Yankees phenom Phil Hughes had an interesting year last year, beginning the ’07 season as the near unanimous top minor league pitching prospect and finishing it with a very respectable 4.46 / .235 BAA line in 72.2 innings, during which he K’d 58 against 28 free passes. All in all, despite some injury setbacks, you’d have to call it a solid introduction to the big leagues for a young pitcher.
Still, it was nearly as unanimous that by the end of the year, he’d been surpassed by the likes of Joba Chamberlain within the organization (who frankly terrifies me), but even worse, Clay Buchholz without.
For his part, the Sox’ slim righthander K’d an even more impressive 22 in 22 and two thirds innings before being shut down due to shoulder fatigue, although I hadn’t realized he’d walked 10 in the same span. Even more impressive, the average against Buchholz? A mere .184. Oh, and there was that game in which he allowed no hits; did you see the bender that closed it against Markakis? Sweet jebus, that was unholy.
Anyway, whether you’d take him over Joba is a point worthy of debate (Keith Law would take Joba), no doubt, but I agree with the general conclusion that you’re pretty happy with either.
And also with the general conclusion that – at least as of today (how quick this can change) – you’d probably prefer either to Phil Hughes. Which is more of a testament to how good those two are than any failing on Hughes’ part, but still.
All of that said, however, there is one area in which Hughes clearly surpasses both Buchholz and Chamberlain – at least to the best of my knowledge. He blogs, and they do not.
So let’s pick it up there, Clay. Rumor has it you’re a bright kid, in spite of the HS mistake, and I’d prefer that we not get outdone by the Yankees in any medium.