As Spring Training draws ever closer, it’s time for the first installment of our player outlook series for the 2014 season. First, we will look at a pitcher who broke out last season, his second in the Majors: Patrick Corbin. Corbin began his journey in Scottsdale for Spring Training. If you get to know Patrick, you know that he is very confident in everything he does. He knew he would win the 5th starter’s job and he knew his stuff was good enough to be one of the best starters in National League. Little did he know he would turn that dream into a reality.
How 2013 went: In 2013, Corbin went 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA and was a favorite for the Cy Young Award all season long with the likes of Clayton Kershaw. For lack of a better term, he carried the pitching staff like Paul Goldschmidt carried the offense. For the second year, in a row the D’backs produced a great season by a young pitcher with Wade Miley almost winning the N.L Rookie of the Year in 2012. It seemed when Corbin was on the mound the team had a new level of confidence and really, the whole team fed off the energy he brought to the clubhouse. That is why Corbin deserves to start on Opening Day despite his struggles in the second half.
Outlook for 2014: Corbin’s splits tell the tale of a two part season. In the first half he went 11-7 with a 2.35 era making his first All Star team. However, along with the team he collapsed in the 2nd half going 3-7 with a 5.12 ERA. His second half slump was predictable for such a young pitcher but he still had a great season. Unlike Miley, I feel that Corbin is due for a breakout second year and will continue to be a great pitcher in the league. Sure, both lefties have great stuff but Corbin has this certain swagger and confidence that separates him from most players. I love the fact that he wants to be this team’s ace at such a young age. I predict a great first AND second half of the 2014 season.
Prediction: 18-7 3.13 ERA