If you haven't heard of Cole Hamels yet, you will soon.
This Phillies 23-year-old southpaw has quickly risen to the ace of the staff in less than two full seasons (thanks partly to Brett Myers moving to the bullpen to become the Phils' closer). And he just made the San Franciso Giants cry, throwing a complete-game, five-hit, two-run victory to get to 8-2 on the season - the National League leader in wins by the way. The Phillies won 5-2 to break a four-game losing streak.
He throws consistently in the low-90's - even in the late innings - and has one of the nastiest changeups you will ever see that clocks in around the high-70s. He struck out five Giants, including Barry Bonds, last night with his fastball-changeup combo and earlier in the year, posted a 15-strikeout game against Cincinnati in mid-April.
And after last night's game, he is only one strikeout behind San Diego's Jake Peavy (92) for the league lead in K's.
Looks like the Phils have found their ace for the next 10 years. Hopefully, they can make sure he stays a Phillie for life.
This is part I of our continuing series looking at young, up-and-coming players. If you have any recommendations, email them to injuryrate[at]gmail[dot]com