EDIT: Welp, just like that, Bauer has been promoted to AAA (per Ray's comment below) and this is NOT happening. :(
As a Mariners fan, let me tell you that I was among the stunned when the M's took Danny Hultzen with the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 draft. We had been led to believe that this guy was "not elite" and that he was a "safe pick" that might only be a number three starter. Seattle took Hultzen over a host of other good-looking prospects such as Bubba Starling, Francisco Lindor, and the number three overall pick, Trevor Bauer.
Many people had felt that Bauer was a better prospect than teammate and number one pick Gerrit Cole, and drew comparisons to Tim Lincecum based on size and delivery. The last thing I need as an M's fan is to hear more crap about how we passed on University of Washington's Lincecum and were we doing it again?
I think that it's fair to say that Hultzen was undersold at the draft and just because people might not have had him rated that high in their minds, he was still going to be a top-10 pick. He's left-handed, polished, near-MLB ready, 6'3", 200 lbs, who already thrives on his change-up. Bauer is more exciting, probably has a higher ceiling, and works with a four-seam and a two-seam fastball at different speeds plus an excellent curve.
Tonight, whether it's fair or not, they'll face off and be compared to one another based on who has the better game.
This seasons stats:
Hultzen: 37.2 innings, 36 K, 23 BB, 1.91 ERA, 17 hits allowed, 51% groundballs, 3.45 FIP, .178 BABIP against.
Bauer: 48.1 innings, 60 K, 26 BB, 1.68 ERA, 33 hits allowed, 47% groundballs, 2.63 FIP, .288 BABIP against.
Both pitchers could stand to walk fewer hitters and Hultzen's control has been unbelievably bad in his last two starts, walking 11 batters in 11.1 innings and thriving off of a low BABIP that has kept very few balls from dropping in for hits this season. He has failed to go more than five innings in three of his seven starts, but only three earned runs have scored in his last six trips to the mound.
Bauer is coming off of perhaps his best start of the season, after striking out nine and walking one in seven innings of work. He gave up one hit in seven innings in his start previous to that, but walked five and struck out five. These guys are facing off at 5:05 PST tonight and could be pitching in the majors at some point this season, but it will help if they can refine their command.
Gameday Audio can be found here.
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