2011 Projection: Can Tim Hudson Replicate His 2010 Success?

It was a magical season for Tim Hudson, who had pitched just 42.1 innings in 2009 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2008.  His numbers were fine in that span (3.61 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), but no one knew exactly what to expect in his first full year back.  Hudson performed better than anyone could’ve expected, posting the following line:

17 Wins
228.2 Innings
2.83 ERA
1.15 WHIP
139 Strikeouts (5.47 K/9)
74 Walks (2.91 BB/9)
.250 BABIP

The question for fantasy owners is if he has any chance of replicating the numbers?  The first big strike against him is his strikeout rate.  He has a career K/9 of 6.06 and the only time he has actually been above 5.81 since 2003 was in ’09 when he posted a 6.38 K/9.  Of course, that was over a minimal sample size so it can be taken with a grain of salt.

Without the strikeout rate, there a big risk that the other numbers come tumbling down as well.  His BABIP is unbelievable.  He has a career rate of .286 and routinely posted a mark between .290 and .307 prior to the injury. 

Yes, he has always had great control which he was almost able to replicate despite missing significant time (2.91 BB/9 vs. 2.78 for his career).  However, a regression in BABIP is going to mean a big fall in his WHIP.  For his career he has posted a 1.25 WHIP and seeing him perform significantly worse than that would not be surprising.

As for the ERA, he benefitted from an 81.2% strand rate.  For his career he is at 74.2%.  In 2010 he was one of only two pitchers who qualified for the ERA title to post a strand rate better than 80% (the other two were Cole Hamels & Roy Halladay).  It should be a foregone conclusion that he is going to regress there as well.

You put it all together and get the following projection:

200.0 IP, 15 W, 3.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 120 K (5.40 K/9), 63 BB (2.84 BB/9)

Those are fine numbers overall, but without the strikeouts he becomes a barely passable pitcher for fantasy owners.  Unless he is going to post an elite ERA or WHIP (or both), those in shallower formats can basically forget about him without the strikeout rate.  Considering, from his track record, we know that’s not going to happen, it’s easy to ignore Hudson on draft day.

What are your thoughts on Hudson?  Is he someone that is usable?  How do you think he’s going to produce?

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Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections:

5 comments

  1. Brock Sampson says:

    I’m actually considering keeping Hudson in one of my leagues. But it’s a very odd-scoring league.

    12-teams, H2H points, weekly rosters, $260 cap, 4 keepers with a $3 bump in salary each year a player is kept, with a max of 3 years. Last year was the first year of the league, so everybody kept will be entering Year 2 of the 3-year max.

    Also, the scoring heavily favors pitching.

    Of the 62 players that scored at least 500 points in this league last year, only 9 were hitters (in order of points scored – Pujols, Bautista, Miggy, Votto, CarGo, Cano, Crawford, Holliday, Pierre). Of the 53 pitchers, 10 were closers. Pujols and Rafael Soriano are nearly equals (4 points separated them last year).

    Of the 23 players that scored at least 600 points, Pujols is the only bat (640 points).

    Meanwhile, Wainwright (784), Felix (742), Ubaldo (737), Sabathia (713), and Heath Bell (705) all cracked 700…..and thanks to the crazy bonuses for NH’s and PG’s, Halladay racked up 926 points for me last year, and on those weeks he got two starts it was pretty much a W in the books.

    Here’s the options…

    Votto $27
    Crawford $24
    Werth $18
    CarGo $5
    Carlos Santana $1
    Jennings $1

    Halladay $38
    Sabathia $37
    Kershaw $20
    Liriano $5
    Scherzer $3
    Hudson $2
    Latos $1
    Bumgarner $1

    Those are the prices I paid at auction last year, so Latos for instance will cost $4 to keep this year, and even that’s a crazy steal.

    And I know that CarGo at $8 would be a massive steal as well, but honestly, I’m not sure he’s the best bang for my buck here. While he was the #5 highest scoring bat last year, he’s only the #45 highest in overall scoring.

    Right now, I’m leaning towards Kershaw, Liriano, Scherzer, and Latos. Adding in the price bumps, that would be a total of $41, leaving me with $219 in the auction, which is a big chunk of coin. Or I could keep Bumgarner or Hudson instead of Kershaw, and stroll into the auction like Uncle Warbucks.

    If it was as simple as just keeping the best four players, the decision would be easy. But I need to keep the best four contracts, and that’s a tougher decision, especially considering the wacky scoring system.

    Given all this mess, which four would you keep?

  2. GT says:

    I owned Hudson on multiple teams last year and the guy was a rock. Steady, solid production from a quality pitcher on a good team. A poor man’s Chris Carpenter. He’s just one of those pitchers that is smart enough to evolve his game as he gets older and more prone to injury (Tom Glavine, David Cone). His velocity was actually up on a few pitches last year, but the guys got like 6 or 7 pitches to throw and fall back on if he approaches high pitch counts. Even if he is low on K’s, he is one of the few pitchers who can push 17 wins every year.

  3. Will Overton says:

    Brock – First of all, what a crazy league you play in there my friend.

    Looking at your team I think you are on the right track with the guys you are keeping. But I would still keep Carlos Gonzalez.

    I realize hitters in your league don’t get you as much as pitchers do, but you still have to fill those spots on your roster and while it sounds like there are lots of pitchers who can get you some points, the hitters aren’t as many. All those pitchers might get you the same points but if you cut one of them loose can you not get someone else back in the draft that is close to that same production? Whereas it might be a bit more costly to replace a hitter like Gonzalez.

    I’d probably keep Gonzalez over Kershaw. Not that I don’t like Kershaw, but his value will probably go up by $10 in the draft whereas your other pitchers as well as CarGo will go up closer to $20.

    So my recommendation is CarGo and then Liriano, Scherzer and Latos and than load up on a couple top end pitchers like Halladay, Kershaw and Sabathia with all that money you’re going to be rolling in.

    • Brock Sampson says:

      It is indeed a bit crazy….but what fun would it be to only play in standard 5×5 leagues?

      You make a good point about the difference between CarGo and Kershaw.

  4. Andy says:

    Is it really safe to assume significant regression considering Hudson’s style and defense? That sinker + that infield make me think that K-rate has less predictive value than we might initially think. Hudson has always been an innings eater and I think he has strong value in points leagues especially. I have him at 220IP 16W 3.15ERA

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