Phil Hughes is having an All-Star season and were several signs that this would be the case

Phil Hughes so far (8 starts, about a quarter of the season) has been the Minnesota Twins' best pitcher and should definitely have All-Star consideration.   In addition to his old school 4-1, 3.61 ERA, he has 7.6 K/9, 6.7 K/BB, and 1.225 WHIP.  This translates to a 41.6 PE, which is in Ace territory.  Take into consideration that he achieved that with a .326 BABIP (thanks to the Twins' playing catchers, shortstops and designated hitters at the outfield), and his numbers become ever more impressive:  Adjusted WHIP: 1.09, xPE: 46.8, FIP 2.94.  The strikeouts (20.3% K-rate and 7.6 K/9) are especially a welcome departure from the usual for the Twins.

Last season was a horrible season for Hughes, but still his K-rate was high (and has been,  it has 18.9% and 20.3%, last season and the season before last, respectively) and was going deep into games.  This game, against the eventual AL West champions, could have been a mirror image of his last appearance with the Twins:

All in all, Phil Hughes is up to a great start and it should not be all that surprising.  According to this analysis, he was a solid two to three starter last season, and based on this analysis, he was a good, but not a top 3, pitcher for the Twins to target last off-season.

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