Don’t cha love how the Rays are one of the best teams in the major leagues and their minor league system is stacked and no one cares? I’d say that the Rays have more pure baseball fans than any other club, but we all know pure baseball fans live in K.C., eat BBQ and listen to jazz. They don’t go to Tampa to watch the Rays play in a terrible stadium. More people outside of Tampa know about the Rays than people in the city. Okay, that point’s belabored enough. Jeremy Hellickson has the goods, young sir. Control? Check! Strikeouts? Check-check! A bit too many fly balls? Yeah, but whatever. The Rays outfield is quick to the point to the point no fakin’. I want to wrap Hellickson up in a lavash, top him with spicy hummus and rename him Baba Gotnastystuff. So what can we expect of Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 fantasy baseball?
Last year in 4 major league starts (36 1/3 IP), he had 33 Ks and 8 BBs, making for a 1.10 WHIP. Usually I’d chuck such a small sample size, but I kinda think that’s Hellickson, which is damn impressive for a 23-year-old. As Mr. Intro Paragraph tossed out there, fly balls are a bit of an issue. In those 36 1/3 IP, he gave up 5 homers. That’s worrisome. Also, where do the Rays pitch him? I’ll be honest, me no comprende el answero. Someone should get hit hard and bumped or injured, so here’s hoping Hellickson will get in there by June 1st. If he breaks camp in the rotation (a definite possibility), he’s draftable in all leagues in the final rounds. If he starts the year in the minors, I’m not bothering with him in drafts. If you want to know why, think about what a joy it was to own Aroldis Chapman coming out of drafts last year. For Hellickson’s line, let’s give him 150 IP and 9-5/3.60/1.10/140 with a chance of roofie-ing, i.e. not too shabby, i.e., a number 3 to 4 fantasy starter. It all comes down to this, he does not walk people and he strikes people out. That’s a wonderful thing. That’s like the hottest girl you can think of saying, “I won’t sleep with you unless my equally hot friend can sleep with you too.” No, you haven’t died and woken up in 1985 Mickey Rourke’s body, you’re owning Hellickson.