane pitches, and the few pitchers who use other tools will start to be more successful, and so on.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree completely. Also agree that men’s pro tennis has become pretty much unwatchable because of the lack of rallies.