When Brian Flynn came over from the Detroit Tigers last season, he wasn't overly impressive in eight starts for Double-A Jacksonville. Perhaps his struggles in 2012 were just a matter of getting settled in because Flynn has looked nothing short of outstanding in 2013. Even though his ERA (4.04 in Triple-A, 3.17 in both Double-A and Triple-A) isn't all that impressive, Flynn's other numbers show that not only is he having the best year of his career so far, but he has been one of the best pitchers in the upper minors as well. Brian Flynn is having an absolutely fantastic start to the season, regardless of what the traditional statistics say.
Brian Flynn was drafted out of Wichita State University in the 7th round of the 2011 MLB Amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers. After one and a half fairly successful seasons in the Tigers lower minors, Flynn was traded along with Jacob Turner and Rob Brantly to Miami for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. In just eight starts for Double-A Jacksonville in 2012, Flynn posted a 3.78 FIP with a somewhat disappointing 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Heading into the 2013 season, Flynn seemed to be very overlooked by Marlins fans, despite the fact that he is a 6'7'' lefty who was just coming off of a decent year in Double-A.
The Marlins decided not to be overly aggressive with Flynn to start the 2013 season, so they started him with Double-A Jacksonville. In just four starts, Flynn posted a 1.57 ERA, which is still impressive, but it was a very small sample size. Nonetheless, this performance earned Flynn a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League. In seven starts in the PCL, Flynn has a 4.04 ERA and he has lost four out of his five decisions. So what makes Flynn's 2013 start so impressive anyways?
Coming into the season, Brian Flynn's single-season career high in K/9 came in rookie ball in 2011, when he struck out 7.58 batters per nine. In 2013, Flynn struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings at Double-A and 9.4 per nine in Triple-A. When it comes to walks, Flynn's career best walks per nine innings coming into 2013 was 2.6 with Miami in Double-A. This season, Flynn has a 1.2 walks per nine innings at Double-A and a 2.6 rate in Triple-A. It is outstanding news to see that Flynn is exceeding his former statistical bests in areas such as strikeouts and walks in 2013.
Right now, the future looks pretty bright for Brain Flynn. With all the injuries that the Marlins starting rotation has suffered, Flynn has to be one of the next pitchers in line to get promoted. With his potential combined with his impressive statistics, it is not unreal to expect to see Flynn in Miami by the end of the season. While he is far from a finished product, (his changeup, in particular, needs a lot of work) Brian Flynn could provide the Marlins with a fresh intriguing young pitcher to go give them five solid innings every fifth day. Brian Flynn is one of the best-kept secrets in the Pacific Coast League, and it won't be too long before Marlins fans will get to see him in a Miami uniform.