Fantasy Baseball: Christian Friedrich Off to a Sizzling Start

May 17, 2012


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Colorado Rockies southpaw Christian Friedrich has been nothing short of sensational in his first two big league starts. In 13 innings the 24-year old has allowed a mere two earned runs for a 1.38 ERA. He has only yielded eleven hits and a pair of walks for a 1.00 WHIP.
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Friedrich is not only getting outs, he is overpowering hitters, racking up 17 strikeouts (11.8 K/9) with impressive control (8.5/1 K/BB).
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He won his Major League debut by holding the Padres to one run over six innings. He followed that performance up with a masterful seven inning, one run, ten strikeout gem against the Giants, only to see his bullpen allow two runs in an inning of work.
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He will have to improve against left-handed batters. He is silencing righties (.184, .436 OPS), but has allowed four hits in ten at bats to lefties with a 1.200 OPS.
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His success is a little surprising based on his 4.04 lifetime minor league ERA. He did pitch well for Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to being called up. Christian was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 27 strikeouts (four walks) in 30 innings.
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Friedrich was once a top left-handed pitching prospect though after a brilliant run at Eastern Kentucky. 2010 and 2011 were tough years, but he seems to have got the joke and is worth keeping an eye on as long as he is pitching this well and has a spot in the rotation. He’s a nice streamer candidate for his next start (Seattle).
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Friedrich is barely owned in fantasy leagues, but that should change in the coming days. If he shuts down the Mariners on Saturday, which is a strong possibility, that number will jump dramatically.
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