Mr. DeMille, I'm ready....
Last winter, I was stoked to read that post-hype prospect Julio Teheran had returned to his old delivery after failed attempts by his club to change it.
This pressing of the reset button made me want to chase him in deep leagues again, given his high-end pedigree.
In 2014, I'm becoming more excited about what's to come from another forgotten young arm for the same reason:
Cleveland Indians SP Trevor Bauer has made mechanical adjustments this offseason that have impressed the coaching staff. "He's kind of getting back to his old delivery," pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. "It looks really good. It looked like his command is getting better and there's some more deception. I would say it's a more refined delivery. It's the same mechanics but a little more refined, and it looks a little more repeatable. It's a little less violent."
The cerebral right-hander, a mechanical engineering major, dissects his own game like few other young players. Though Bauer reportedly can rub coaches the wrong way, and there's always the risk of suffering paralysis by analysis, it's easy to forget he'll turn just 23 later this week.
As was the case with Teheran, Bauer dominated on the farm but bent more noticeably as he climbed the ladder. Setbacks have prompted him to re-evaluate his game and go back to his comfort zone, as his Atlanta Braves inspiration did.
Bauer's high walk rate will add a degree of hardship to his climb, but that's more often than not the final component to come around when a pitcher reaches a new skill level. His big-league numbers have been rough in a small sample size, but his stuff remains filthy, as evidenced by opponents' .228 career average against him. The former gem simply needs to cut down on the free passes and challenge hitters in the zone more frequently.
He's in competition for the fifth rotation spot, yet he'll be even more of a fantasy secret than Teheran was heading into last year. Unless the Tribesman spills the beans during spring starts, you probably don't need to draft him in most mixed games, but he must land on your radar not soon after.
Before your opponents notice, you better recharge your Bauer power.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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