Yes, I've finally gotten around to posting my 10 Pitchers You Should Know. Like the hitters list, it's in no particular order. It's your basic introduction to some of the better pitchers in the Big Ten. At least, in my opinion, which is based on two things. 1) Whatever I've seen in person. 2) Whatever information I've been able to acquire. The latter being in short supply, but that's why I started this blog.
1. Dan DeLucia, Ohio State - Collegiate Baseball’s choice as pre-season Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. On the Roger Clemens Award watch list. OSU’s Friday starter went 10-2 last year with a 3.25 ERA. The senior lefty also fanned 69 while yielding only 25 walks. A first team All-Big pick in 2006.
2. Zach Putnam, Michigan - A second team All-Big Ten performer as a freshman. Putnam was 6-2 with a 2.51 ERA in his first year of collegiate ball. Considered the best pro prospect in the conference by Baseball America. Projected as the 2007 Big Ten Player of the Year by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
3. Cory Luebke, Ohio State - The OSU lefthander was named a pre-season all-conference selection by Baseball America which also considers Luebke the fourth best pro prospect in the Big Ten. The junior finished 10th in the conference in strikeouts (65) and tied for fourth in wins (7). Luebke was named third team All-Big Ten after the 2006 season.
4. Chris Fetter, Michigan - Named to the pre-season Clemens Award watch list. A conference leading 2.22 ERA combined with a 5-2 mark earned Fetter a first team All-Big Ten nod in his initial campaign in Ann Arbor. The righthander struck out 48 while walking only 14. Opposing batters hit .246 against Fetter, which was the fourth best mark in the Big Ten.
5. Rory Meister, Ohio State - Tired of seeing these Buckeye hurlers, yet? Well, the OSU closer is just as good as their heralded rotation. Meister is on the pre-season Stopper of the Year watch list. The Ohio State star finished tied for third in saves (6) and paced the Big Ten in appearances (29).
6. Ben Jenzen, Michigan - Tired of seeing these Wolverine hurlers, yet? Michigan’s closer also made the pre-season Stopper of the Year watch list. The righthander earned pre-season all-conference recognition from Baseball America. Last year, Jenzen was 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA and had six saves.
7. Dustin Braebender, Minnesota - Yeah, I had to break up the Michigan/Ohio State thing eventually. Last year, Braebender held opponents to a .229 batting average which was third best in the conference. He went 6-5 with a 3.96 ERA in ‘06. Baseball America lists the Gophers’ righthander as the fifth best pro prospect in the Big Ten. Braebender will probably slide into the Friday starter’s role this season.
8. Josh Lindblom, Purdue - The transfer from Tennessee enters the season as perhaps the most hyped newcomer in the Big Ten. Baseball America has the RHP listed as the second best pro prospect in the conference trailing only Putnam. May move straight into Friday starter's spot.
9. Jake Toohey, Illinois - Toohey is one of the conference’s best closers. He tied for sixth in the Big Ten in saves in ’06. The Illini righthander had a very strong summer in the Northwoods League and probably should have been added to the Stopper of the Year pre-season watch list.
10. J.B. Shuck, Ohio State - Another Clemens Award watch list member. The Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year and Freshman All-America in 2006. Shuck went 8-5 with a 2.51 ERA as the Buckeyes fourth starter. A pre-season All-Big Ten pick by Baseball America.
Here’s ten more that we should keep an eye on. Jake Hale, Ohio State; Tanner Roark, Illinois; Ricky Heines, Purdue; Doug Fleenor, Indiana; Dan Sattler, Purdue; Gary Perniar, Minnesota; Craig Clark, Penn State; Craig Brookes, Michigan State; Tyler Tufts, Indiana; and instead of me flipping a coin for the last spot, I’ll just stop here. Hey, cut me some slack. I gave you nineteen names for a top ten list.