Interesting. My framework is that you balance and assess command, makeup and stuff to determine a pitcher's ceiling, and connected to that, their utilization.
To be a # 3, you have to have one plus pitch and two average ones, combined with average command and makeup. To be a TOR starter you need at least 2 plus pitches, plus better than average command and makeup.
So Wood might be a #3 because his changeup is a plus pitch, but I just don't see his other stuff as TOR, but I'm asking you about it because I think you have a better read on his pitching skills.
Its weird that a guy with less than one year in the bigs is "at his ceiling".
Lets assume that his stuff is as good as it will ever be.
"At his ceiling" would also assume that he has nothing left to learn at the big league level.
1) how to get all the various big league hitters out. what pitches each guy hits well & doesn't hit well
2) the strikezone of all the umpires
3) how to adjust
4) how to pace himself
5) how to get big league hitters out without his best stuff
With Travis Wood I would be very interested to hear the opinion of a scout who saw Wood pitch this year. Not in terms of what he envisions him as but how he looked in terms of command and movement.
I saw him pitch a few times this year and was really surprised when I saw his fastball hitting 92-93 after hearing all the reports he was 88-90 guy. If his movement and command are good, he is more than than a back end guy.
A couple of other points
1.) I would be curious if the opinions of Wood would change if he was 6'4" instead of a generous 5'11"
2.) I would be curious if Kevin Goldstein saw him pitch, or talked to someone who saw him pitch this year, or if he went off old scouting reports.
You want to know what a #1 pitcher is? Pick a given year and pick out the 30 best starting pitchers. Those are #1's.
Taking the 2010 season, the MLB had 127 pitchers with 120 innings thrown. Those guys make up the majority of starting pitchers in baseball. Lets break them down by 30/30/30/30/7 to make up the 1-5, ordered by ERA by 'group'.
Does Travis Wood really project as a 5.00 ERA pitcher? That is what a back or the rotation arm actually is in baseball today, regardless of what some ideology thinks it should be.Code:Group IP ERA #1 5978.04 2.91 #2 5844.67 3.64 #3 5459.66 4.19 #4 4882.35 4.92 #5 1037.67 5.72
Obviously not. But he was the Reds #1. And yes, that doesn't make him a true #1 starter. I suppose there are big money teams that have true #1 starters as their #3 starter.
If there are 90 better starting pitchers in baseball than Travis Wood, I would love for someone to name them.
"My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton
You're not going to come up with 90 pitchers 'better than' Travis Wood because--in the eyes of the naysayers--Wood has already pitched above his head a little bit. The thought is that it's only a matter of time before the league gets familiar with him, at which point his numbers will decline to the point of a #4 starter. If Wood can keep up what he did in 2010, he's easily a #1 or #2 starter. Anyway, if you even out the talent of starting pitching across MLB, Wood is, at best, a #3 starter but more likely a #4 starter on both teams.
Jake Peavy (when healthy)
Kris Medlen (when healthy)
Stephen Strausberg (when healthy)
Jorge de la Rosa
. . . and that's only a quick scan. I'm sure I can come up with more names.