Originally Posted by Benihana
There are a lot of differences between Leake and Bailey.
I think Leake is an asset as a league average starter, but I just don't think he has much upside beyond that. Unlike Bailey, he never projected to better than a #3/#4 starter, so I don't see why he suddenly would become one.
And while I agree he has an elite bat for his position, so did Micah Owings and Bill Gullickson.
However like Bailey, he is going to start to get expensive after next year. And I'd rather keep expensive pitchers like Cueto, Latos and Bailey.
Projections are meaningless once a player has established himself as a major leaguer. I'm sure no one ever projected R.A. Dickey to be a Cy Young winner and top of the rotation stud, but he is. There are dozens of examples of guys who were not considered elite prospects who became elite pitchers. Heck, the Reds own Johnny Cueto was often cited as being 'too small' to start and MOR guy at best even if he did start.
Leake is a guy who is already league average and is still a baby in terms of learning his craft. I find it ludicrous to believe he can't get better just because some scout didn't project him as a TOR guy. As Dickey proved this season, you don't have to be overpowering to be a TOR pitcher. Deception, guile, control, and consistency can go a long way. IMO, Leake still has a lot of room for improvement as he gains experience. If there was ever a pitcher who could make a case for being rushed to majors and having to take his lumps, it is Mike Leake.