Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray reflect on the season that was and talk about what they got right and what they got wrong.
Justin Fensterman and Trevor Ray reflect on the season that was and talk about what they got right and what they got wrong.
Yesterday I wrote my first half review of Hitters. Obviously that left half of the equation on the sidelines, an issue I will rectify today as I discuss how hurlers performed in the first half. For those of you wondering yes, I’m still boozing it up today as well. It’s tough when there are no games to cover… what does one do with their free time? One of the things I did was going to The Pez Museum on a date. Never let it be said that I don’t know how to treat a lady.
FIRST HALF DISAPPOINTMENTS
Matt Cain has a 1.18 WHIP and his highest K/9 rate (8.28) since 2006. He’s also 5-6 with a 5.06 ERA. Still a prime buy low candidate as the Giants continue to insist that he’s healthy.
R.A. Dickey is 8-10 with a 4.69 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. In his last 10 outings he’s allowed six or more earned runs five times. He’s killing his owners with ineffectiveness. I have nothing to apologize for. I told everyone his follow up to last season would be less than memorable.
Yovani Gallardo = disaster. He’s 7-8 with a 4.83 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while his K/9 mark, over a batter an inning the past four seasons, is languishing down at 7.21 per nine this season.
Roy Halladay has thrown all of 34.2 innings and is at a career crossroads due to shoulder surgery. He was pathetic before going to the DL with an 8.65 ERA and 1.46 WHIP.
Cole Hamels has a strong 8.23 K/9 mark, his K/BB ratio is 3.47 and his WHIP is 1.22. Those are all solid numbers. Unfortunately he’s also 4-11 with a 4.05 ERA on the season. The lefty version in the NL of Matt Cain – a guy who has actually performed better than it looks on the surface.
Edwin Jackson has looked much better the last three times he’s taken the hill but don’t tell that to the folks that have been running him out there all year long as he’s got a 5.11 ERA and 1.44 WHIP for the Cubs.
Stephen Strasburg is 5-7 for the Nationals and his K/9 mark of 9.06 is 13th in baseball. Entering the season that mark was 11.21 for his career.
Jered Weaver has deal with injury that limited him to 67 innings in the first half, though he has been solid when out there with a 3.63 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He wasn’t drafted to be solid though, and that 3-5 record does him no favors.
Justin Verlander has a 3.50 ERA and 1.34 WHIP? The last two years he’s been at 2.52 in the ERA column and 0.99 in the WHIP category.
Ryan Vogelsong was really solid the last two years. Before he was DL’d this year he was flat out hideous with a 7.19 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over 46.1 innings.
FIRST HALF SURPRISES
Bartolo Colon… I’ll just let the numbers speak for themselves: 12-3, 2.70 ERA, 1.11 WHIP.
Patrick Corbin went from the waiver-wire to the penthouse in the first half. Not only does he have 11 victories but he’s somehow been able to pitch his way to a 2.35 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Can’t expect it to continue, but I’ve been saying that for two months.
Jose Fernandez was a surprise addition to the Marlins’ roster given that he’s like 11 years old. He may only have five wins, but that 2.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 103 Ks in 104.2 innings are elite levels of production.
We knew Matt Harvey would be good, but elite right off the hop? A 2.35 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, along with 147 Ks in 130 innings paint him as one of the best hurlers in the game at the All-Star Break.
We knew that Hisashi Iwakuma could have a good season this year, and though he’s been bombed of late overall the guy has a 3.02 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 113 Ks in 131.1 innings. A remarkable first half really.
John Lackey is just like the man below him, a total out of nowhere performer that NO ONE predicted would have success. Lackey has a 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 8.34. The last time he pitched this well was 2007. Look it up. He’s never had an ERA or WHIP this low.
Francisco Liriano has been dynamic for the Pirates with nine victories, a 2.00 ERA and 1.19 WHIP with 80 Ks in 76.2 innings in his firsts season in the NL. The last time he pitched like this? It was a few years ago, 2006 to be accurate.
Shelby Miller was viewed as a #1 SP at some point, but no one thought he would be that this season. He has been with nine victories, a 2.92 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 112 Ks in 104.2 innings.
Edward Mujica from unwanted middle reliever to a must own, dominating force in the fantasy game. He’s been as good as any reliever in the game with a 2.20 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 26 saves.
Like Colon above, I’ll just let the numbers speak for Travis Wood: 2.79 ERA, 1.04 WHIP. Might as well list a few other hurlers that have been crazy good.
For more on some players I think you might consider adding to your squad in the second half check out SECOND HALF TARGETS.
*** For more on my mid-season thoughts make sure you pick up a copy of the 2013 BBGuys Mid-Season Rankings.
By Ray Flowers
A hypochondriac is someone who is obsessed by the idea that they have an illness of some kind when, most of the time, there is no actual condition to be concerned with. I bring that up because in the world of fantasy baseball it seems like there is an epidemic of hypochondria akin to the zombie apocalypse that is portrayed in the television show The Walking Dead. People are freaking out. I’m talking, losing their minds type of situations.
The world is ending.
Life is meaningless.
Resistance is futile.
In what follows are a sampling of the questions I’ve been receiving at the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account. Am I being over dramatic with my lead in to this piece? You tell me after reading the following questions/thoughts I’ve received.
How long do I hold on to Edwin Encarnacion? He is killing my average.
Someone dropped Jason Kipnis in a first year keeper, keep 15.
I’m not kidding… that’s what you folks are sending me. Let’s go tweet by tweet, quickly though, since there is no reason to spend too much time dealing with this junk.
Lowrie has never played 100 games in a big league season. Mauer is a career .322 hitter who has made five All-Star teams, won four Silver Slugger awards and he is the 20th ranked player in baseball in career WAR among active players (according to BaseballReference).
Encarnacion has gone 2-for-27 leading to a sickly .074 average. Last season he went 1-for-22 from May 3rd to May 9th and he hit .280 on the season. He also hit 42 homers with 110 RBIs.
Gallardo has won 14 games each of the past three seasons, and he’s struck out 200 batters in 4-straight seasons. None of the other three names listed has ever struck out 200 in a season, and only one has even a single season of 14 wins. Oh, and two of them entered the year with less than 20 combined big league starts while the other has made 20 starts twice in the last five years.
Halladay looked bad in camp, and has been similarly poor in his first two starts, but really? There’s a reason that Zito, Santana, Chacin and Hughes weren’t drafted in mixed leagues until the rounds hit the legal drinking age on draft day (folks over at Fleaflicker are staying the course with Halladay as he’s still owned in 92 percent of leagues).
I really like Cobb and his potential, but Kuroda is coming off a season of 16 victories, a 3.32 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 167 Ks. Let me know when Cobb reaches a single one of those numbers over a full season.
EJax or Richards? Do I really need to even say anything?
Kipnis was dropped in a league with 15 keepers? Asinine.
Do you trade a flawed hitter on an immense run of success in Davis for an MVP caliber talent that has a season in which he was the greatest fantasy player in the land in Kemp?
Do you see why my blood pressure sometimes goes up, why I’m occasional obnoxious on Twitter, or why I’m frequently dressing down callers on my radio show?
Seriously folks. Let me harken back to an old catch phrase: take a chill pill. Let things marinate. Exercise patience. Life isn’t that bad. Trust your draft. Trust your instincts. Trust me. Stay the course. If you do, you’ll come out in a better place on the back end. Trust me.
By Ray Flowers
Now that the 2012 season is over, it’s time to review how my predictions went for each position in fantasy baseball. To that end, I will review my top-10 at each position and give a brief rundown on how each of the ten performed. I’ll also list which player was a “Hit” (someone who lived up to expectations) as well as a “Miss” (the player who simply failed to impress).
Note: All of these rankings are taken from the 2012 BASEBALLGUYS DRAFT GUIDE
For more on the Draft Guide you can click on the link.
For an update on what you missed in the Draft Guide, click on the link.
Things will work a little differently for the pitchers. Instead of a review of the top-10 I’ll detail a series of “Hits” and “Misses” for starters and relievers
STARTING PITCHER – MISSES
Cliff Lee (#3): He “missed,” but through no fault of his own. Lee won six games. S I X. Lee had a 3.16 ERA, the 15th best mark in baseball. Lee was the only pitcher in baseball with an ERA under 3.75 who failed to win at least 10 games. Lee also posted a 1.11 WHIP, the 10th best mark in the game. Lee also punched out 207 batters, the 10th best mark in baseball. Add in his 7.39 K/BB ratio, the best in baseball, and you have an elite hurler who was saddled by terrible support from his team.
Roy Halladay (#4): Failing to make 30 starts for the first time since 2004, Halladay had his first disappointing season since that year. Given his draft day cost 11 wins, a 4.49 ERA and 1.22 WHIP over 156.1 innings was a massive disappointment. Not only did he fail to throw 220 innings for the first time since 2005, he also had his lowest win total since ’04, his first ERA over 3.75 since 2004, and his worst WHIP in five years. It’s fair to wonder if the 35 year old will ever be dominant again.
Tim Lincecum (#6): Awful. I wanted to leave him off the list, to just ignore what happened, but of course I couldn’t. His ERA (5.18) was two runs above normal, and his K total was a five year low, though he still struck out more than a batter an inning with 190 in 186 innings. At least he wasn’t awful in the second half (3.83 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 86 Ks in 89.1 innings).
Jon Lester (#12): A rock for four years, that facade crumbled in 2012. Lester won only nine games after 4-straight 15 win seasons. He posted a 4.82 ERA after 4-straight years under 3.50. He posted a 1.38 WHIP, his highest mark in five years. He struck out 166 batters, his lowest total in four years. A letdown from a guy that seemed like such rock solid option on draft day.
Ricky Romero (#17): Just plain awful. See Review: SiriusXM Hosts League Draft.
Josh Beckett (#18): Won only seven games, lost a career worst 14, and saw his ERA bulge to 4.65. Beckett, who had struck out eight batters per nine in each of the past five seasons, didn’t even rack up seven per nine with a 6.97 mark, and the resulting 2.54 K/BB ratio was his worst mark since 2006. There’s no way around it – Beckett was a terrible disappointment.
Tommy Hanson (#23): He won a 4-year best 13 games while tossing 174.2 innings. He also basically matched his career mark with an 8.30 K/9 rate. However, he lost 10 games, saw his ERA soar to 4.48, and his WHIP ballooned to 1.45. Clearly his shoulder wasn’t at 100 percent, and it’s fair to be concerned about his outlook moving forward if he truly has lost three mph off his heater.
Stephen Strasburg (#30): He won 15 games, struck out 197 batters, posted a 3.16 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. He was spectacular. If only he had made four more starts…
Ubaldo Jimenez (#34): He’s never coming “back.” The first half version of 2010 was never going to return – he’s not the second coming of Bob Gibson – and at this point it’s fair to wonder if Ubaldo is even worth counting on at all in mixed leagues. Not only did he strike batters out at a career worst 7.28 per nine his walks exploded to a career worst 4.84. The resulting 1.51 K/BB ratio is really the only number you will need to focus on with Ubaldo – it signifies doom.
Johnny Cueto (#45): I admit it. I was wrong about Cueto. I wanted to see another year with strong work given that his 2011 effort was such an outlier compared to his performance over his first thee major league seasons. Consider Cueto to have definitively answered that call. Cueto is in line for NL CY Young consideration thanks to 19 wins, a 2.78 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 170 Ks in a career best 217 innings.
Jake Peavy (#72): I didn’t think he, or Johan Santana, could do it. Santana failed as I expected (6-9, 4.85 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in 117 innings), but Peavy was a fantasy star, especially given his draft day cost as Peavy went only 11-12, but he threw 219 innings with a 3.37 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. The ERA was his best mark since 2008, the WHIP his best since 2007, and 2012 was the first time that he pitched more than 120 innings in four years.
R.A. Dickey (#78): Oh come on, everyone missed on Dickey. Look back at your preseason guides and I think you’ll find my ranking was as favorable as most. Dickey had surgery on his abdominal tear and should be fine by opening day, so it’s not a real worry. Dickey won 20 games, was second in the NL in ERA (2.73) and first in strikeouts (230). A simply remakrbale season for a hurler who depends on a “trick” pitch almost exclusive. It might have been the most dominating season in the history of the game for a knuckleballer.
Jarrod Parker (#109): He won 13 games as a rookie with a 3.47 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over the course of 181.1 innings. It was a great season by any measure. He was saddled with a 26 percent line drive rate, an incredibly high mark, or his effort might even have been a wee bit better.
By Ray Flowers
(1) Ryan Dempster traded or not?
(2) Ichiro now in Big Apple after trade from Mariners.
(3) Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante sent to Detroit for future ace Jacob Turner.
(4) Colby Lewis done for year – elbow surgery.
(5) Justin Smoak sent to Triple-A.
(6) Roy Halladay shaky.
(7) Jordan Zimmerman/Ryan Vogelsong = money in the bank.
By Ray Flowers
(1) Roy Halladay looks good in return from DL.
(2) CC Sabathia looks good in return from DL.
(3) Roy Oswalt rounding into form for Rangers.
(4) Mike Trout AL MVP? On fire in July.
(5) Andrew McCutchen NL MVP? On fire in July.
(6) Francisco Rodriguez now closing for Brewers. At this point, he needs to be owned in all leagues (see Fleaflicker).
(7) Jed Lowrie hurt again.
(8) Tony Campana not stealing bases. Does he have any value?
(9) Trevor Bauer really struggling with control.
(10) Juan Carlos Oviedo done for the year?
By Ray Flowers
Back in late January the BaseballGuys 2012 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide was offered to facilitate your quest to dominate the fantasy competition. A lot has changed since then though, an awful lot.
Carlos Santana has been a massive disappointment behind the dish.
Albert Pujols struggled mightily out of the gate.
Evan Longoria had multiple setbacks with a lower body injury.
Dustin Pedroia has been largely ineffective due to injury.
Troy Tulowitzki is on the shelf yet again.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp suffered significant injuries.
Roy Halladay was hurt.
Two-thirds of the bullpens in baseball have switched closers.
Obviously, a lot has changed since the 2012 season began.
Given those facts, I thought now would be a great time update my Player Rankings. Here’s what I’ve done.
I’ve ranked the top-40 players at the following positions: C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B.
I’ve ranked the top-100 outfielders.
I’ve ranked the top-150 starting pitchers.
I’ve ranked the top-75 relievers.
That’s 525 players ranked for the second half of the 2012 baseball season.
How do you get your copy of the5x5, mixed league rankings?
On the right hand side of the BaseballGuys page, near the top, is a YELLOW DONATE tab. Simply click on the tab, donate $1.00 through Paypal, and The Mid-Season Rankings will be on their way to you within hours.
$1 folks – that’s it. That’s like going to iTunes and downloading a song.
It’s just that simple.
Donate to the BaseballGuys.com cause and I’ll send you an email with the PDF file containing the rankings.
There’s still time to win your fantasy baseball league this season, so let BaseballGuys.com help to guide you to that championship.
By Ray Flowers
(1) Andre Ethier making big push for his payday this offseason.
(2) Roy Halladay out for 6-8 weeks with shoulder injury. Is he done being an elite arm?
(3) Jered Weaver placed on DL with back issue. Believed to be minor.
(4) Roy Oswalt signs with Rangers, about four weeks away.
(5) Jonathan Sanchez still working his way back from biceps issue.
(7) Brandon McCarthy good to go Saturday for A’s.
(8) Injured outfielders close to returning - Yoenis Cespedes, Cameron Maybin, Michael Morse, Desmond Jennings and Nick Markakis.
You can also follow my work over at Sulia.com where I randomly post some of my thoughts through the day.
By Ray Flowers
Monday’s I will be taking a look at the fantasy baseball game by breaking down players who have produced noteworthy performances. This week it’s all about hot starting batters and pitchers – can they keep it up?
To get your daily fantasy baseball fix make sure you head over to DailyJoust.com to set your salary cap club.
GAINERS OF THE WEEK
Nelson Cruz (+29, $84K in DailyJoust salary)
How is this for a change – Cruz has been healthy but unproductive, the polar opposite of what we normally see from him. Cruz is sporting a sickly .216 batting average and his .269 OBP is only two points above his career batting average. Why the power outage? Good question. The past four years his HR/F ratio has been at least 15 percent. Currently it’s sitting at 6.5 percent. When that number rebounds, and it should, we could see some homers in bunches (over at Fleaflicker people seem to recognize that fact, just look at his percentage owned rate). Be wary though of a 5.9 percent BB-rate which would be a six year low and his 26.1 K-rate which would be a five year high.
Howie Kendrick (+16, $86K)
Kendrick boosted his average over .030 points in the past week but even so it’s still at just .275 (career .292). Howie has appeared in 26 of 29 games so far, and though he hasn’t been a standout my any means his current pace would equate to 22 homers and 61 RBI which would be a nice follow up to his 18-63 effort of last year. He’ll be solid and productive, but he could certainly stand to take a walk every once in a while (just three so far this season).
Carlos Lee (+15, $83K)
Boring but productive. That should be the name on the back of Lee’s jersey. Hitting .289 through 25 games, Lee’s current RBI pace would lead to 91 RBI over the course of 162 games (he has 14 in 25 games). The power has yet to show itself with only two bombs, but it’s just a matter of time before he hits a few balls into the seats. Don’t overlook Lee in the fantasy game, even if the ceiling is pretty low.
Jeff Samardzija (+49, $256K)
In 8.2 innings JS gave up 10 runs to the Cardinals and Marlins. In his other three starts he’s allowed two runs. The result is an impressive, though uneven, start to the year that has led the Cubs heat hucking righty to a 3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 32 Ks in 31.2 innings. A bit more consistency would obviously be great, but Jeff’s transition to the starting rotation has gone about as well as could be expected (see that 3.20 K/BB rate).
Edinson Volquez (+85, $272K)
So far the 2012 season has been a success for Volquez. He has a 2.92 ERA and 1.16 WHIP through six starts which are numbers that harken back to his massive 2008 season in which he posted a 3.21 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Volquez still has walked 18 batters in 37 innings, far too many, and he doesn’t have a victory thanks to the Padres terrible offense, but overall this has been an impressive start for the hard throwing righty.
Jered Weaver (+93, $466K)
A no-hitter boosts anyone’s value. Weaver also tossed six shutout innings in his previous start so he’s lowered his ERA to 1.61. He’s also walked seven batters in six outings leading to a 0.78 WHIP and he’s also whiffed 45 batters in 44.2 innings. Face it, the guy is one of a handful of arms in baseball that can legitimately be called an ace.
LOSERS OF THE WEEK
Yovani Gallardo (-37, $195K)
Last year Gallardo had games in which he gave up seven, six, six an eight earned runs. He still finished the year with a 3.52 ERA. The fact is that Gallardo is as up and down as pretty much any elite level arm in the league. However, when the season is over the numbers are always impressive. Consider that in each of the past three years he’s won at least 13 games with and ERA under 3.85 an at least 200 Ks. His ERA might be 5.79 and that WHIP ghastly at 1.65 but I wouldn’t be at all shocked if we saw the numbers we have come to expect from Yovani by the end of the year.
Roy Halladay (-46, $278K)
Bombed in his last outing (eight earned runs), Halladay should be fine. However, I’m slightly concerned about the lost two mph of velocity that Halladay is dealing with. His current K/9 rate of 6.17 is well below his career rate of 6.87, and he’s been over 7.50 each of the past four years. Could be a sample size thing, but it’s something to keep a close eye on since Halladay has thrown so many pitches the past six years (at least 220 innings each season). He’ll be fine of course, but we’ve likely seen the best he has to offer.
Tommy Hanson (-47, $231K)
Hanson’s K/9 rate of 8.29 is just off his 8.42 career rate, impressive considering that his fastball is still down two mph from his career rate. I’m also a big fan of his 47.3 percent ground ball rate, a significant improvement over his 41.1 career mark. There’s also the career best 15.1 line drive rate. Basically, batters aren’t making hard contact. Still, you’d be hard pressed to realize that unless you looked at his BABIP that is way too high at .330 (career .282). Would seem like a nice buy low opportunity, especially if the velocity returns.
Jonathon Niese (-101, $173K)
His first four outings were at least six innings before his three inning stinker last time out. Still, this is a guy with a solid K/9 rate (7.53) and BB/K (2.67) and he’s continuing to generate a lot of grounders with a 52.4 percent mark there. This is not an elite skill set by any means but pitchers with worse skills have enjoyed a lot of long-term success at the big league level.
Joe Saunders (-21, $338K)
Amazed I am at his start. He’s been so good that allowing two earned runs actually resulted in his salary going up. Through five starts he has produced a quality start each time leading to a 1.24 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. I know, pretty amazing. He has no chance of ending the year with a number in either category that that’s within shouting distance of where he is at, but that’s not going to take away from what has been a special start. Ride the wave baby, but be sure to have your life vest handy.
Today you can sign up for the King Arthur’s $50 Free Roll on DailyJoust. No entry free is required to get a chance to play the game and earn your free chance to take home part of the $50 prize pool. All games that start at 7:05 PM EDT or later are open to add players to your daily fantasy baseball squad. So get over to DailyJoust, put together your one day lineup, and get ready to win some free $.
By Ray Flowers
Yesterday in ABA: The New WHIP, I laid out my six year old idea now of how to better evaluate pitchers performance than the standard that is used in virtually every fantasy league – WHIP. Instead I suggested that Average Bases Allowed (ABA) – recorded by taking Total Bases + Walks divided by Innings Pitched – gives a truer understanding of the level of performance for a hurler than WHIP (you can read about the in’s an out’s of ABA in the above link). Today, I’ll list for you some of the leaders in ABA from the 2011 season based on innings pitched. Before I get to that a quick review of ABA.
ABA = (TBA + BB) / IP
The lower ones ABA the better, but it doesn’t read the same was as WHIP. Whereas the average WHIP last season was 1.32, the league average ABA of all pitchers in 2011 was 1.86.
Second, here is a “key” you can employ to understand the ABA totals.
Below 1.50: elite level performance
1.50-1.70: All-Star level
1.71-1.89: Solid major league hurler worthy of counting on in fantasy circles
1.91-2.10: Barley holding on to an effective role as a fantasy starter.
2.11 and up: Might as well line up a pitching machine
With that, here are some of the the hurlers that caught my eye broken down into innings pitched groupings.
2011 ABA LEADERS – Minimum 160 IP
1.31 – Clayton Kershaw
1.32 – Roy Halladay
1.35 – Justin Verlander
What a shock. The three hurlers who are widely regarded as options 1-3 in 2012 finished 1-3 in ABA in 2011.
1.43 – Cliff Lee
1.44 Cole Hamels
The Phillies had three of the top five arms according to ABA.
1.45 – Doug Fister
He didn’t beat himself with walks (37) or allow many long balls (11), a key in ABA.
1.59 – Brandon McCarthy
Only issued 25 walks all season, a tremendous number. For my thoughts on McCarthy see his Player Profile.
1.61 – Phil Humber
He finished last year in the top-20 in ABA. It would be surprising if he finished 2012 in the top-40.
1.69 – Gavin Floyd
Often overlooked, Floyd had a better ABA mark than Gio Gonzalez (1.71), Daniel Hudson (1.73) and Yovani Gallardo (1.77).
1.84 – Zack Greinke
Just slightly better than the league average in ABA (1.86), Greinke is still an elite arm. He just didn’t score well according to this measure. Remember, no one measure ever paints for the you entire picture.
1.87 – Brandon Morrow
You know I love the arm, but he simply must reign in the walks and cutting into the homer total would help as well.
1.97 – Bartolo Colon
Don’t be seduced by his strong first half last year.
2.04 – Ubaldo Jimenez
Seventy-eight walks will kill ya.
2.33 – Bronson Arroyo
The worst arm amongst qualifiers. Think it might have something to do with the 46 homers he allowed?
90-160 INNING HURLERS
1.39 – Johnny Cueto
He led this group in ABA since he fell four innings short of appearing in the top group.
1.49 – Jim Johnson
He doesn’t strike many out, an I’m not sure he’s a great 9th inning option, but he is rarely taken deep and doesn’t beat himself with the free passes.
1.72 – Scott Baker and Vance Worley
Baker’s arm appears to be sound this spring, but continued minor setbacks are an issue. Worley is starting to get a lot of love in the fantasy game.
1.87 – Homer Bailey
Though he had a solid WHIP of 1.28 his ABA was one hundredth worse than the league average.
2.37 – Edinson Volquez
He has a great arm, has a fantastic home park, and the last two years his ground ball rate is over 50 percent. Still, ABA shows you just how far he will have to come to return to relevance.
2.42 – Danny Duffy
He might look good this spring, but he looked awful last year.
LESS THAN 90 INNING ARMS
1.02 – Sergio Romo
Just like with SWIP, Romo comes out on top.
1.16 – Mariano Rivera
The AL leader, he gave up three homers and eight walks in over 61 innings last year.
1.23/1.24 – Craig Kimbrel/Jonny Venters
How apropos that the best lefty-righty duo out of the pen also finished with nearly identical ABA marks.
1.28 – Greg Holland
The Royals reliever had the same ABA mark as Sean Marshall and Jonathan Papelbon.
1.40 – John Axford, Brandon League
They both induce a ton of grounders and that helped to keep their total bases down.
1.50 – Aroldis Chapman, Javy Guerra
These two guys do it totally differently. One uses pure heat, the other get by more on “pitching.” Chapman walked a huge total of 41 guys in 50 innings but he allowed a mere two homers.
1.63 – Henry Rodriguez
Though he finished with a poor 1.51 WHIP, he has a big arm and ABA shows him to still be better than a big league average performer last year. In fact, his ABA was the same as Andrew Bailey.
1.90 – Joe Nathan
Nathan didn’t get along well with ABA last year, even though he had a strong second half. Seven homers in just 44.2 innings isn’t going to help anyone out.
1.99 – Huston Street
Ten homers in 58.1 innings caused his ABA to be pretty high (see Nathan).
2.16 – Phil Hughes
I keep warning about Hughes (see his Player Profile). The return to action of Andy Pettitte also is an issue.
For those of you who want to investigate further, here is the BBGuys-ABA-2011-PDF file that lists all men who tossed at least 40-innings last season.
Also… there is still time to pick up your copy of the 2012 BBGuys Draft Guide.
By Ray Flowers