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Mike Minor: 2011 Fantasy Sleeper

Mike Minor was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He quickly rose through the minors and made his first major league start with the Atlanta Braves exactly 14 months after being drafted.

His first four starts couldn’t have gone much better. Minor amassed a 3-0 record to go along with a 3.91 ERA and 26 Ks in 23 IP. However, fatigue set in after that and he didn’t win another game in his final four starts. He ended the year with a 5.98 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP, but he did manage to keep his strikeout rate high, ending the year with a K/9 of 9.52.

Despite his late season struggles, there is a lot to like about Minor in 2011. Keith Law, ESPN’s resident prospect guru, ranks him as the Braves fifth best prospect and the 61st best prospect in all of baseball. No need to worry about Minor’s prospect status though as he is expected to make the Braves opening day roster as the fifth starter.

There is a lot to like about Minor’s minor league numbers. In 134.1 innings, Minor struck out 163 batters, good for a 10.9 K/9. His control was also pretty good as his career minor league BB/9 is 3.1. Minor’s ability to strikeout opposing batters and limit his walks contributed to an impressive K/BB ratio of 3.54, a 3.15 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

With Minor’s pedigree and impressive minor league numbers, you’d think he would have had a stronger start to his major league career. Well, he did pitch better than the numbers indicate. His FIP was 3.77 and his .379 BABIP will assuredly come down next year. Also, his K/BB ratio with the Braves was an excellent 3.91. To put that in perspective, the average major league pitcher had a K/BB ratio of 2.17 last year.

Minor is someone to target late in your draft. He won’t be a workhorse and give you 200 innings, but he will be an excellent source of strikeouts with an above average ERA and WHIP.

Cue the, “his contributions won’t be minor” line.

2011 Fantasy Projection

12-11 | 3.95 ERA | 1.25 WHIP | 157 K | 160 IP | 8.83 K/9

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About the author: George graduated with a degree in Journalism, but instead of walking at his graduation, he walked down the aisle at his wedding. He’s been playing fantasy baseball for over a decade and his interest and knowledge in the sport is as big and growing as his eyebrows are bushy…and growing. (@BaseballProf)

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