Pitching crop set to make history

These five under-25 pitchers are averaging seven-plus strikeouts per nine

Originally Published: June 27, 2013
By Dan Szymborski | ESPN The Magazine

Matt HarveyJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey is a leader in hits per nine with 6.33.

SALE. STRASBURG. Bumgarner. We know you know these under-25ers are crazy good now that they've been around for four-plus seasons. Throw in Jose Fernandez, Shelby Miller, Patrick Corbin, Matt Harvey and Matt Moore, who are 34-11 and each averaging seven-plus strikeouts per nine, and 2013's pitching crop is on pace to make history. Insider Dan Szymborski looked at the 14 ERA qualifiers under 25 and found that their ERA is a combined 3.42, the lowest since 1985. Yes, the year Dwight Gooden and Bret Saberhagen won Cy Youngs for stunning sophomore seasons. Szymborski then ran the numbers of this year's top six under-25 pitchers by WAR and found that Harvey, Miller, Corbin, Sale, Strasburg and Bumgarner are on pace for 31.2 WAR -- also unmatched since 1985, when Gooden and Saberhagen joined Fernando Valenzuela, Danny Jackson, Mike Witt and Kevin Gross for 33.3. Just how good are these guys? Here's where they stand now, plus a forecast of the mind-blowing numbers we might see by season's end. Just imagine if Gerrit Cole had been called up earlier.


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