Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Johan Alexander Santana Araque might be the best American baseball player this world has ever known. His 91-95 mph fastball, his slurve, and his tailing changeup are all quad-plus (plus plus plus plus) pitches, and his ability to leg press 1050 lbs--while irrelevant to his pitching prowess--is also impressive. Almost as impressive as his ability to stay a strict vegan even though his wife makes her soups with a chicken-based broth (source: anon within Philly org).
In fact, Doug MacCafferty, the famed single-A scout, believes Santana is poised to shock the world and win at least thirty games this year. "If he can command his stuff, really just go out there and command it each start, I see no reason why he doesn't win thirty, thirty-one games this year."
In addition, I just got off the phone with my source within the Mets organization and he is soup-to-nuts thrilled. The Mets feel that once you control for stadium coefficient, line-up lag, catcher ineptitude, and New Yorkability, Santanta could double the number of wins he had last year (he had 15 wins last year).
I did some quick mathematical projections myself and found that as long as the Mets lineup scores their projected 1020 runs created (runs = (hits+BB) (TB) / At-bats + BB), and as long as he faces the Pirates seven times (assuming the current rotation holds steady), he could win as many as thirty-five games and as few as seven. The biggest variable is Measure Maturity, which for Santana should hold steady or even increase (see graph).
Bottom line: If he wins his fifteenth before the AS break, I'd say he has a decent shot at the elusive 30-win mark. The MLB record is held by Jack Chesbro, who went 41-12 for the New York Highlanders in 1904.