If we were to make a list of the top prospects by Sabermetric Standards, Philip Hughes would almost certainly be the #1 SP, quite possibly the #1 prospect overall in the game. As a Mets fan it pains me to say this, but Hughes is the real deal. If he doesn't make the team out of Spring Training he should be picked up and stashed away sometime in May or June, because he will be up towards the middle of the season. Let's take a closer look at this big-time prospect.
His 10.71 K/9 sticks out like a sore thumb... but in a good way. Hughes pitched 116 innings for Double A Trenton in 2006 where he completely dominated everybody. His BB/9 was a very good 2.48. That gives Hughes a Schilling-like 4.3 K/BB. As if this wasn't enough, more than half of the balls put in play against him are Groundballs. He had a 52.4% Groundball Percentage for Trenton last year. High Ks, Low BBs, and High GBs is the trifecta for any pitcher. The only major league pitcher capable of this feat at the present time is Francisco Liriano. Felix Hernandez is on the verge of this as well.
If these numbers translate at all to the majors, Hughes could be the best waiver wire pickup of the summer. Throw in the fact that he's a Yankee, and wins are bound to come for him. Make sure he is on your team by June 1; we'll talk more about him as the time comes. Oh, and if some Yankee fan thought he or she'd be cute by drafting him, it might be a good idea to try and trade for him now. Don't overpay, but Hughes could be a top 30 SP this year, and I'm saying that pessimistically. He could certainly end up higher; he's definitely got the skills for it.
The minor league stats came from Minor League Splits dot com