Since beginning the season 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA, 20-year-old rookie Rick Porcello has won five straight starts while allowing a total of five runs.
Despite his success the Tigers have smartly continued to limit Porcello's workload. He's averaged just 85.7 pitches per start and has thrown more than 90 pitches just once in nine outings.
Porcello is the first 20-year-old pitcher in over two decades to win five straight starts and the only other 20-year-olds to do so during the past 55 years are Fernando Valenzuela, who won eight straight in 1981, and Dwight Gooden, who won seven straight in 1985.
While he hasn't quite reached Fernandomania! status and won't be winning the Cy Young award and pitching Triple Crown like Gooden amazingly did in 1985, Porcello is off to an extremely impressive start for a 20-year-old and has far exceeded my expectations after jumping from Single-A to the majors in his second pro season.
Despite skipping Double-A and Triple-A, Porcello has walked just 16 batters in 52 innings while inducing the fourth-most ground balls in the league behind Roy Halladay, Fausto Carmona, and Gil Meche. And he's even missing more bats of late, striking out 17 percent of his batters faced during the five-start winning streak after whiffing just 12 percent through his first four outings.