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Loaiza makes quantum leap

Esteban Loaiza joins pitchers like Mike Scott and Steve Stone who went from being average to totally dominant.

Originally Published: August 27, 2003
By Nate Silver | Special to ESPN.com

Watch Esteban Loaiza pitch this year, and the question isn't how he's managing to succeed, but why he wasn't one of the best pitchers in the league to begin with. Loaiza throws everything hard, topping out at 94 mph on the radar gun, but rarely falling below 84.

His fastball moves, his cutter darts, his slider bites, and when he's on, Loaiza hits the outside edges of the strike zone routinely. The F-word -- you know, the one that rhymes with juke -- is the furthest thing from anyone's mind ...

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