Damian at Project Prospect took a crack at answering that question, and concludes with this:
Itâ€™s not until we start looking at some of the all time greats â€“ Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemensâ€¦ â€“ that we see pitchers called up this young without struggling. Of course, it is possible Hughes will end up being an all time great but itâ€™s far more likely heâ€™s going to struggle a little in his first season or two. Yankees fans need to keep this in mind as they watch him grow.
New York can be a very difficult place to struggle. Jose Contreras comes to mind as an example of an extremely talented pitcher who couldnâ€™t get it together in pinstripes. Hughes is likely going to have his ups and downs before he settles in as the pitcher heâ€™s going to be throughout his career.
Have some patience with him. Heâ€™ll be a fine pitcher some day.
The whole piece is well worth the read, and really putsÂ one keyÂ fact into perspective: almost all young pitchers struggle early on in their careers.
FYI– If you think Hughes dominated Double-A last year, take a quick look at the numbers put up by Rick Ankiel at that level at the same age, cited in the article.Â Can’t help but wonder just how good he could have been.