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The Chronicle has a nice piece on flamethrowing enigma Erick Threets. As an armchair analyst, it is too easy to dismiss a player based on statistical history, and forget why they were drafted in the first place: they can throw a baseball as only about 99.9999% of the baseball-loving world can. Threets problem is he can't throw it where he wants to.

The sunny optimist can find solace in the career of Jeff Nelson. Nelson is an extreme outlier, but will always be the bronze statue gracing the main wing of The Just Maybe Things Will, I Dunno, Click Someday Hall of Fame. Some stats from the primordial ooze of Nelson's career:

1986 - 71.1 IP, 84 BB, 37 K
1987 - 80 IP, 71 BB, 43 K
1988 - 149 IP, 91 BB, 94 K
1989 - 92 IP, 53 BB, 61 K
In '89, Nelson's ERA was a respectable 3.31, but his peripheral stats told the story of a pitcher who was going to struggle above AA. Then, it clicked and eventually lead to:
1995 - Mariners - 78.2 IP, 27 BB, 96 K, 2.17 ERA
This is why the Giants protected Threets. They weren't leaving top prospects off the 40-man roster, and you never know. A lefty who can throw in the high-90s? Why not him?

Don't sink your nest egg into Threets stock, but he isn't someone to automatically dismiss.