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A.J. Griffin: Relevant Again?

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Where did he go? Who cares... he's back.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Yes. He is.

The 28 year old San Diegan made his MLB debut in June of 2012. He went 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP as a 24-year-old prospect. He put up solid numbers the next year pitching 200 innings en route to a 14-10 record with the Oakland Athletics. Griffin did not record an IP in the majors from 9/24/13 until April 8th of this year. He spent most of 2013 and 2014 on the DL. Tommy John surgery is now gone in the wind and so are his  doubts of being the same successful starter in the bigs again.

Today, before me, A.J. Griffin is twirling another gem. He's made it through 6 innings vs the most potent offense in the league, in their castle. He has 9 strikeouts (3 registered by Tulo and 2 by Joey Bats), allowed only 3 hits, and is in line for another win. Another win? Yes, another win, what he so fond of -- A.J. is looking to start the season with a solid 4-0 record. That would give him 25 wins to only 11 loses for his career. That's awfully impressive given the fact he was never pronounced an uber prospect of any kind. He came up in 2012 and really found a groove. He continues that groove into 2016 after a small Tommy-John bump and is not looking back.

What made A.J. special in his 2012, 7-1 season: his nasty curve.

I went to high school with A.J. Griffin, didn't know him that well, but what I did know about him was his curve ball. That's what he's been known for. It's been his bread and butter since he was playing little league in Fletcher Hills of La Mesa, CA. In 2012, he threw it about 18% of the time. It induced a whiff 14% of the time and created tons of weak contact. Here's 2013 results (his greatest sample of work - 200 innings):

It got even dirtier. He threw almost twice as many as he did in '12 and the BAA dropped .045 points while sapping all of his opponents power. ISO vs his curve was a deadening .060. Good luck hitting one of the loopiest curve balls in the league: pf/x has recorded it dropping 10 inches vertically on average this year. Check out some results of it this year:

He is getting guys to swing at it more than half the time because I'm sure it looks awfully juicy coming in at an average of 68 MPH. He's gotten a whiff on it at a 13% clip so far this season.

Enough about his curve ball. More about his style: have you seen this guy's lettuce? Impeccable.

Not only does he have the silky locks, but he teams it with a magical stache to create the super-human that he is.

He's a super-human with super talent. Congrats to Griff for coming back from TJ and getting back on the grind. He looks great again and he is absolutely viable for 12 team mixed leagues and at some point 10 team if he keeps progressing. He's owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues but that number should rise by tomorrow. Pick him up and find yourself reeling in some wins to go along with a good ERA and WHIP. He doesn't have the great K/9 you'd like to see but it's average and after his latest performance, maybe he can get it up to 8.5 or 9. Grab him while you can. A.J. can help you.

How can you not like this guy?

A dude that rips the guitar and gets on a list like the one above -- is 'the dude' indeed.