Saturday, April 16, 2005

Aaron Heilman Report

Aaron Heilman, RHP, New York Mets
Drafted 18th Overall, 2001 Draft, Notre Dame
Bats R/Throws R
26 YO, 6'5", 220 lbs

Heilman's one hit shutout of the Marlins last night will no doubt catch the eye of casual fans and roto owners alike as he had been all but forgotten since he burst onto the scene as a promising young prospect, making it up to AAA Norfolk in his first full pro season. He looked great last night, striking out 7 in the effort.

He generally works with a low 90's sinker and a nice splitter. When he's at his best, he's producing a ton of ground balls. He needs to watch his command though because if he gets the ball up or starts walking batters, he can get hammered. He also has a changeup that he's been working on for a couple of years, but I'm not sure that's a consistent go-to pitch. When I think of this kind of pitcher, for some reason, I usually go to Charles Nagy, who works pretty well for a Heilman comp.

2004 Norfolk: 4.33 ERA, 123 K, 66 BB, 156 H, 15 HR, 151 IP
2004 New York: 5.46 ERA, 22 K, 13 BB, 27 H, 4 HR, 28 IP
mL Career: 3.68 ERA, 365 K, 155 BB, 408 H, 30 HR, 430 IP
MLB Career: 6.36 ERA, 73 K, 54 BB, 106 H, 17 HR, 93 IP

Last night's performance was obviously above his normal range of ability, but given a good infield defense, he could be an above average innings eater for some team. If this opens the door for him to get a full time rotation spot, he'll probably generate an ERA in the mid to high 4's. He's not a star in the making, but he could be an inning sponge who is really dependent on the defense behind him and his ability to get hitters to beat the ball into the ground time and time again. The upside is something on the order of a poor man's Derek Lowe. Nagy's a more likely outcome.

ETA: Now
3 Stars

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