He doesn’t own the buzz that comes attached to a name like Marcus Stroman, nor has he been anointed the next to take the throne as if his alias was Aaron Sanchez. Sean Nolin, however, is lurking in the prospect shadows, undoubtedly climbing the Toronto Blue Jays‘ ladder in his own right, regardless if anyone is making a fuss over the developing southpaw.
This is where baseball and its worlds of “reality” and “fantasy” have a close relationship. Does Nolin own a “lights out” arsenal? That would be a negative. Could each and every MLB franchise use a solid, back-end of the rotation option? That action would be affirmative.
How many fantasy owners have him stashed away on their dynasty bench? The results are minimal at best. How many fake leagues are won because of its depth? The victories are countless. Never underestimate the returns a reliable pedigree can bring.
If you live in Toronto, you suffer from starting-rotation anxiety; prolonged progress is not part of this town’s vernacular. As quickly as the optimism over one start joins the discussion, a disparaging outing has a knack for the follow-up questions.
Let’s bring Nolin back into the conversation. He has looked every bit the part to become a fixture of this ballclub. Unless he becomes naturally blessed like a 21-year-old kid blazing trails in Miami (Jose Fernandez), the lefty simply has to keep punching his timecard and his opportunity to shine on a major-league mound will arise.
The minor-league track record has remained intact as the Buffalo Bisons‘ 2014 season rolls along.
2014: 23 IP / 1.96 ERA / 24 SO / 9.4 K/9 / 4.3 BB/9
Career: 364.1 IP / 2.89 ERA / 387 SO / 9.6 K/9 / 2.8 BB/9
With the increase in the southpaw’s walk-rate the last hurdle to climb (combined with the consistency factor, as free passes have plagued the young gun every other outing), it won’t be long before Nolin follows in Stroman’s footsteps.
Low 90s is where he might top out, but there is enough upside to warrant a potential claiming of the No. 4 rotation spot in the not so distant months ahead. Stepping out of the shadows will be a bright future.