It was a very good season for Kyle Lohse, but do fantasy owners really care? Can we really consider him a viable option, regardless of where he ultimately lands as a free agent? Before we answer those questions, let’s take a look at the numbers he posted in 2012:
143 Strikeouts (6.10 K/9)
38 Walks (1.62 BB/9)
77.2% Strand Rate
Right off the bat, there are numbers that jump out at us as unsustainable. His BABIP was tied for the eighth best in the league, which alone would make us think that a regression is on order. When you add in his 23.9% line drive rate (and 21.1% for his career), you start to realize just how lucky the number was.
Over the course of his career he has posted a .297 BABIP, a number that is reasonable. At the same time, given the line drive rate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him signifantly above that number either.
His strand rate was also on the favorable side. While it is not unrealistic, his career mark is 70.5%. Since 2006 he had posted just one season better than 71.5%. Chances are, he is going to regress in this regard as well.
Now, you throw in an always minuscule strikeout rate and things are quickly looking gloomy. Granted, he does have good control, but is it really this good? In 2011 he posted a walk rate of 2.01 and in four of the five years before that he was above 2.60 (including seasons of 3.13 and 3.42).
While you can argue that Lohse has transformed himself over te past two years (and the numbers do support that), when you look at the underlying numbers it is hard to buy into. While I don’t think anyone is going to pay a bounty to get Lohse, investing anything but a late round flier (or $1-2) would be a mistake. He has bust written all over him for 2013.
What are your thoughts of Lohse? Do you think he has fantasy appeal? Why or why not?
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Make sure to check out all of our extremely early 2013 rankings: