Fantasy Baseball: Trevor Bauer Will Break Out in 2013

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In this business, we try to act professional. When I set out to write an article, I try to put my personal feelings aside, and give an honest, unbiased account of what is fact about a player. Trevor Bauer, starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, tests my ability to do so.

I absolutely love Trevor Bauer.

As we enter the 2013 fantasy baseball season, Bauer figures to be a long ways off of most people’s radar. His first taste of MLB action was far from impressive. However, I think there is hope for this guy, and I think he will turn it around quickly.

Let’s start with the well-documented negativity surrounding Bauer. He has some control issues, and they have been well established. He gave up 11 earned runs in his four-start Big League cup of coffee, which is not a particularly comforting total. In addition to this, there have been some rumblings that he is un-coachable and a bit stubborn. I will acknowledge that all of these criticisms are fair, but there’s a lot more to the story.

The first thing that you will notice when watching Bauer pitch are his raw tools. He has some of the most electric stuff I have ever witnessed. His pitches seem to jump out of his hand and his breaking pitches have great, late movement, something very desirable in a fantasy pitcher. He has the consistent velocity and an even better mound presence.

Bauer is also an electric swing and miss strikeout pitcher. Last year, between two minor league levels, Bauer struck out 157 batters in 130 innings. Once he got to the bigs for the Arizona Diamondbacks, he added another 17 K’s in 16 innings pitched. He clearly will be an elite level strikeout pitcher this season.

Bauer also posted a 2.42 ERA in two different minor league stops last season. Despite the fact that he had an ERA over six in Arizona, I expect that he will be a great source of ERA this season in Cleveland. I think that his Minor League ERA can easily be projected into the majors, maybe not right away, but certainly as he grows into his ability.

Bauer has a unique combination of talent and opportunity this year. He will be getting the ball every fifth day, and he has the tools to put up massive fantasy numbers. I think the comparison between Bauer’s 2013 season and Matt Moore’s 2012 season, could be a good one. While Moore didn’t set the world on fire, he was a still top-30 pitcher in his first full season in the majors. I expect Bauer to do the same.

Trevor Bauer should be a cheap source of strikeouts and ERA that you can grab late in your fantasy draft, and he has the upside to be a lot more than that.

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