Rany Jazayerli really did his research in this article, sort of putting into perspective how good Haeger has already been and (potentially) how valuable he could be.
Haeger is -- quite obviously -- a unique prospect. He's not going to appear on any top 50 lists and many top 100 lists. Yet I still think he's a guy the Sox need to be serious about holding onto. He could probably step in and be a decent reliever right now, so I guess it's all a question of whether he can be that 220 innings a year, league average type in the majors.
On sort of a side note, today is a 'feel-good' day, with Masset pitching vey well, the Sox eventual win, and this Haeger article. So far, Masset doesn't look like the guy that Kenny said he'd be (the set-up man throwing 95-98 with a nasty hook) but rather the starter that you heard rumblings about. He's spotting his two-seam fastball very well right now, and he's showing more than just the hook we heard about -- I think he's throwing a changeup which is diving straight down. The only other thing I want to see from him is his 'true' four-seam fastball -- I want to see how hard he can get that pitch to the plate. I'd guess 93-94, which would work well with his other pitches.
Finally, since I seem to be making this a 'catch-all' type thread for the day, Charlotte opens up their season tonight against Pawtucket. Jason Gabbard -- yep, that same soft-tosser that dominated our lineup last year -- makes the start for the little Carmines while Heath Phillips pitches for the Knights. It's really a big year for our pitching prospects... Haeger, Broadway and Floyd are opening the year at Charlotte; Russell and Gio Gonzalez open the year at Birmingham. There's also last year's first round pick Kyle McCulloch -- anybody know whether he's starting at Winston Salem or Birmingham? -- who had a cup-of-coffee in the minors last year (a little over 50 innings).
Gotta have a couple of those guys step up and have a big year. Hopefully Russell and his new arm slot(s) will be effective, and Gio will be moving to a bigger park this year (as well as repeating AA) so we should expect his HR totals to drop.