Is Cingrani or Fernandez more valuable?

Updated: April 19, 2013, 11:08 AM ET
By Eric Karabell

The hottest minor league pitcher of the first few weeks of the young season faced off against the hottest rookie pitcher of the first few weeks Thursday night in Cincinnati, and the result was largely one-sided. The Cincinnati Reds are simply better than the Miami Marlins -- a lot better -- but all eyes were on Reds lefty Tony Cingrani and Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez. Cingrani, making his first big league start, fared considerably better, fanning eight Marlins over five effective innings to earn the win, while Fernandez struggled for the first time in his third outing, permitting five runs over four innings, and now he has a loss.


With bench spots at a premium and plenty of starting pitching available on free agency in most leagues, fantasy owners might need to choose between these youngsters moving forward. Cingrani won this head-to-head battle, but I'm still going with Fernandez for 2013 value and have little reason to adjust the prediction for dynasty formats as well. Cingrani, 23, was a relative unknown to the common fantasy owner a few weeks ago, but 26 strikeouts in his first 14 1/3 innings at Triple-A Louisville, with three hits, two walks and nary a run allowed, got him noticed quickly.