Roto Rookies: Francisco Liriano
The Roto Authority is starting to warm up to rookie pitchers. Maybe because we currently own Zach Duke and Felix Hernandez on our fantasy baseball team? Some doubt the usefulness of young, untested starters. But here at The Roto Authority we encourage you to take chances on the up-and-comers. That's how you discover the Dontrelle Willis types, even if you have to deal with the failure of the occasional Matt Riley.
With that in mind, we endorse Minnesota Twins rookie Francisco Liriano. Get him onto your pitching staff, even if he's initially broken in through the bullpen. Even King Felix was supposed to get his ML cherry popped in a bullpen. Suddenly he's making 11 starts in 2005. Odds are the Twins will turn to Liriano as a starter soon enough, 2006 at the latest.
Joe Mays is still living off his 2001 fluke - aren't the Twins trying to make the playoffs here? Replace him already! At the moment, Twins GM Terry Ryan is holding his phenom hostage at Rochester for some inexplicable reason. We still can't see why he wouldn't be a September call-up.
Liriano is loaded with talent - a mid-90s fastball and a sweet curve. The heater has actually been rumored to approach 98 mph according to Baseball America. He's dominated AAA this year to the tune of a 1.46 ERA and 10 K/9. There's no doubt Liriano is ready for the show, although he does have a history of injury. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a top five young gun, Francisco Liriano is definitely a name you should know.