Around the fantasy baseball world this spring, there was some lingering concern regarding the fantasy value of Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees. The Yanks spent $155 million to bring in the Japanese fireballer, and along with the lucrative contract, came some lofty fantasy expectations.
Through his first two starts of the 2014 fantasy season, though, there is no question that this kid is special.
In his major league debut last week, Tanaka allowed a leadoff home run to Toronto Blue Jays OF Melky Cabrera. It was a rough start to his professional career, but the right-hander quickly settled down to pick up the win. He ended with seven innings of work, while striking out eight and walking none.
His second start on Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles was very similar. He once again lasted seven innings, but this time he allowed three earned runs, all of which came on a home run from Jonathan Schoop in the second inning. Tanaka calmed down and earned another quality start (7 IP, 3 ER, 10 Ks), even if he was forced to take home a no-decision.
Tanaka has obviously been susceptible to the long ball through his first two starts, but that is to be expected for the first-year starter. He has still shown amazing determination on the mound, and despite suffering some early-inning homers, the youngster continues to throw strikes and attack hitters.
Tanaka has been a strikeout machine as well. He has fanned 18 batters through his first 15 innings and truly displayed potential to rack up 180-plus K’s. Through two starts, Tanaka has a 1-0 record with a 3.21 ERA and sizzling 1.00 WHIP.
Tanaka has already proved that he is worth the high praise and the phenom will be a great SP2 for the remainder of the fantasy season.