Jobu debuts his “Who Are These Effin’ Guys” Series with a profile of Arizona’s Patrick Corbin.
Earlier this season, the Yankees got completely shut down by some kid on the Diamondbacks. Little did I know, that Corbin wasn’t just picking on a weakened Yankees offense, he was actually spitting hot fire on the mound that would carry him deep into May. Earlier this week, Clu wrote about the no name Yankees and their unexpected success. His title inspired this new series of posts. Thanks, Clu. So who is this Effin’ Guy? Let’s meet the Arizona Diamondbacks’ latest sensation, Patrick Corbin.
No. Seriously. Where’d he come from? The soon-to-be 24-year old lefty from Clay, New York was originally drafted by the Angels in 2009, and came over to the Diamondbacks in the 2010 Dan Haren trade. Corbin, Rafael Rodríguez, Joe Saunders and a player to be named later (Tyler Skaggs) all went to the Angels in exchange for Haren. Haren’s career has taken a big downturn of late, and he’s now on the Washington Nationals, so I guess we know who has the leg up on the deal as we stand right now.
Anyway, Corbin wasn’t always viewed as a big time prospect. He didn’t pitch until his Junior year in high school and was barely recruited when he graduated. He ended up attending Mohawk Valley Community College and was noticed by scouts during a traveling showcase (wiki). He then transferred to Chipola College and was drafted by the Angels after his first year there. He struggled a bit at first, but was still named the 12th best prospect in the Angels system before the trade.
It was a slight change in approach that changed his fate. He began pitching to contact more, and not trying to strike everybody out. He actually ended up with solid strikeout numbers that year, fanning 106 guys in 118.2 innings while pitching in A and A+ ball. The he got traded. In 2011, while pitching in AA, he threw 27.1 consecutive scoreless innings and finished the season at 9-8 with a 4.21 ERA and 142 Ks in 160.1 innings.
He was very impressive during Spring Training 2012, posting a 0.57 ERA and nearly making the team. In late April, when Josh Collmenter struggled and was moved to the bullpen, Corbin was called up to join the rotation. He won his big league debut against the Marlins (at least he got an easy opponent in his first start), and ended the year 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA in 22 games and 17 starts. Not bad for a 22/23 year old rookie, right?.
Anyway, he made the Diamondbacks’ rotation out of Spring Training this season, and he’s been absolutely lights out. In 9 starts, he’s pitched to a 7-0 record with a minuscule 1.44 ERA, striking out 51 batters in 62.1 innings. How did he go from being a fringy prospect to one of the best young arms in the league? Apparently he ate his wheaties. His velocity is up this season from years past. Not an astronomical amount, but a couple of extra ticks on the fastball and the development of some good secondary pitches will do wonders for a young guy.
Here’s hoping he keeps it up, although not this week. I’m facing him in fantasy baseball.
Featured image courtesy of: Sarah Glenn
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