Dontrelle Willis – All Star Starter?

By Willie Cochran
Updated: August 8, 2007

Dontrelle WillisNew Jersey—If baseball fans were able to vote for the All-Star Starting Pitchers on July 15th, Dontrelle Willis might be a sleeper pick.

Willis, Marlins’ 21-year old rookie phenom, who is 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA is taking the Majors by storm. In only nine starts he has captivated fans with is funky delivery and has baffled hitters with his pitches.

He was thrust into the spotlight on June 16th win he threw a one-hitter against the hapless New York Mets. In his last six starts he has had a 0.84 ERA and is slowly building a case for the All-Star team.

Despite all this hype will he turn out like Roger Clemens in the future or Mark Fidrych and Dwight Gooden? Willis contends that he is not just another phenom like others may label him. In an interview with Alan Schwarz of Willis said, “I’m not a phenom — I’m just a kid who loves the game and loves to be out there,” he contended. “Once people get the book out on you, they see you over and over again, we’ll see what kind of tags I have on me. I’m not a phenom. I don’t think of myself as phenomenal.”

Hopefully for Willis’s sake and Major League Baseball’s future he is not just another pitcher. Willis is the perfect type of player that baseball needs to promote. He has the sparkling smile along with the jerky delivery that fans can cling to. The smile that can be on commercials and the delivery that can baffle the hitters to future greatness.

That’s a little far down the road, but for now Willis is not an All-Star Starter. Despite the great start to his career, he has only had nine starts. Kevin Brown is second in the National League with 10 wins in 16 starts, first in ERA with 2.22, and 6th in strikeouts with 93. While Willis is doing well, Brown is doing exceptionally well and leading the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Pennant Race.

While Willis won’t start in the All-Star game, there will probably be a spot for him and all his fan fare. He’s only 21 years of age, which would make him a senior in college, and is already being considered for an All-Star starter. Just sit back and watch him develop. One step at a time!