Kevin Correia: 2010 Fantasy Breakout or Bust?

It has long been considered that Kevin Correia could develop into a usable fantasy pitcher, though the results had never previously been there.  He had shown signs, like pitching to a 2.54 ERA as a starting pitcher in 2007.  However, after getting an extended look in 2008 (19 starts) and posting a 5.36 ERA, it was time for him to move on.

Fast-forward 12 months and once again, there is fantasy hope for Correia after posting the following line:

12 Wins
198.0 Innings
3.91 ERA
1.30 WHIP
142 Strikeouts (6.45 K/9)
64 Walks (2.91 BB/9)
.298 BABIP

In those numbers there is some good and there is some questionable.  First of all, you have to like the overall ERA and WHIP, which comes courtesy of a realistic BABIP, strand rate (71.4%) and walk rate.  In fact, with a career BB/9 of 3.50, there is promise in him being able to maintain the WHIP.

As for the ERA, there is reason to be concerned.  Let’s look at his home/road split:

  • Home – 3.68
  • Road – 4.18

Was he simply the product of Petco Park?  It’s quite possible, as his home BABIP was at .266.  While it is interesting that he actually gave up more home runs at home (11) than on the road (6), I’m just not sure that we can continue to expect the same type of luck that he enjoyed in 2009, even in a pitcher’s park.

His BABIP on the road was .338 and his WHIP was 1.37, so while he may improve his luck outside of Petco, it’s likely going to be worse at home.  I don’t think the improvement on the road will offset his regression at home, meaning I’d expect an increase in both ERA and WHIP in the coming season.

Another concern is the innings pitched, having never thrown anything near that many innings in the past:

  • 2004 – 124.1 innings
  • 2005 – 121.1 innings
  • 2006 – 68.2 innings
  • 2007 – 101.2 innings
  • 2008 – 125.1 innings

While I may not fully prescribe to the innings pitched theory of not being able to increase by more than 30, you have to wonder how throwing so many more innings in 2009 will affect him.  He didn’t show it last season, finishing with ERAs of 3.68 (36.2 innings) and 1.25 (36.0 innings) in August and September.

Yes, there is a concern, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

The bigger concern is Correia’s inability to generate significant swings and misses.  In the minor leagues his career K/9 was just 7.1, clearly a mark that would fail to get anyone excited.  Unless he can get hitters to strikeout more often, a regression in his BABIP will have a significant affect on his overall numbers.

With all that said, let’s take a look at what I’d expect from him in 2010:

175.0 IP, 9 W, 4.47 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 125 K (6.43 K/9), 64 BB (3.29 BB/9)

Those numbers come courtesy of a BABIP of .304, marginally worse than what he posted in 2009.  Coupled with a regression in control, however, and the WHIP becomes significantly worse.  With the decreased luck in his home park leading to a higher ERA, the numbers just do not look all that appealing for Correia in 2010.

All that with a low strikeout rate and he’s just not a pitcher that I want to have anything to do with in 2010.  How about you?  Is he someone you want to own?  How do you think he’ll perform?

Check out some previous 2010 projections including:

One comment

  1. turk99 says:

    He helped seal the deal for my championship in 2009. I have him at $5, but will throw him back and hope to pick him up on a dollar contract for my bench. But I’m not targeting him.

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