Tim Hudson may be class valedictorian, but these other pitchers, aged 25 or younger, are also acing their exams.
Rick Ankiel, Cardinals, 21, (9-7, 3.67 ERA): Ankiel (far right) has one of the game's nastiest lefthanded curveballs and a good fastball with movement. Control and high pitch counts are a problem.
Kris Benson, Pirates, 25, (9-12, 3.18 ERA): Flashes of brilliance but lacks consistency to match four quality pitches; best is a knee-buckling curve.
Bartolo Colon, Indians, 25, (13-8, 4.25 ERA): Colon (left) already has four postseason starts. Power pitcher who sometimes gets too caught up in watching his radar-gun readings hit 100 mph.
Ryan Dempster, Marlins, 23, (12-10, 3.67 ERA): Has a Smoltz-like slider; a strikeout machine (191 in 206 innings) who needs to reduce his walks (90).
Scott Elarton, Astros, 24, (17-6, 4.77 ERA): Bounced back after surgery on his right shoulder. At 6'7", 240 pounds, hides ball well and has sinking, low-90s fastball.