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A Closer Look: Braves Rookie Starter Mike Minor

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ANAHEIM CA - JULY 11:  U.S. Futures All-Star Mike Minor #14 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11 2010 in Anaheim California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM CA - JULY 11: U.S. Futures All-Star Mike Minor #14 of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch during the 2010 XM All-Star Futures Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 11 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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The Braves selected Mike Minor with the 7th overall pick in the 2009 draft and many questioned why the Braves selected him so high. Well, he is about to show everyone why on Monday night vs the Astros in Houston. 

Earlier in the year, ESPN's Keith Law responded to a reader's question about Mike Minor by saying he would be a back of the rotation starter. But, in a May 19th chat, he had this to say about Minor:

John (Atlanta)

Mike Minor is striking guys out like crazy, at 13.1 per 9 innings. Is he doing anything differently, or is it more a function of being more polished than the guys he's facing? Was he ever supposed to be a big K guy?

Klaw
  (1:20 PM)

Throwing harder - a good 2-3 mph harder - with the accompanying drop in command. The questions are: Can he improve his command without giving up the newfound velo? And can he maintain the velo for a full season? If the answers to both are "yes," his ceiling would jump to that of a #2 starter.

I am not sure if he has maintained the velocity, but he has a 3.17 K/BB ratio in AA and AAA this season, averaging almost 11 strikeouts per nine innings, while walking 3.4 batters per nine innings.

For the season, he has a 6-7 record, with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. In 120 innings between AA and AAA, he has struck out 146, while walking 46, one of which was intentional.

I attempted to pick him up in the UBA NL-only keeper league, but he was picked up by a team lower in the standings, so I missed out on him. I have also put in free agent claims on him in two other leagues, so I hope I get him in at least one league.

Minor doesn't have the hype that fellow 2009 draftee Stephen Strasburg had earlier this season, but he has a good chance to pitch well and contribute to Atlanta's playoff drive.

Minor should be picked up in mixed and NL-only leagues, especially keeper leagues.