Buying or Denying: Is It Finally Time To Give Up On Jered Weaver?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve discussed Jered Weaver numerous times, but it’s worth repeating once again. I know he has consistently produced throughout the years and does offer good control, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a bit overvalued by many fantasy owners.

Of course, concerns could increase this season as his control has regressed. Just look at his BB/9 over the past five seasons:

  • 2010 – 2.17
  • 2011 – 2.14
  • 2012 – 2.15
  • 2013 – 2.16
  • 2014 – 2.91

It’s been consistently worse this season as well, with monthly marks of 3.00, 2.48 and 3.63. The problem is that he’s simply not getting people to chase outside the zone. In those four tremendous control seasons he posted an O-Swing% between 30.9% and 33.5%. This season he sits at 24.6% (league average is 29.9%).

Considering he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, if he’s not getting opponents to chase it’s fair to assume he’s going to walk more batters. His Zone%, “the percentage of pitches seen inside the strike zone” is at 44.8%, along the lines of his career mark of 46.3%, further helping to justify that claim.

There has always been concerns about his luck metrics, and this year is no different. He currently owns a .254 BABIP and 77.9% strand rate, both marks that theoretically could regress. He has proven capable of maintaining these types of rates in recent seasons, so it is hardly a lock, but it is something to keep in mind.

Even more concerning is the further loss of velocity he’s seen. It’s been steadily declining since averaging 89.1 mph on his fastball in 2011, but this season he sits at just 85.6. Of pitchers who qualify for the ERA title, that’s the fifth slowest mark. Like with the luck metrics it doesn’t mean he can’t succeed, because he’s been doing so, but it does add to the concerns.

His SwStr% is a below average 8.9%, so it’s realistic to expect his strikeout mark (7.13 K/9) to fall a little bit as well. When coupled with the control and other concerns, things don’t look all that exciting.

Obviously you aren’t going to simply drop Weaver, but I would consider selling. There simply appears to be more risk than potential reward at this point.

Pitchers I currently like better than Weaver include Dallas. Keuchel and Alex Cobb

Source – Fangraphs

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