Christian Friedrich was considered the Rockies #1 prospect not too long ago. Then he decided to post back-to-back 5.00+ ERA seasons while his strikeouts per nine innings fell below eight. Not exactly what you want to see from your “top prospect.” Many Rockies fans and scouts in general are blaming Friedrich’s demise on injury problems. If that truly is the case, then his 8.1 K/9 in AAA this year indicates he is still probably less than 100%. Whether Friedrich has all his tools or not, it’s time for him to sit on the pot and do what he can for the Rockies.
Friedrich was just called up to fill-in for for injured Jeremy Guthrie and Jhoulys Chacin and will start today. Making your MLB Debut against the Padres at PETCO is probably the safest way to transition into the big leagues. What will happen after today’s start, though? Jeremy Guthrie is set to return from the Disabled List next week so Friedrich will need to be more impressive than Alex White over his next two starts if he wants to make this opportunity more than just a cup of coffee.
Fantasy Impact: If you are in a 20 team NL-Only League, he may be worth a look. Realistically, you should forget you ever read this and avoid Friedrich like the plague. I think Friedrich could eventually be a decent left-handed option out of the bullpen once the Rockies realize he doesn’t have the stuff to be a MLB starter.
Comparable Pitchers: John Danks, Pat Misch, Sean Marshall
2012 Prediction: 44 Innings – 2 Wins – 5.29 ERA – 1.49 WHIP – 34 K – 17 BB