Drew Silva: Jordan Hicks showing upside as starter

Drew Silva discusses Jordan Hicks' transition to starter for St. Louis and how it impacts his fantasy upside.

Video Transcript

- Cardinals right-hander Jordan Hicks is best known as a flame-throwing reliever, because that's the exact role he played during his first three Major League seasons. But he surprisingly earned the final spot in St. Louis' starting rotation out of camp this spring. And after a couple of weather-related postponements, the 25-year-old made his first career MLB start on April 21 at Miami, tossing three innings of 1-run ball with three strikeouts. That gives him a 1.29 ERA and eight strikeouts over seven total frames to begin the 2022 campaign.

Hicks' best pitch is that famous triple-digit fastball, but he has other offerings in his bag of tricks, including a power slider, a sinker, and a changeup. It's the changeup that could see a significant uptick in usage as he gets built up into a traditional starter like workload in the coming weeks and months. Playing off his high heat, the change and slider can be tremendous out pitches and greatly increase the number of swing and Mrs. he generates from opposing hitters. There's a lot of upside here, even if it takes Hicks a bit longer to get fully stretched out.