This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
I always say, I prefer interactive columns in which readers can ask questions and share their opinions. Last week, I was asked if I ever give much consideration to pitchers who don't possess that ever-intriguing big arm. Quite correctly, it was pointed out that I tend to prefer (and recommend) pitchers with high-octane stuff over what many would call the "soft-tossers" or "finesse" pitchers who have mediocre, or less, velocity.
I will honestly say that I do evaluate pitchers with lower-grade stuff every day, and I do sometimes add them to my watch list as an arm worthy of consideration in fantasy circles. The trick is, I do hold these pitchers to a somewhat different standard, and they are often (unless they grade very high) only seriously considered for use as a short term fill-in, perhaps for an injured rotation pitcher. It may seem a bit cold, but read on and I think you'll see the potential stumbling blocks for many soft-tossers.
The problem relates to the fact that many soft-tossers lack upside – they aren't as likely as their flame-throwing counterparts to become more dominant – and they have lower ceilings. They simply don't have the tools to become more than what you see. And, worse, quite a few will have come to the majors having succeeded in the minors with the help of a deceptive delivery. Major league hitters may require a little time to study their motion but, once they have it figured out, many of these