Baseball Prospectus: How Good Is Yu Darvish?

So Yu Darvish officially has a contract with the Texas Rangers. Finally. Yu Darvish was always going to end up with a contract with the Texas Rangers, but now we can put that whole matter behind us for good. What's left to do is to try to figure out just how good Yu Darvish is going to be.

Okay, so it's not the most original idea to pursue. I'm pretty sure every single baseball writer on the planet has pursued it at least once. But Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus pursued it in an original way. The article's behind a pay wall, but basically, Goldstein presented the names of a handful of right-handed starters to ten baseball officials one-by-one, and asked if they would prefer each starter or Darvish. For example, all ten baseball officials would prefer Darvish over Ricky Nolasco. Goldstein's conclusion?

For most insiders polled, the choke point for just how good Yu Darvish would be occurred somewhere between Matt Garza and Zack Greinke, although a majority still preferred the Japanese import. It's important to note that even the reservations about Darvish had little to do with his talent, and everything to do with the adjustments he'll need to make, from working on shorter rest than he has in Japan, to dealing with far more dangerous hitters, to a new strike zone.

The takeaway point: people expect Yu Darvish to be successful. Unqualified people and qualified people alike. I'll give you a few moments now to scrape your brain off the ceiling.

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