Time for the final assessment of the Rays pitching staff, Jeremy Hellickson. Now Hellickson was not included in the starting rotation group because at the end of the season, he was moved to the bullpen (bad decision). Hellickson dominated as a starter, but struggled as a reliever for the Rays. Heading into next season, Hellickson may be a starter for the Rays (we will have a blog dedicated to all the possible scenarios). For now, let’s look at the numbers behind the stud young pitcher.
Hellickson finished the season with a 4-0 record while posting an ERA of 3.47. He struck out 33 batters and walked only 8. Hellickson gave up 32 hits including 5 homeruns, while only allowing batters to hit .232 against him (both in bullpen and starting combined).
Hellickson is an incredible pitcher. He has an average fastball (averaging around 94 MPH), but he relies on his off-speed pitches the most. He has incredible command of his breaking pitch and his slider, which he uses most of the time to get batters to swing and miss. Some are critical of him for not using his fastball enough, but with the command he already has, Hellickson does not have to rely on the fastball. Hellickson doesn’t overpower hitters, but instead confuses them and forces them to swing at pitches that break outside the zone.
Hellickson is the Rays future, but there are still questions on his stamina and what his role will actually be next season. The Rays are usually slow to bring up pitchers, so there are chances Hellickson may be limited again next season, but as good as he is, the Rays may have to change their plans for him. Final grade: B (struggled in the bullpen, but incredible as a starter).
Tags: Jeremy Hellickson