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Strasburg Who? Young Guns Chomping at the Bit
Cody Crosby,

Did you miss out of the Stephen Strasburg firestorm a few weeks ago? Do you wish you could have a fresh-faced youngster in your fantasy rotation? The following youngsters could be your ticket.

Do not expect a Strasburgian performance out of the following youngsters but they are could be quite potent when called up to the major leagues.

Jeremy Hellickson (Tampa Bay Rays)

Hellickson isn't new to FantasyJuice land as he was featured in an Almost Ripe article to start the season. Not surprisingly, “Hellboy” has not disappointed at the AAA level during the first part of the season. He is tied for the AAA lead in Wins, second in Strikeouts, and is near the top in ERA and WHIP.

While his 9:2 strikeout to walk ratio is not near his superb career number, he is still punching out players at a decent clip (9+ Ks/inning.) His batting average against is a tad high compared to his career but he has only allowed three home runs in 15 starts.

Wade Davis is in his way as the #5 pitcher in Tampa, but do not be surprised to see Hellickson make his major league debut soon after the All-Star Break.

Dan Hudson (Chicago White Sox)

Hudson and Hellickson are duking it out for best pitcher in AAA with Hudson tied for first in Wins, and first in Ks. After a shaky start to the season, Hudson boasts a 2.40 ERA over his last 10 starts with 74 Ks in 60 innings.

Hudson got a taste of the majors last season with a couple starts and four relief appearances. The White Sox will be looking to call up Hudson in the near future. He rose fast through the minors in 2009 but appears ready for the big stage. He projects as an Ian Kennedy-like producer.

Travis Wood (Cincinnati Reds)

After a superb 2009 season, Wood looked to break camp with the Reds after the 2010 Spring Training session. Unfortunatly for Wood, Mike Leake made the squad and bumped him down to AAA.

Wood has posted a couple shaky outings for the Louisville Bats but continues to post solid numbers, including a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Wood can't be kept in AAA much longer so look for him to be up in late July/early August for the Reds. He won't be a spectacular pitcher but should be effective, much like Leake.

Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants)

Bumgarner made a brief, yet impressive, major league appearance in 2009 as a 20 year-old. He's still 20 and he's doing his thang in AAA. His hit rate is quite high and could be the reason for his holding pattern in the minors.

After striking out 11 batters in his last appearance, Bumgarner continues to show the flashes of brilliance that had him high atop prospect lists coming into the 2010 season. The Giants won't keep him down all season but don't expect strikeouts from Bumgarner for a few more seasons.

Michael Pineda (Seattle Mariners)

Let's just say you need to keep an eye on Pineda. In 341 innings throughout his minor league career, hitters have managed only 13 home runs off of him, striking out 320 times, and walking 76 times. Through 77 innings at AA in 2010, Pineda let one ball over the fence, and walked 17 batters.

The Mariners won't keep Pineda at the AA level for long and, most likely, will see his face in the majors before the season is up. If you are in a keeper league of any sort, jump on his bandwagon as soon as you can. He's going to be a top-notch #2 pitcher behind Felix Hernandez in the near future.

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