Although he has only pitched in two Mariners games in 2017, James Paxton already looks to be in Cy Young form. Can Paxton continue his stellar 2017 all the way to a Cy Young award?
James Paxton has been more Clayton Kershaw than Kershaw has been in 2017. Even though the season is still very young, Paxton has shown signs of turning into the ace pitcher all Mariners fans have been waiting for.
So far in 2017, Paxton has pitched 13 innings and has 13 strikeouts to go along with it. Also in 2017, he has only 3 walks with a 0.692 WHIP and a 0.9 WAR. For reference, his career WAR in four other Major League seasons is 5.0.
Going beyond the numbers, the most impressive part of his game has been his composure and mixture of pitches. He has consistently been fooling hitters and has been able to throw any pitch in any count to this point.
In his age 28 season, it seems that the once top prospect is turning into the ace-quality pitcher we have been hoping for. And there is no better time for him to finally come into form.
2017 is a crucial year for the Mariners. The management is putting all the chips on the table and going all in for this year. We traded away many top prospects and future stars so that we can finally break the playoff drought.
If Paxton can help lead the charge to the playoffs, all will be forgotten and forgiven from the past 15 years.
The beginning of his career has been riddled with inconsistency and injuries. To finally see him put it all together and succeed is what all M’s fans are hoping for.
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Cy Young Worthy?!?
Yes. In one of my earlier articles, I said that Paxton would not only be the best Mariners pitcher, but also the Cy Young winner for the AL in 2017.
But predicting that Paxton would become an eventual Cy Young winner is not a far fetched idea.
A lefty who throws 97-100 is deadly. Him being a starter makes it even more so. But as soon as he could mix in his secondary pitches and throw them in any count, that’s when he would be absolutely lethal. In 2017, he has reached that point.
Will Paxton finish the season with a 0.00 ERA? Probably not. However, his first two starts do tell us that he is here for real.
Every Mariners fan remembers Mike Montgomery. A not-so-known prospect who in his first two starts, threw two complete games. Although Monty is now closing World Series games for the Cubs, he will never get back to that point as a starter.
With Paxton, it is different. 2017 is the year that he will put it all together, and will become a staple in this Mariners rotation finally. This may be weird to read, but the success of the Mariners will have to lean heavily on the left arm of James Paxton.