If he were 6-foot-4 and threw 98-mph fastballs, Kris Medlen knows he wouldn’t have as many doubters. Considering his body of work in three-plus years in the big leagues, there probably wouldn’t be many folks still questioning his viability as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

But here is Medlen, who just became a father and still looks like a son, with his flat-bill cap and boyish face. The jocular Californian has a 5-foot-10 frame and a fastball that tops out in the low-90s. And the change-up – he has one that's devastating – is just not a pitch that quickens the pulse of the general populace.

And so, we have a 27-year-old who has pitched in 120 games and fashioned a sparkling 2.85 career ERA, yet still hasn’t convinced some that he’s a guy to build around. A right-hander who has posted a stunning 15-2 record and 2.81 ERA in his first 30 starts, but still is viewed by many as a riddle that opponents will solve.

“There’s people saying, like, ‘Wait till the league figures him out,’” Medlen said with a tone of amusement. “After two starts (teams) have the film and know what I throw. If those teams weren’t paying attention, they’re idiots. People know how I pitch. It just comes down to me executing my pitches.

“When you don’t execute, you get crushed. When you do execute, you do well.”

At least, he does. It’s not quite that easy for others who don’t light up a radar gun. Not everyone can make a ball do what he does, or throw it so precisely where they want it to go. The Braves had a couple of guys who did that to an extreme degree for a long time: Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are going to the Hall of Fame without ever throwing 98 mph.