Projecting The Top 10 WHIP Leaders For 2014

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know who the best pitchers in the game are, and for the most part those are the guys that you should expect to find in the Top 10 in WHIP for 2014.  That’s not to say that there aren’t a few names that may surprise you, however.  Control is king, and that helps people get their names thrust into the Top 10.

Who are they?  Let’s take a look at our projected Top 10 pitchers in WHIP courtesy of Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide (which you can purchase by clicking here):

1) Clayton Kershaw – Los Angeles Dodgers – 1.00
2) Cliff Lee – Philadelphia Phillies – 1.05
3) Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals – 1.08
4t) Jose Fernandez – Miami Marlins – 1.10
4t) Chris Sale – Chicago White Sox – 1.10
4t) Max Scherzer – Detroit Tigers – 1.10
7) Madison Bumgarner – San Francisco Giants – 1.11
8) Jordan Zimmermann – Washington Nationals – 1.12
9) Cole Hamels – Philadelphia Phillies – 1.13
10t) Homer Bailey – Cincinnati Reds – 1.14
10t) Yu Darvish – Texas Rangers – 1.14
10t) Adam Wainwright – St. Louis Cardinals – 1.14

Thoughts:

  • The only other pitcher projected for a WHIP of 1.15 or better was Hisashi Iwakuma.  Obviously with Iwakuma, as well as with Cole Hamels, the bigger question right now is how many innings are they going to be able to pitch.  Already facing injuries heading into the season, we already know they are going to be limited.  The hope is that they will be able to pitch enough innings to qualify, but that’s not a given.
  • Is Homer Bailey the most surprising name on this list?  Most people don’t think of him as one of the elite in the league, but he did post a 1.12 WHIP in 2013 so it shouldn’t be a shock.  He’s one of the better control pitchers in the league (BB/9 of 2.25, 2.25 and 2.33 the past three seasons), induces enough groundballs (46.1% in ’13) and also saw his strikeouts spike (8.57 K/9) thanks to increased velocity (94.1 mph average fastball).  Couple that with SwStr% that justify the number (over the past three seasons he’s posted marks of 9.3%, 9.4% and 10.7%) and there’s an awful lot to like heading into the season.
  • Maybe people think Jordan Zimmermann’s name doesn’t belong?  With a career mark of 1.17 (and a 1.09 in ’13), it’s hard to argue his inclusion.  With walk rates of 1.73, 1.98 and 1.69 over the past three seasons, it’s easy to understand why he makes the cut.

 Source – Fangraphs

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5 comments

  1. Jimmy says:

    The problem with predicting that whip for Zimmerman is that he doesn’t k a lot of batters so his hits allowed is heavily BABIP influenced.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Agreed, though it’s not like Zimmermann’s Ks are non-existent. Expecting a mark around 7.0 is realistic and walking under 2 batters per 9 goes an awfully long way.

      He was also at 1.09 last season, with a real .271 BABIP.

  2. Joe says:

    I think you guys are writing off David Price in your top 10 rankings- and making a big mistake.

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