Keep An Eye On: Rick Porcello, RHP, Detroit

Yesterday, I wrote a post containing five prospects who I thought would make a noteworthy impact on fantasy teams this year. One guy who didn’t make the cut was the Detroit Tigers RHP Rick Porcello. Truthfully, I didn’t think he’d break camp with the team, but according to the Tiger’s GM, he’s done just that.

Porcello is only 20 years old and has just one year of professional experience under his belt. This spring, Porcello posted a 2.63 ERA in a little more than 12 innings using a nasty two-seam fastball that bores in on the hands of righties, a high 90’s straight fastball, a solid change, and a good 12-6 curve that he is still learning to control. At Lakeland last year, he gave up just 7 homeruns through 125 innings pitched (IP) and compiled a 2.66 ERA. He is most often compared to Red Sox ace Josh Beckett.

Rick Porcello
Rick Porcello

The Tiger’s rotation has been a major weakness in recent years and this year seems to be no different. Dontrelle Willis can’t figure it out. Jeremy Bonderman hasn’t lived up to his potential and his velocity is fading. Nate Robertson is a sixth starter at best. Porcello’s performance simply forced the Tigers’ hand.

Porcello could have an immediate impact on fantasy leagues and is definitely worth a pickup. I would consider him a better prospect than the Nationals’ Zimmermann, but probably behind both Oakland’s Anderson and Cahill purely because of the experience factor. It’s important to note that Porcello is still green and there will be growing pains in his development.

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