There was a news release over the weekend, that I am sure just got a glance over by most sports junkies. Scott Feldman was tabbed as the opening day starter for the Texas Rangers. This completes his journey from bullpen middle releif to ace of the staff.
In case you don’t know who Scott Feldman is, all you have to do is look at the AL victory leaders for pitchers last season. He was pushed into a starting role for the Rangers, thanks to a mixture of ineffective pitching and injuries. He rose to become the most cominant pitcher in the staff.
Last year (his 4th full season in the bigs) he put up a 17-8 record with an ERA of 4.08 and a WHIP of 1.281. This was his second season as a starterbut his first full season. This year, now that he is expected to be the ace of the staff, he has a tough road ahead of him. Before he was facing the fourth or fifth starter on the oposing team. Now he is going to face off against the ace of staffs.
Feldman will be 27 this year and I would consider it a make or break year for him. If he is able to step in and be an effective ace for the Rangers, he will have a nice career cut out for him. However if he falters, the Rangers have such a deep and talented farm with respect to starting pitching, that it would be surprising to see him in a Rangers Uniform next season.
I feel as though Felman has a very good chance at becoming a go to pitcher. He is in a weak division (aside from the Mariners), and doesn’t have to face the Red Sox or Yankees 20 times a season. I predict a slighlty worse record of 15-10 but a better ERA (3.80) and WHIP (1.25). With that, he would continue to star as either the ace or second starter for the Rangers.
As far as his hobby value goes, it runs all over the place. Some of his better cards are running between $85 – $100. While some of his more common autographs (as pictured below) might run $10 – $20. Right now there is a premium on his cards due to his status of being the staff ace, after a few months though, you should see a drop in price on his autographs, mainly because with the upcoming releases there should be more of his autographs in the market and because unless he comes out pistol hot, people tend to forget about players like him mid season.