Imagine a combination of James Shields and Andrew Sonnanstine. Take Shields change-up, make it slightly less devastating, then add a low to mid 90's fastball, a cutter, a curveball, a slider, and a sinker and you have the repertoire of our pitcher. Now look at his numbers: 7.67 strikeouts per game, 1.74 walks per game, 0.50 homeruns allowed per game, 54.5 groundball%, 16.6 LD%, and a 2.94 FIP.
Who is this guy? It's none other than 24 year old Durham Bulls right-hander Mitch Talbot. Often overlooked Talbot is currently performing better than possibly the entire Durham rotation featuring Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann, and David Price. Here are the lines for each thus far at Durham:
Davis 8.76 K/9, 3.83 BB/9, 0.91 HR/9, 10.9 LD%, 43.8 GB%, 3.93 FIP
Niemann 8.21 K/9, 3.44 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9, 17.0 LD%, 46.2 GB%, 4.18 FIP
Talbot 7.67 K/9, 1.74 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9, 16.6 LD%, 54.5 GB%, 2.94 FIP
Price 8.05 K/9, 4.26 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9, 22.4 LD%, 51.7 GB%, 2.97 FIP
Not too shabby considering Davis was deemed untouchable and Price was the top overall draft pick last year. Niemann was also a former first round pick but injuries have slowed his progress to a full-time major league pitcher.