The New York Yankees do not make mistakes — or at least that is what they tell themselves. Once upon a time they were considered not just the best team that money could buy, but the best farm system anyone could groom. While their system has taken a hit the past several years, there is just something about turning a player they passed on into a success story. Enter Jose Quintana.
Quintana starts for the Chicago White Sox today after making the Opening Day roster for the second time in his career. Coming off a nine-win season that saw his ERA drop from 3.76 to 3.51 and his WHIP from 1.35 to 1.22, the Sox recently handed him a five-year extension. In 2012, with the Sox in desperate need of someone to step in for a few quality starts due to a depleted rotation, Quintana got the call. The lefty was expected to make one or two starts then head back to the minors. Fortunately for the team, Quintana impressed with his craftiness, which made up for the lack of velocity on his fastball. The Sox had no choice but keep him in the rotation for the rest of the season.
Entering 2013, critics believed that Quintana would regress and start feeling arm problems due to a continued increase in innings. Quintana dominated in 200 innings over the course of the season. One of the reasons he was able to not break down at the end of the season was due to his arm motion being one that is so smooth that it does not put strain on the rest of his body. Spending his first full season in the majors allowed him to become a more polished pitcher. His combination of a plus-fastball, solid breaking ball and devastating change-up allows for him to keep hitters off balance. Quintana’s ability to be a strike thrower resulted him in raising his SO/9 from 5.3 to 7.4, despite not having much life on his fastball some games.
Quintana was passed on not once, but twice by the Yankees. The White Sox jumped at the chance to mold the pitcher their own unique way. With the help of pitching coach Don Cooper, Quintana has become one of the most underrated No. 1 starters in the game. Don’t the Yankees wish they could have another do-over?
Watch Jose Quintana and the White Sox on the diamond all season long by grabbing your White Sox tickets today.