Alex Colome to start today

US PRESSWIRE

Get excited.

In the wake of yesterdays win over the Miami Marlins, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times had this bit of news

To cover for Cobb's absence, Matt Moore will pitch tomorrow (rather than his scheduled spot today) against Cleveland and Alex Colome will get his first major league start today against the more forgiving Marlin's lineup. This, my friends, is exciting news.

Let's play a game. Here are the stat lines for two different Rays pitchers at triple-A Durham.

Innings Pitched K/9 BB/9 ERA
Player A 71.3 9.5 3.9 3.09
Player B 53.1 8.9 4.6 4.13

I'll give you a moment to digest those lines and guess who they are.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Player A is Alex Colome (age 23 and 24), Player B is David Price (age 22 and 23).

Now please be clear. I'm not saying that Alex Colome is better than David Price. I'm not really saying much of substance. All I'm saying is that you should GET EXCITED. The DRays Bay community voted Colome our seventh best prospect, and that might end up being a conservative prediction. He is loaded with potential, and has shown pretty good strikeout production in the minors. Michael Valancius talked about Colome back before the season started as one of the Rays impact prospects. And Mark Hulet of FanGraphs rated Colome the organizations fifth best prospect.

Scouting reports agree that he has a blazing mid 90s fastball, an impressive, high 80s to low 90s cutter/slider that may now be his second best pitch (Sobsey thinks so, and he's probably the authority, seeing him most often), a curve, and a change. Previously, the curve ball was the pitch everyone was raving about, but it's fallen off, or at least is used less frequently. The scouting reports I've seen mention Colome's changeup almost as an afterthought (although Sobsey does say it has 10 mph of separation from the fastball), but before yesterday's broadcast, Colome stated that the biggest difference for him this season was that Joel Peralta had worked with him in spring training and helped him learn to throw his changeup for strikes. It's nice to see that even with James Shields gone, the Rays still have someone on staff preaching the change to the young'uns.

So what does a young flamethrower with four pitches all good enough that there's some uncertainty which is best mean? It means GET EXCITED. After tonight, we will have game film and PITCHf/x data on Colome to go with the glowing scouting reports.

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