With Opening Day now hours away, we have a good sampling of spring training stats to glean from so let’s take a look at which pitchers are already in midseason form and blowing batters away with ease.
David Price – DET (29 strikeouts): While most pitchers on this list are having good springs, Price is actually struggling despite his high strikeout numbers. On the one hand, he’s struck out 29 batters through 25 innings while walking just five. At the same time, he’s allowed four runs in two innings to the Nats and, most recently, seven runs over six innings to the Pirates. No need to worry, though, as Price always has an ERA in the low-3’s and led the league in strikeouts last season with 271 to just 38 walks.
Daniel Norris – TOR (29): The Blue Jays’ top prospect has inspired a lot of hope for the upcoming season with his spring performance, striking out 29 batters while walking just five in 24.2 innings. He’s only allowed nine runs and opponents are batting just .231 against him but he has given up a couple of home runs. If he can keep the ball in the park, Norris is poised for an immediate breakout season and could be a steal in fantasy drafts after striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings in his minor league career.
Zach McAllister – CLE (28): Trying to rebound from a brutal 2014, McAllister is off to a great start with 28 strikeouts to just four walks in 25.1 innings this spring. He’s only given up eight earned runs but has been getting hit around, allowing 29 hits already.
Anibal Sanchez – DET (26): On the surface, Sanchez’s 26 strikeouts to six walks through 24.2 innings is stellar and his 1.05 WHIP is great. On the other hand, he’s allowed a whopping SIX home runs and 12 earned runs this spring which is shocking since almost no one gives up as few homers as Anibal. Last season he surrendered just four in 126 innings and nine in 182 innings the year before that. Perhaps the Florida heat isn’t for him, he did give up 20 homers in each of his last two seasons with the Marlins.
Corey Kluber – CLE (25): Kluber has struck out 25 batters while walking just five in 23.1 innings this spring but the reigning AL Cy Young has had his own share of struggles, giving up five home runs. Like Anibal, he’s typically great at keeping the ball in the park, giving up just 14 homers in 235.2 innings, so he’s likely to settle down once the season gets underway.
Drew Pomeranz – OAK (25): The former top-25 prospect finally got out of Colorado last season and quickly turned heads in his first year in Oakland, putting up a 2.35 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts in 69 innings. He’s ready to build on that impressive run with 25 strikeouts to eight walks in just 17.2 innings this spring. He’s also only given up four earned runs and should quickly become an impact starter for the A’s if he can keep the walks down.
Tyson Ross – SD (25): One of the most underrated pitchers in the game the last two seasons, Ross is ready to improve on a very strong 2014 All-Star year with 25 strikeouts to eight walks over 21.2 innings while giving up just six earned runs. He has thrown seven wild pitches already, though, so the control issues may be cause for concern but this is a guy ready to consistently pump up strong seasons while striking out batters at a 9+K/9 clip.
Taijuan Walker – SEA (24): Walker has the best spring training stats of any pitcher, allowing just one run on nine hits and four walks through 25 innings while striking out 24. The former top-5 prospect was ready to make an immediate fantasy impact last year before injuries limited him to just 38 innings but fantasy owners should expect a healthy Walker to quickly make good on his potential this year.