by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Bailey has long been one of the favorites here at Rotoprofessor, yet the overall production has not been there in 2014. Every time it appears like he’s turned the corner, even if it’s just for a few innings, something seems to go wrong. Has the time come for us to ignore his upside or potential, because at the end of the day he still owns a 4.82 ERA and 1.43 WHIP?
For me, now is actually the perfect time to try and buy him as the peripherals scream of better numbers.
Bailey currently owns an 8.18 K/9, along the lines of last year’s career best mark of 8.57. What’s crazier is that his SwStr% is actually up this season, from 10.7% to 11.1%, indicating things could get even better.
In fact, his overall mark is dragged down by a 6.39 K/9 in May (9.90 in April and 8.90 in June). In theory he could be a strikeout per inning pitcher.
His 2.92 BB/9 has been consistent this season, and also represents his worst mark since 2010 (2.25, 2.25 and 2.33 the past three seasons). Then again, is anyone about to complain with what he’s currently doing?
We were happy to see him at 46.1% last season, but this year he is all the way up to 51.2%. He was at 48.5% in the first half of last season and, even if he’s just at that mark, it is more than enough given his other numbers.
So, exactly why has his production been so bad this season? It’s pretty easy, luck and home runs.
Despite his groundball mark, Bailey has allowed 1.22 HR/9 this season. As expected a lot of the damage has come at home (1.41), but that’s still not an excuse. We’ve seen significantly better marks over the past two months (0.71 and 0.86), so it’s safe to assume that the overall number will continue to improve.
The other problem is the overall luck, with a .331 BABIP. That is the sixth worst rate among pitchers who qualify for the ERA title, despite his line drive rate being 41st (20.8%). Yes, the number has been better since April but there is still a correction to be seen.
It is easy to give up on Bailey, but everything indicates that he’s a better pitcher than he’s shown. If someone in your league has grown frustrated, now is the time to try and buy. It certainly could pay dividends in the end.
Source – Fangraphs