New York baseball fans will enjoy Round 2 of All-Star, young guns on Saturday afternoon. Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey have put up almost identical lines this season. Pelfrey is 9-1 with a 2.39 ERA. Hughes is 9-1 with a 3.11 ERA. Both pitchers have less than 100 career starts and have made pitching look extremely easy this season. Pelfrey has won five of his last six starts while Hughes has won seven of his last nine starts. Pelfrey won the first meeting this season, but if you had to choose only one pitcher for the next five years, who would you go with?

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The 26-year-old Pelfrey, who is pitching in his third full season as a starter, has a larger sample size than the 23-year-old Hughes. Pelfrey has made 93 starts during his career, posting a 37-33 record with a 4.05 ERA. Pelfrey, known for his heavy sinker, has effectively mixed in his split-finger fastball this season. In 2009, Pelfrey threw 78% fastballs before developing his splitter. In 2010, Pelfrey has thrown only 68% fastball and 19% splitters. Given Pelfrey’s heavy splitter, 51% of his outs come via the ground ball. Pelfrey won’t exactly fill up the strikeout column (6.4 K/9), but he’s very effective.

The 24-year-old Hughes has the make-up of a top-of-the-rotation starter. His 8.84 K/9 is tops among Yankee pitchers. Hughes effectively mixes his four-seamer and cutter while occasionally baffling hitters with his change-up.

Alike Pelfrey, Hughes’ career numbers won’t blow anyone away. Coming into 2010, Hughes had a 13-12 career record with a 4.50 ERA in 75 big-league appearances. Hughes, a former first round pick, has dealt with a various of injuries during his two seasons with the Yankees and didn’t truly emerge until 2009.

MLB

Many attribute Hughes’ success to his set-up role in 2009. Hughes posted a 1.70 ERA as a reliever while posting an impressive 10.01 K/9.  His shut down demeanor has carried over from the bullpen into the starting rotation.

I ask all of you, if you had to select one of these pitchers for the next five years, who would it be?