For a long time everyone looked at the Giants’ Matt Cain as a pitcher with all the potential in the world, though he was blessed with the worst luck in baseball. How else could you explain win totals of 7 and 8 in 2007 and 2008 despite ERAs under 4.00? All that changed in 2009, when Cain seemingly put it all together to post the following line:
171 Strikeouts (7.07 K/9)
73 Walks (3.02 BB/9)
The numbers were impressive across the board, though it’s clear that he had a tremendous amount of luck contributing to his success. The BABIP is just the first example, as it was the fourth best among pitchers who threw at least 150 innings (only Jarrod Washburn, Randy Wolf and Ross Ohlendorf were better). Read more
I want to try out something a little bit different to see how it works and if it is a concept we’ll continue throughout the offseason. For certain players, all I’m going to do is post my projection with just a few bullet points as reasoning. This will hopefully open the floor to some conversation about the player, with you sharing if you agree or disagree and why. Besides your comments on the player, please let me know if you like this or not.
Let’s kick things off with Scott Baker:
195.0 IP, 14 W, 3.88 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 167 K (7.71 K/9), 47 BB (2.17 BB/9)
- It is easy to overlook Baker, but in a “down” season, he still managed to post a WHIP of 1.19. For his career he has a 2.12 BB/9, so there is no reason to think that it won’t continue.
- The strikeouts have been consistent at 7.36 and 7.29 K/9s the past two seasons. That’s certainly a number that is going to be helpful and one I think he can grow on.
- The new stadium is going to be something that has a huge influence on him. He’s a flyball pitcher, posting a 47.1% flyball rate in 2009, so if the new park plays like a hitter’s park he is going to be in trouble.
- He had a slightly below average strand rate of 70.5% last season. Of pitcher’s with at least 180 innings (58), it was tied for tenth worst. That should improve, which is why I have his ERA where I do.
- The projection is based on a BABIP of .293.
So, there you have my thoughts. What do you think? Can he live up to these projections? Why or why not?
While there is still volatility in all of the rankings, I think the closer rankings are the ones with the most potential to change. Where does Billy Wagner fit in now that he’s going to be a closer? Should Carlos Marmol, Bobby Jenks or Trevor Hoffman be considered a top option? Where do we value 2009 breakouts David Aardsma and Ryan Franklin?
These are all questions that we’ll try to answer as we take a look at how my rankings currently stand (remember, I’m still fine tuning my projections so keep in mind that these are fluid):
- Jonathan Broxton – Los Angeles Dodgers
- Mariano Rivera – New York Yankees
- Joe Nathan – Minnesota Twins
- Jonathan Papelbon – Boston Red Sox
- Joakim Soria – Kansas City Royals
- Francisco Rodriguez – New York Mets
- Heath Bell – San Diego Padres
- Brian Wilson – San Francisco Giants
- Huston Street – Colorado Rockies
- Andrew Bailey – Oakland Athletics Read more
I want to try and get this feature going once again, so if you have any trades that you want to see discussed here just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan sent in the following two trades he made in his keeper league:
Trade 1: I gave up Max Scherzer, Carlos Beltran and Dan Uggla and got Brandon Phillips, Andre Ethier and Ubaldo Jimenez
Trade 2: I gave up Colby Rasmus, Derek Lowe and a 4th round draft pick (last round in the rookie draft) and got Kendry Morales and Nolan Reimold
Let me look at these trades one at a time, with the second one first. This is an absolute steal in my book. While Rasmus has a ton of potential with power, the average is a big concern. He’s a flyball hitter, and that’s just not conducive to a strong BABIP. Reimold, on the other hand, has similar power with the prospect of putting up a better average. They really are close, so it’s a push on that part of the deal.
That leaves us as Derek Lowe & a fourth round pick for Kendry Morales. Let’s just think about that for a moment… Read more
Jayson Werth is coming off a career season. Given his first true chance to play everyday he set career highs in home runs, RBI and runs. He tied his career high in stolen bases as well as posting a usable average. He was a 35/20 player, just what fantasy owners thirst for.
When you look at his line, you realize how good he was, but should he be going among the first 36 players selected on draft day (his current ADP is 34.35)? Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at just how good he was in 2009:
571 At Bats
.268 Batting Average (153 Hits)
36 Home Runs
20 Stolen Bases
.373 On Base Percentage
.506 Slugging Percentage
.309 Batting Average on Balls in Play
The number that jumps out at you is his power considering he had just 33 career home runs prior to the 2008 season. He had shown signs of being a source of power, hitting 16 HR for the Dodgers in 2004, but he had just never gotten the chance to put it on full display. Read more
This past weekend I completed my second mock draft in preparation for the 2010 season. This time I picked seventh, which had a surprising outcome. Seeing Prince Fielder go before Mark Teixeira certainly gave the draft a good feel right from the start.
Let’s take a look at how my entire roster looks:
C – Miguel Montero (R13)
C – Ryan Doumit (R14)
1B – Mark Teixeira (R1)
2B – Ben Zobrist (R5)
SS – Everth Cabrera (R19)
3B – Ryan Zimmerman (R4)
CI – Jake Fox (R20)
MI – Jhonny Peralta (R18)
OF – Jacoby Ellsbury (R2)
OF – Carlos Beltran (R6)
OF – Jay Bruce (R10)
OF – Nolan Reimold (R17)
OF – Travis Snider (R22)
U – David Ortiz (R15) Read more