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If you made it big in the restaurant business, you got a Chef’s Table.

At Fantasy Alarm we have one too. Expect here you don’t need a reservation. Or a fat stack to pay for it.

The best part about the Chef’s Table is that you get to watch the preparation of your food from start to finish. Seeing every intricate detail that goes into your dish while enjoying the company of family and friends. Well, that’s what I’m gonna give you here.

Each week I will profile a player based on increased street cred throughout the industry.  Whether because of a recent hot streak, increased playing time or a promotion because of an injury. From there I will break down the recipe for that player’s success and determine if he is just a flash in the pan or someone who is gonna bring home the bacon.

Today’s Special: Jesse Hahn

No matter how much you prepare for the start of the fantasy baseball season, there are always players that will go overlooked. Whether warranted or not. In the case of Jesse Hahn, there are very few of us out there that can actually say they knew who this guy was before making the jump from Double-A to the big leagues.

 After being dealt to the Padres organization in the trade that sent infielder Logan Forsythe to the Rays, Hahn began his journey with his new team in the Texas League where he posted a 2.11 ERA and 33:14 K:BB ratio over his first 38.1 innings (eight starts). While his production was neither great nor terrible, the Padres saw something in him that must have been overlooked by both the Rays and scouts alike, as he skipped right over the Triple-A level to join the Padres staff.

Through five starts with the Padres, Hahn has managed to look like a top prospect, starting off his big league career 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 1.05 WHIP while striking out seven or more batters in four of those five trips to the mound (11.71 K/9 over 27.2 IP). What is even more impressive is that he has been able to locate all of his pitches with great accuracy, having allowed more than two walks only once in his early career. The question is, why was this guy overlooked? And how has he been able to have more success in the big leagues than while in the minors?

Although the answer to those questions are not that simple, whenever a young pitcher comes up to the big show he has a slight advantage over the opposition, considering they have never seem him before and has just gotten lucky up to this point. Another answer could be that his arsenal is jus that good. He has a devastating curveball that has kept hitters off balance thus far, which is a pitch he uses to neutralize all hitters, especially form the left side of the plate. He has thrown that pitch just under 30 percent of the time while balancing it out with a fastball that averages out at 91 MPH on most days.

To add to his recent success, he has managed to provide quality production against both left-handed (.172 BA) and right-handed batters (.214 BA) alike, although both of his home runs allowed have come against southpaws, which throws a wrench into things. However, somewhat with this much success early on usually owns a ground ball-to-fly ball rate favoring the positive side rather than his 0.91 rate he is currently sporting. Then again, a home ballpark like Petco Park has worked wonders for all types of pitchers in the past.

The Wrap-Up

There is certainly a lot to like about Hahn since making the jump to the big leagues, with a lot more positives than negatives to examine in regards to his fantasy outlook. When players are performing at this high of a level it is really hard to go against them, even if their career numbers suggest otherwise (example: Jake Arrieta), which makes him a solid fantasy add in all but the shallowest of leagues heading into July.

His true test is going to be in his next matchup when he takes on the Giants, who will be seeing him for the second time through, which will be his first rematch of his young career. Although it won’t be much of a test considering how poorly the Giants offense has been performing of late there is still much we can take away from what will be his sixth career start.

As of Tuesday, Hahn is owned in less than 30 percent of leagues throughout the major providers (ESPN, Yahoo!, CBS) which is a little low for the production he has been putting up in his early career. His upside far exceeds the investment at this point in the season and should be owned closer to half of all leagues by his next start, so now is the time to jump on board before it is too late.

Until next time, study hard and eat plenty!


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