Quick 2010 Projection: Scott Baker

I want to try out something a little bit different to see how it works and if it is a concept we’ll continue throughout the offseason.  For certain players, all I’m going to do is post my projection with just a few bullet points as reasoning.  This will hopefully open the floor to some conversation about the player, with you sharing if you agree or disagree and why.  Besides your comments on the player, please let me know if you like this or not.

Let’s kick things off with Scott Baker:

195.0 IP, 14 W, 3.88 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 167 K (7.71 K/9), 47 BB (2.17 BB/9) 

Notes:

  • It is easy to overlook Baker, but in a “down” season, he still managed to post a WHIP of 1.19.  For his career he has a 2.12 BB/9, so there is no reason to think that it won’t continue. 
  • The strikeouts have been consistent at 7.36 and 7.29 K/9s the past two seasons.  That’s certainly a number that is going to be helpful and one I think he can grow on.
  • The new stadium is going to be something that has a huge influence on him.  He’s a flyball pitcher, posting a 47.1% flyball rate in 2009, so if the new park plays like a hitter’s park he is going to be in trouble.
  • He had a slightly below average strand rate of 70.5% last season.  Of pitcher’s with at least 180 innings (58), it was tied for tenth worst.  That should improve, which is why I have his ERA where I do.
  • The projection is based on a BABIP of .293.

So, there you have my thoughts.  What do you think?  Can he live up to these projections?  Why or why not?

7 comments

  1. So hard to guesstimate what that new stadium would bring. Who would have guessed the Yanks would be playing wiffle ball while the Mets would be playing in Yellowstone.

    That said, I like your projections. The Twins didn’t do much to improve so the 14 win total seems on the money.

  2. Big Mike says:

    I love this concept and look forward to seeing more of these. The only variable I see is whether the new outdoor stadium would adversely affect Baker and the other Twins.

  3. Big Dog says:

    Agree with Big Mike – I like the format.

    I’m a fan of Baker but I agree that he’ll have a hard time of improving on last year’s numbers.

  4. mds says:

    baker is the man. last year i made the claim baker would outpitch brandon webb after some ppl made fun of a trade i made… the new stadium should be somewhat similar minus the turf. balls wont travel on the ground as fast, so i will assume he will get more outs with grounders. hardy is pretty decent in the field. COUNT ON IMPROVEMENT in whip, era and wins. BOOK IT

  5. Pointman says:

    Having had Baker on my team for last half of last year, I noticed that many times he would be pitching a good game for 7 innings and manager tried to push him to 8 and nine innings. That is when he would give up 2-4 more runs turning a 7 inning 2 run performance into 7 2/3 4/5 run performance –big difgference. I dont know if Minn stregthened its bullpen or if thats just his managers modus operandi.

  6. Chant says:

    From everything I’ve read about Target Stadium it seems that most feel that it will be a better park for pitchers than hitters, except in the summer. Spring and Fall bring cold weather for baseball in Minnesota and the ball won’t travel as far. But in the summer, the hitters should enjoy hitting at Target. So I guess we just can draft Twins pitchers but trade them before the All Star break at the latest, no matter how well they’ve done. Then wait till they’re dropped by other owners in late August/early September and snatch them back again for the final push.

  7. Philip Lavictoire says:

    I have been taking Scott Baker for a few years now and have never been disappointed, aside from the start of last season. Always seems to be putting up quality starts. I’m hoping that the new stadium actually helps him, since the balls will now have to travel through potentially windy conditions.( Hopefully not blowing to the outfield)

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