Reader Requests: SP Analyses, Part One

Today I’ll take a look at pitchers whom the readers requested I analyze. Part Two will come early next week and will include Alex Cobb, Sonny Gray, Cory Luebke, Andrew Cashner, and Wily Peralta. For this week, here are some quick bullet points on the pitchers of the week, with a quick thought on them for 2014.

Alex Wood

  • Posted a 9.6 K/9 in his relief appearances, and he maintained a great rate as a starter: 8.7.
  • Posted 3.5 BB/9 in his 11 starts, which is up from his RP appearances but still good for a young pitcher.
  • A BABIP of .348 in 10 starts means we could actually see improvements in his game if that drops to near league average.
  • GB% dropped from first half (60% to 47%), as did K/9, but relieving is a different approach, and nearly half GB is still a nice skill to target.
  • Had lower LD% as starter, but still a little higher than I like, at 23%.
  • His hart hit rate of 28% was around the league average, which is high 20% to low 30%, so overall batters aren’t squaring up excessively well despite the LD%.
  • For 2014: Atlanta would need to acquire two proven SP before Wood loses his project spot in the rotation. I like his upside as a starter and would take him gladly.

Danny Salazar

  • Maintained a BB/9 under 3.0 in minors from 2011-2013, and that translated into the majors: 2.6 BB/9 in 10 starts.
  • His K/9 is a huge factor for his value. Hard to expect him to keep up the 12.5 K/9 he had in the minors in 2013, but in 10 MLB starts it was 11.3. For his 2013 minors time, his major league equivalent K/9 was still 10.7. His swinging strike percent was 16%, which is about 7% above the MLB average.
  • He’s also above the league average in first-pitch strikes and strikes in the zone. His willingness to attack the zone could be part of the reason for his gopheritis, high HR/FB. If he learns to make batters chase a bit more, that 14% HR/FB should get closer to 10%.
  • He was quite lucky with his strand rate, so even if he solves his home run issues, don’t expect his ERA to slip below 3.00.
  • For 2014: He had sleeper value before this year. This will be the last year to get in on him at a reasonable price. Take advantage of Cleveland’s obscurity and get him cheap if you can.

Corey Kluber

  • Had a great season that proves luck can affect surface stats and hide skills. ERA and WHIP were higher in first half despite a better K/9 (8.7) and BB/9 (1.7) than in the second half. This was due to inflated BABIP and a strand rate slightly below league average, probably due to his gopheritis (high HR/FB and HR/9).
  • His BABIP and LOB% were basically average in second half, which is why his ERA was a solid 3.52. Even though his K/9 and BB/9 faded a bit from the first half, they’re still in line with 2012’s rates, and actually were a bit better.
  • For 2014: Expect a repeat of his second half numbers and be rewarded with a 3.50 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and at least 170 K if he pitches a full season. A solid #3 fantasy SP, with the upside of a #2.

 Danny Duffy

  • Recovered from TJS and spent time between the minors and the bigs. I’m more willing to ignore some of his issues in the hopes he’s building strength and still learning.
  • However, the biggest issue is his walk rate. He’s never had a BB/9 under 4.3 in the majors. Unless he can get it at 3.5 or under, he may not be worth more than a bench spot.
  • He didn’t manage a great ERA even in the minors this year, posting 3.94 at AA and 4.08 at AAA. In major league equivalents, that’s above 5.00.
  • The K/9 is still good, but it’s not enough to cancel out the potential negatives.
  • The fact that he doesn’t have a high GB% means a lot of balls are hit as line drives (players squaring up well against him) or hit up in the air (potential gopheritis issues; see his career xFIP of 4.58).
  • For 2014: Pass on him for another year. There’s a lot he still has to work out, particularly the walks.
Kevin Jebens

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Fantasy baseball player since 2000; winning leagues ranging from 12-team H2H to 18-team experts 5x5. Has written for various baseball blogs, including the 2013 Bleed Cubbie Blue Annual.

3 thoughts on “Reader Requests: SP Analyses, Part One”

  1. Hudson is gone and Maholm is a free agent too. With those two openings in the Braves rotation, 1 will almost definitely go to Wood. I like him as a late round pick with a pretty high ceiling, but he will likely be one of those trendy sleeper picks that you might have to overpay for.

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