The poll on ESPN asks "Which young NL starting pitcher would you build around?" Here's your choices: Josh Beckett, Jake Peavy, Mark Prior and Ben Sheets. Here's the results by the time I got my vote in:
This, to me, is insane. Not necessarily that Peavy comes in fourth here, but that he comes in a distant fourth. It's this kind of stuff that I 'm talking about. Beckett at age 24, and four years behind him has a 28-27 record. He's had one winning season. Ben Sheets is two years older with one less year of experience and he actually has a losing lifetime record. Mark Prior, a phenom to be sure, had one amazing season, but is coming off injury. Who knows how long his arm will hold up and you want to build a team around him?
Now, I'm not saying Jake Peavy is far and away better than these guys, because these guys are cream of the crop. However, Peavy is younger than all these guys. He hasn't ever shown signs of being injury prone. He's a pitcher who can effectively throw 4 pitches for strikes as opposed to relying on a high 90s fastball (his tops out at 96mph). And he was, far and away, better than all of these guys last season. Far and away.
We all know about the east coast bias, but come on. If Peavy puts up a Cy Young type year and still gets no love, I'm gonna call the Queer Eye guys in to do a makeover. Maybe if Jake grew out an ugly goatee, frosted his tips and wore a hat two sizes too large... Maybe then baseball fan at large would know who he is.