Trevor Bauer - impact starting pitcher - coming to Cleveland
Many players changed hands tonight in the Cleveland-Arizona-Cincinnati mega-trade, but it is possible none will have more impact than starting pitcher Trevor Bauer.
Bauer, who turns 22 in January, is the sort of top-flight starting pitcher Cleveland has not had since the CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee trades. It would be too much to assume Bauer will win Cy Young Awards like those two, but there is no doubt he has that sort of upside.
Before the 2012 season, Baseball America rated Bauer as a consensus top-10 prospect in all of baseball and gave him an overall grade of 70 on the 20-80 scale. The publication also noted that he has a 92-98 MPH fastball that sits at 94-95, an elite 12-to-6 curveball, a great slider, an above-average changeup, and a solid splitter, along with a slurve-type pitch called "The Bird" he likes to fool around with.
Needless to say, that is the repertoire of an elite starting pitcher. Bauer has his quirks (like his 400 foot long-toss sessions and obsession with advanced concepts like "biomechanics, effective velocity and pitch tunneling," per Baseball America), but if it works for him, it works for me.
Bauer had no issue carving up minor league batters, striking out 200 batters in 156.0 innings (mostly split between AA and AAA). That kind of dominance is absolutely crazy and a testament to Bauer's raw ability.
Of course, that raw ability did not translate all that well in Bauer's first taste of major league action. In four starts with the Diamondbacks, Bauer only made it through 16.1 innings, allowing 13 runs (11 earned), 13 walks, and two home runs. Though he struck out 16 batters in that timeframe, that was the first time Bauer, the first member of the 2011 Draft class to reach the majors, truly hit the wall in professional baseball.
After this season, reports of the Diamondbacks souring on Bauer's attitude surfaced, specifically about his reluctance to change the way he pitches to better adapt to the major league game. Scouting reports say that his fastball is too flat to leave up in the zone, something Bauer likes doing, and he cannot challenge major league hitters in that way.
I am hesitant to put too much faith in this grumbling, though. How many 21-year-old boys get defensive after being told things they have been doing that have worked beautifully for their entire life, are wrong. Most people at that age get defensive and stubborn and I think that people are making too much of a fuss over Bauer's reported reaction. All 21-year-olds are immature; they grow up.
It is possible that Bauer needs an attitude change and will not succeed in the majors without it. It is also possible that the Diamondbacks are trading him because they know something we do not. But from what we know, Cleveland just acquired a major league ready starting pitcher with ace potential for one year of Shin-Soo Choo and some other assorted pieces.
This is the kind of deal that can change the fortunes of a team. Bauer is under team control for the next six years and should anchor the rotation for most (if not all) of that time. He is the sort of impact talent this team has sorely missed in recent years and is a mammoth addition.
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Obviously he has the physical tools to put it all together. But, unless he begins to let others help him to become better, he will be one in a long line of toolsy players who never come near reaching their potential
They need to trade Cabrera for that reason. If they do not, they've blown their golden opportunity. Chris Perez can also now be shipped since the Tribe apparently is up +1 in the Relief pitching department.
Those high-salaried men can yield reasonable prospects who will be around town for the future.
dont care what his politics is as long as the little sob can pitch.
Tony, what happens to Asdrocab? Think he starts the season on the team?