Atlanta Braves Need Mike Minor To Prove He's a No. 1 Starter

By Steven Whitaker
Mike Minor
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As I have mentioned over the past few weeks, the Atlanta Braves have a terrific core of players with guys such as Andrelton Simmons and Evan Gattis. Another piece of the team that is included in that core is Mike Minor.

Minor is one of the most interesting guys on the team in that he has a huge upside, but nobody knows if he can sustain his success. In his three seasons in the major leagues with over 15 starts, 2013 was the only season that he has had an ERA under 4.12 which stood at 3.21. This past season was also the first season that Minor threw over 200 innings and only had two more starts than in 2012.

However, he has never finished a year below .500 in the win/loss column. In 2013, Minor gave up nine less runs than in 2012 in two extra starts and also had a WHIP of 1.090. He also recorded almost 40 more strikeouts than in the previous year. These are statistics that are tell-tale sign that Minor may have turned a corner in his young career.

The upside of Minor is that he is a 25-year-old pitcher who is just coming off his first season of 200 innings. He is an extremely smart pitcher who has played with the likes of David Price at Vanderbilt, and he has an electric fastball that can wipe out guys anywhere in the strike zone. He also has a good breaking ball and a decent change up that he can throw to right-handers. On top of that, he does it from the left side of the rubber.

Minor could be a top of the rotation type of pitcher for years to come. He can overpower hitters and then fool them with his off-speed stuff. However, he has yet to prove that he can sustain the performance that it takes to keep his role as a No. 1 starter for the Braves.

Steven Whitaker is an Atlanta Braves writer for Follow him on Twitter @CoachStevenWhit. Like him on Facebook or add him to you your circle at Google

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