There was a lot of talk about how the Bay Rays were in trouble after losing five in a row and losing two of their starters to shoulder trouble. Buster Olney, the much respected analyst said as much the other day on ESPN. But the Bay Rays are so deep in talent that the well never seems to go dry. Need another pitcher? How about Jeremy Hellickson?
All Hellickson has done is throw two straight gems to start his big league career at 2-0. He has now pitched fourteen innings and has only given up two runs. His 1.29 ERA goes nicely with his 0.57 WHIP. He has struck out 13 and walked only 2. He has given up only seven hits. Not a bad "fill in" starter, eh?
Hellickson is simply continuing what he has done ever since he turned professional after being drafted in 2005. He was 18-4 combined last year in three different minor league assignments. This year he was 12-3. He has a combined minor league record of 49-16. Add his 2-0 start in the big leagues and Hellickson has a .767 winning percentage since turning pro. Yeah, that's pretty good.
And Hellickson wasn't a first round draft pick either. He was drafted in the fourth round in 2005. There were 115 players drafted before him. How does that happen? How good are the Bay Rays in evaluating talent when they can get a guy like him in the fourth round?
Don't cry for the Bay Rays. They have more ammo where that came from.