Quick 2010 Projection: Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels was a disappointment in 2009, there’s no other way to say it.  Expected to be a fantasy ace after helping the Phillies to their World Series Title in 2008 (going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA in five starts), Hamels instead posted this mediocre line:

10 Wins
193.2 Innings
4.32 ERA
1.29 WHIP
168 Strikeouts (7.81 K/9)
43 Walks (2.00 BB/9)
.325 BABIP

Thoughts:

  • He has tremendous control, so even when he is hit with bad luck he has the ability to post an above average WHIP.  Over the past three seasons he’s posted BB/9s of 2.11, 2.10 and 2.00.
  • His BABIP last season was extremely unlucky.  The prior two year’s he posted marks of .289 and .270, leading to WHIPs of 1.12 and 1.08.  It’s hard to imagine him having a similar year of poor luck, meaning he’s likely to be a great option in that department in ‘10.
  • The ERA surprisingly struggled on the road, with a 4.99 mark compared to his sparkling 3.76 mark at home.  Among the biggest culprits were Citi Field (7.20 in two starts) and Turner Field (8.10 in two starts).  Considering the ballpark, it would be shocking to see him struggle like that in Citi Field again in 2010.  As far as Turner Field goes, he had gone 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA in ’08 and a rebound is going to be coming.
  • Overall his ERA was significantly better in the second half, posting a 3.76 ERA vs. his 4.87 ERA in the first half.  That definitely gives hope.
  • Don’t look for him to be an elite strikeout artist, though clearly a good one.  The past three seasons he has posted marks of 8.69, 7.76 and 7.81.  He has the potential for the low 8s, but he’s not going to be among the league leaders.
  • Obviously, pitching for the Phillies is going to give him significant opportunities for wins.  That’s certainly an important variable.

It all adds together for the following projection:

200.0 IP, 15 W, 3.47 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 182 K (8.19 K/9), 48 BB (2.16 BB/9)

Those are borderline ace pitcher numbers and certainly a solid number two.  Clearly, with the WHIP potential, he’s a pitcher I’d like to own, but how about you?  Do you think Hamels will be able to rebound?  Are you targeting him in your leagues?

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Make sure to check out some of our 2010 projections, including:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

4 comments

  1. I totally expect him to rebound. I think the WS got to his head. With Halladay on the team, I think he’ll be inspired to return to form.

    Do you see Pedro pitching in 2010?

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    Do I see Pedro pitching? Absolutely. Where and when is a completely different story. I could see him ultimately joining a team midseason, as opposed to pitching all year long. We’ll have to wait and see, though.

  3. Tim says:

    Nice job on pointing out the value of Hamels this season. I agree, I think Hamels will be very good in 2010. It wasn’t just the BABIP that did him in, but also the very low strand rate (I think it was about 69%, well below his average). He was one of three pitching rebound candidates I had for 2010, the others being Ricky Nolasco, and to a lesser extent Mike Pelfrey.

  4. Paul says:

    Well, it’s not all luck or in his head. His curveball became ineffective reducing him to a two-pitch pitcher. I own Hamels so I’m hoping he can restore his curveball. Unless your Mariano Rivera you need an effective arsenal of pitches.

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