In no discernible order
Chien-Ming Wang (420… go figure)—He may actually be a nice upside play in NL leagues. There’s a chance for his strikeout rate to uptick slightly, and I think he’s got some life left in the sinker yet. Still, the Nats’ infield defense is a bit uninspiring. Zimmerman is awesome, but Adam Dunn is so bad that he actually gives the Nats a net loss in runs if you combine him with Zimmerman. And despite Adam Kennedy once being a good fielder, he was pretty poor last year and is probably too old to project as being a plus defender any longer. Christian Guzman is slightly below average, too. That’s not a good combination for a heavy sinkerballer like Wang. Just be ready for some maddeningly annoying BABIP numbers from him this year is all I’m saying.
Martin Perez (ND)—The new dynamo arm in Texas. I doubt you’ll see him till September, but he is one of the premier dynasty league pitcher prospects (if there is such a thing!)
Derek Holland (370)—Good stuff, but his approach was pretty awful last year. Dave Cameron from FanGraphs likes him an awful lot, and that’s usually enough for me to give a guy a mulligan.
Alex Colome (ND)—Kevin Goldstein is likening him to Neftali Feliz. Here’s the thing, though. Feliz is only 7 months older, yet he’s already ascended to the big leagues in dominant fashion. I think Colome’s a nice prospect, but he’s no Neftali Feliz.
J.D. Martin (ND)—There’s a solid chance Martin is a legitimate asset in WHIP for you this year in NL leagues. He’s a deep sleeper for sure (if there is such a thing any longer).
Jake Westbrook (ND)—Westbrook is yet another in the long line of low risk/low upside sinkerballers. He’s fine at the end of an AL Only rotation or if you’re in a league where you can stream him either against mostly right-handed line-ups or while he’s at home.
Jaime Garcia (ND)—I really liked him for a couple of years before his injury. There’s no telling if he can ever fully recover, but he’s a guy I’d take a flier on in deep leagues with big benches or minors. He’s an absolute groundball monster, and he seems like just the type to match up well with Dave Duncan (i.e. the antithesis of former Cardinal prospect and perennial flyball master Anthony Reyes). UPDATE: Garcia reports feeling like he has a brand new arm. Seriously, I like this guy.
Ian Kennedy (ND)—He’ll finally get his chance to prove he wasn’t just a big great Yankee hype product. There’s still a little potential there, especially in the NL.
Jeremy Hellickson (ND)—I’ll get to see him pitch in Durham this year. I’m sure to report back on what I notice. All reports have him as having tremendous command and make-up as well as very solid pitches. I’m stoked.
Jenrry Mejia (ND)—How will the Mets screw him up? On the plus side, with how poorly Minaya has built his rotation, there’s a good chance you’ll see him very soon, Mets fans. I think he’s at least a year or two away from really contributing as a starter, though.
Casey Kelly (ND)—Too far away for me to venture a guess as to what he’ll be, but by all accounts, he’s got very solid #2 stuff.
Christian Friedrich (ND)—I still have a fundamental issue with projecting pitchers in Coor’s, but Friedrich looks pretty interesting regardless.
Zach Stewart (ND)—Solid potential in this Blue Jay prospect, but there are so many pitchers vying for a spot that he’s just one of the crowd at the moment.
Aroldis Chapman (267)—I subscribe to many theories, none of them more important than the theory that states Dusty Baker is the right hand of Satan.
Jorge Campillo (ND)—I would neither be surprised by Campillo being the second best starter on the Royals in 2010 or by Campillo being out of baseball due to injury by May.
James McDonald (ND)—He’s down, but he’s not out as a starter prospect. I think there’s still some solid core skills in McDonald’s repertoire. He could probably use a solid half-season (or more) at Triple-A while he irons out the kinks, though. I think he’s wasted in a reliever role right now.
Daniel McCutchen (ND)—I actually think he could be an immediate asset in WHIP in deeper leagues. He’s never going to be a good starter, but there’s potential for him to be a poor man’s Scott Baker given his very good control.
Sergio Mitre (ND)—If he were on an NL team, I’d love to have Mitre. He’s very good against righties and has some tools to get lefties out if he concentrates. If he’s dealt at any point to an NL team looking to salary dump, jump all over this guy. I feel like I say this every year, though.
Rick VandenHurk (ND)—Yes, I still think he’s a sleeper. He’s homer prone, but he can strike guys out and shows enough control to at least keep his K/BB over the magical 2:1 ratio. If he can ever figure out a pitch type of combination to lower his flyball ratio against lefties, I think he’d be a very solid Major League pitcher. Teach this man a cutter, for Christ’s sake!
Carlos Carrasco (ND)—I’ve seen him pitch in person a few times and I believe he’s got very solid #3 pitcher stuff—pretty good fastball, solid breaking ball, solid change-up, good control, good strikeout rates. I know a bunch of people in the media were harsh on Cleveland for not getting someone like J.A. Happ in the Cliff Lee trade, but I think those people are nutty. Carrasco’s got all the tools to be better than Happ in the next year or two. I’d still take Happ over him in 2010, though.
Edinson Volquez (ND)—I hope he comes back soon and that the surgery was successful. I love that change-up.
Bud Norris (ND)—He’s mildly interesting, and maybe even moderately so. He will provide solid strikeout rates, mediocre walk rates, and probably a few too many homeruns. What I’m most interested in is his big league BABIP, especially against right-handers. If he gets some moderate regression in BABIP (and possibly a little regression in HR/F, I think he can be a nice value pick.
Jason Vargas (ND)—You might get a decent couple of spot starts with him in AL Only leagues if you use him in Safeco against poor offenses with lots of left-handers. Too bad he can’t face his own team, huh.
John Smoltz (ND)—If he’s in the NL, he’s worth a look.
Felipe Paulino (ND)—He’s a purely speculative play, and he’s kindof a saber sleeper in the community. Yes, his xFIP was solid, as was his K/9 and K/BB. Yes, I think there’s a small chance he could be a useful part in deeper leagues. But no, I don’t think he figures out his homerun issues or his BABIP woes. Sometimes you have to actually know what to throw in given situations, and I don’t think Paulino has much of a clue right now in how to do that. How much he’s trained and learned over the off-season as well as how well he studies as the season goes on will really determine if he has any value or not.
Paul Maholm (421)—A groundball pitcher who lives right on the 2:1 K/BB ratio cusp (generally the threshold for pitching success, although not always). There’s a small amount of upside as his BABIP deflates from its lofty .325 perch in ’09 as long as the Pittsburgh defense plays along, but I wouldn’t rush out to own Maholm for anything more than the very back of a Mixed League rotation.
Luke French (ND)—Like any almost any lefty, he’s worth spot starting in Safeco against bad offenses. He’s not a bad $1 pick-up in deep AL Only’s.
Rich Hill (ND)—I believe in Dave Duncan. I also believe in Hill’s curveball.
Jon Niese (ND)—Again, I like him. Both he and Mejia have definite sleeper potential in New York this year with all of their rotation holes.
Pedro Martinez (ND)—There’s always a chance he’s scooped up by an NL team, and I think he’s very worthy of rostering for however long that relationship would last.
Josh Outman (ND)—Do you think Tommy John is proud of the distinction his name carries? Or does he walk around the house banging his head against the wall saying, “But I was a good pitcher! Why can’t they remember me for THAT?!” Also, it’s sad that Outman went down with his injury. I was becoming quite enamored with him.
Kris Medlen (ND)—I adore Medlen as a reliever, and I think he’s a fantastic sleeper candidate for saves should Billy Wagner get hurt. And I still think he has promise as a starter, too, if the Braves were to go in that direction. But odds are that they won’t anytime soon.
Gio Gonzalez (405)—I’m not sure if he’ll ever get the control in check, but my oh my is that strikeout potential alluring. My general recommendation would be not to roster both he and Oliver Perez on the same team, though.
David Huff (ND)—I have high hopes that Huff will be a serviceable pitcher in AL formats this year. He’s got enough growth potential in strikeout rate to make him worthy of consideration.
Koji Uehara (ND)—I like him a lot, actually, and if he gets a starter gig back in Baltimore, I think he could surprise some people. If the O’s are worried he can’t hold up for the length of a MLB season, I understand the move to the pen. But I think I’d probably give it one more shot if I were them given how excellent Uehara’s peripherals were last year in a starter role.
Tim Wakefield (ND)—It’s maddening facing him in MLB The Show. It’s unfair—all I ever hit are lazy pop-ups to the outfield. Give me any hard-thrower over this guy in the game. And he’s always got a little upside thanks to his “fastball” and curve playing so well off the knuckleball.
Justin Masterson (ND)—He has a fun set of skills (good GB/FB ratio, solid K/9), but he needs to keep working on the walk rate before we can take him too seriously. Still, Cleveland’s park is a lot nicer to pitchers than Boston’s, and with a slight improvement, he could have a nice little year. I’d bid a buck in Mixed Leagues just to see what happens.
Dallas Braden (ND)—All of his pitches except his fastball had a positive run value last year (and he’s got like five of ‘em!) That intrigues me. Know what else intrigues me? His change-up—it’s one of those unreal “stops in mid-air” kindof Bugs Bunny change-ups that once inputted into a baseball video game, make hitters swear at guys like Braden with foul words you didn’t think existed. It gets in the mid-60’s and even looks sortof like a screwball sometimes if you squint hard enough. There’s no way he keeps up the low HR/FB rate, but I still think a low 4’s ERA, a mid 1.3’s WHIP, and a K/9 over 6.5 is possible. He’s got upside in almost every peripheral category.
Jason Hammel (376)—He’s mildly interesting. If he weren’t in Coor’s, I’d be a lot more apt to want to take a chance on him given his very solid K/BB, GB/FB, and 3.71 FIP last year. But something about that low walk rate for him screams regression. I swear, this is the exact type of stat line that I generally fall in love with only to see the pitcher go up in flames the next year. And it’s Coor’s, a field named after America’s worst big brand beer. Whatever. You could do worse than to own Jason Hammel in 2010.
Don’t Drink the Water
In no discernible order
Clayton Richard (364)—He might be worth a couple bucks in NL leagues just for K’s and Wins accrued, but he’s not someone I’d roster with much hope of getting upside.
Horrible Ramirez (ND)—If insanity is defined as attempting the same thing over and over again while expecting different results, why aren’t some of these Major League GM’s being carted off to padded rooms? Or maybe just to one communal padded room? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Dayton Moore, Bill Bavasi, Brian Sabean and the like all in straight-jackets making deals with one another? I’d pay to watch that reality show.
Aaron Crow (ND)—Organization run by a retarded T-Rex, meet stupid player who held out a year to make less money to play for you (and he apparently spent that year not even trying to learn a change-up… buwhahaha!) I’m sure he’ll be very motivated, and I’m sure you know just how to teach him what he needs to know. A match made in heaven.
Collin Balester (ND)—Balester may eventually mold himself into a decent 3rd or, more probably, 4th /5th starter type. But I don’t think he’s anywhere close to making that happen in 2010. He shied away from his change-up last year almost to the exclusivity of his fastball and breaking ball, and that was a big mistake. He needs to find that pitch again and also to hone the control of his fastball.
Cesar Carrillo (ND)—I just wanted to put his name on here so I could display his K/BB from last year with the Padres. It was 0.33. So for every strikeout Carillo had last year, he gave up three walks. I’ve gotta say, even with a small sample size, that’s amazingly awful. Even more amazing is that the Padres had another pitcher with the same affliction—Eulogio de la Cruz. If they come into pitch this year and you’re at a Pads game, it may be time for a smoke break (or a whatever-floats-your-boat break).
Oliver Perez (431)—Perez reminds me of the Setzer character in Final Fantasy VI. Setzer’s special power is “SLOT” and you spend the whole game thinking that playing his SLOT power is going to evolve into something purely awesome. Except it doesn’t. Every once in a thousand tries you may get it to do something fun, but otherwise, all it’s good for is “Game over, man. Game over.”
Garrett Olson (ND)—After finally getting to see Olson, I understand why he was never rated very highly by scouts. It’s because he sucks.
Braden Looper (ND)—Exhibit A on why Doug Melvin is probably overrated. And that’s one helluva strong exhibit.
David Hernandez (ND)—His minor league strikeout rates are wacky-doodle, and I think he’s a strong candidate to be an asset in that category for however long he’s on the mound this year. Still, he’s an extreme flyball pitcher without good control at the big league level, so he’s going to give up a boatload of runs via homer until he can figure one or the other out. There’s also a chance that the O’s just don’t have room for him if other guys work out more quickly. I’d only draft him if you were desperate for K’s.
Tomo Ohka (ND)—His name is very fun to say out loud. Try it. Now try it louder. Again, and even louder. It’s almost therapeutic.
Todd Wellemeyer (ND)—So he couldn’t repeat his Dave Duncan success? I’m not very optimistic.
Clayton Mortensen (ND)—I’m sure Billy Beane saw something in Mortensen that made him interesting. I just wish I knew what that something was.
Micah Owings (359)—Best pinch-hitting pitcher in the big leagues. I only wish he took his pitching as seriously.
Daniel Cabrera (ND)—There are no jokes left in the tank about Cabrera. I almost feel bad for him at this point.
Jeremy Bonderman (ND)—So maybe Beane was right not to want to take Bonderman after all?
Justin Lehr (ND)—Here’s a guy that brings pretty much zero to the table as a starter, yet the Reds couldn’t find anyone with more upside during a very down year to take a look at. He’s a junkballer extraordinaire, and I’d only sign him on my fantasy team if I was colluding with the guy who was taking home the prize.
Jhoulys Chacin (ND)—Based on his level of control last year in Triple-A as well as in the majors, I’d like to hope he has a career back-up plan in mind.
Yorman Bazardo (ND)—I think I once knew a clown by this name as a child. Those were happier times.
Brett “AntiChrist” Tomko (ND)—If Dusty Baker is Satan, then Tomko is Satan’s spawn.
Chris Jakabauskas (ND)—Sucks.
Jason Schmidt (ND)—El toasto.
Zach Jackson (ND)—Destined for LOOGY-dom.
Carlos Silva (ND)—Which would you rather own: Bradley’s temper or Silva’s tummy? The Cubs chose tummy, and I hope their buffet tables are prepared to deal with the ramifications of their decision.
Dontrelle Willis (ND)—There’s nothing left. Zilch. Zero. Nada. And I sure hope he saved the money from his last contract.
Sean O’Sullivan (ND)—He’s not much more than a back-of-the-rotation prospect. And he’s not ready to even be that mediocre in the big leagues just yet. Pass.
Charlie Haeger (ND)—When you type his name into FanGraphs’ search engine, two results appear—Haeger and Jaeger. I’ll take the second, please. And make that a double.
Adam Eaton (ND)—His time has come and gone.
Chris Tillman (412)—In the long run, Tillman has a good shot at being a solid #2 pitcher. In the meantime (i.e. this year), I don’t think you’re going to want him. His control is very likely going to be his undoing in 2010.
Aaron Poreda (ND)—If Nuke LaLoosh somehow mated with Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, you may get an idea of the type of person capable of matching Poreda’s awful control at multiple levels last year. There’s a reason the Padres wanted him in the Peavy deal, but there’s also a reason the White Sox gave him up. I’m almost willing to believe in Kenny Williams moreso than the Padres’ guys (somewhere, deep inside, the 2007 me just threw up in his mouth a little bit). I also find it interesting that his velocity as a reliever was what his supposed velocity as a starter was reported to be. In other words, Poreda wasn’t throwing as hard last year as he had (allegedly) in the past. Add all of that up, and I’m not sure exactly what you get. But it’s not something I’m too interested in finding out for myself, at least in 2010.
Anthony Reyes (ND)—Express elevator to hell… goin’ down.
Brad Thompson (ND)—Do mop up men enjoy their jobs? What sort of rapport do they have with the other starters? Are they the class clown? Anti-social? I’m curious to know more.
Anthony Swarzak (ND)—The odds of him being good in the long run are slim. The chances that he’s good in ’10 are bordering on emaciated. (Can you tell I’m hungry right now?)
Jo-Jo Reyes (ND)—He’s a part of my recommended starter kit for a ****ty fantasy team this year.
Daniel Hudson (ND)—He’s got potential, but he’s got the same fundamental problem that Brandon McCarthy had when he was in Chicago (and when he went to Texas, too)—he’s a flyball pitcher in a homerific ballpark. Longterm, Hudson’s certainly an interesting pitcher. I don’t think you want to saddle up with him this year unless you’re very solid in ERA, though.
Kelvim Escobar (ND)—Oh Omar.
Chris Volstad (418)—His sinker isn’t quite as heavy as alleged, and he doesn’t have the control to compensate for his low strikeout rates. Not to mention the fact that the Marlins’ defense isn’t really that good. I’m likely avoiding at this point.
Tim Redding (ND)—Gosh, the Mets will give anyone a contract these days, huh. If 55-year-old Kevin Costner did a movie where he was a manager/pitcher for the Mets, how believable would that film be on a scale of 1 to 10? 7? 8.5?
Bartolo Colon (ND)—Unless your league awards prizes for most Subway sandwiches eaten in one sitting, I don’t think Colon’s going to help you out.
Tim Stauffer (ND)—Only if you’re feeling lucky.
Scott Olsen (ND)—He no longer has the 92+ mph fastball as a basis for his pitching style, and what we’re left with is a guy with an 88mph meatball who doesn’t have good control and gives up a lot of flyballs. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for a crappy pitcher, I’d like to borrow some of what you’re smoking.
Fernando Nieve (ND)—I’m looking for the proper metaphor for Mets pitchers, and I think I’ve come up with one. Stinkhole?
Antonio Bastardo (ND)—I think he’ll make a fine LOOGY.
Brandon Morrow (354)—He’s never going to have good control. It may never even achieve average status. And he’s also fairly injury prone and not used to starting for a full season. Yeah yeah, the Mariners mishandled him bigtime. But there’s no going back, and I think Morrow is a lost cause—most especially for this year.
Dustin McGowan (ND)—Time has almost run out on McGowan being fantasy relevant with his litany of arm injuries. He’s still got a small chance he could make a comeback, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Andy Sonnanstine (ND)—What I wouldn’t give to see him in Petco. He’ll probably end up as the 6th or 7th starter in the pecking order for the Rays, and I’d expect him to get around 100 innings. He’s not a horrible choice as AL bench filler.
Dana Eveland (ND)—Fatty in Toronto! I wonder what the Canadians will feed him.
Jason Jennings (ND)—Reliever on the Rangers with crappy peripherals. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be recommending him as a starter.
Brett Cecil (ND)—He’s got some upside, especially longterm. But the odds are against him being worth much of anything this year. He really needs to work on fastball location against righties and striking them out more by improving his change-up. When he does one of those things well, he’ll be a useful pitcher. If he ever does both well, he could be a very solid fantasy asset.
Russ Ortiz (ND)—I hope I have a child as lucky as Russ Ortiz.
David Purcey (ND)—Why does his control keep getting worse? I’m at a loss unless it’s an injury. Whatever. I sure wouldn’t own him at this point unless you like giving money away at your auction.
Kyle Kendrick (ND)—In leagues that count Groundball ratio, by all means, give this guy a whirl. Otherwise, I’d avoid.
Doug Fister (ND)—Ever wondered how Lady Luck can give a guy like Fister a very solid ERA for 60 innings pitched while constantly beating down and Tommy John-ing guys much much more talented? Life is so very strange.
David Bush (ND)—As a soft-tossing righty who gives up a boatload of homeruns, you’ve gotta wish on a star that he gets Wins and has one of his decent WHIP seasons to really do you any good. And even then, it better only be a deep league where you’re even thinking about rostering him.
Jeff Weaver (ND)—Do he and his brother get some sort of discount at the barber for having their hair cut like a douche?
Armando Galarraga (ND)—Filler and not much more.
Mark Hendrickson (ND)—Not on my fantasy radar. I hope he’s not on your’s.
Franklin Morales (379)—I think he’s a reliever from here on out. Either that, or a very tall waiter at Denny’s.
Nate Robertson (ND)—I’d avoid unless you like things that go boom.
Eric Stults (ND)—He’s a fine #4 starter. On a Triple-A team.
Fausto Carmona (434)—I’d still like to see the Indians try him out in the bullpen again if for no other reason than I enjoyed watching how far the other teams’ game-winning homeruns traveled off of him.
Anibal Sanchez (427)—His control isn’t good enough to be worth your time nowadays. (On ADP: Wow, he’s still getting drafted, huh. Some people have long memories of prospects from big-budgeted East Coast teams.)
Tom Gorzelanny (ND)—I was very surprised he didn’t do better as a reliever last year. I figured he would excel in the role. There’s still a little left to like in Gorz in terms of his peripherals being better than his final numbers. But he’s getting to the point where his team likely won’t have him on a long enough rope for it to matter.
Jason Berken (ND)—Berken may have some potential in the long run as a back of the rotation type once his control catches up to the big league level. But in the interim, he’s more or less a fantasy nuclear bomb awaiting detonation on your team.
Sidney Ponson (ND)—Sucks. And he’s a fatty. The two, however, are completely unrelated. Probably.
Trevor Cahill (ND)—I absolutely love the movement on his sinker. But after watching him in a few outings, what really surprised me was how ineffective his breaking ball was and how very little he threw it. So that’s when I went digging for his old scouting reports. Most of Cahill’s pre-season 2009 reports said he had an excellent breaking ball that he could throw in any count and 90-94mph velocity. But going back further, his pre-‘08 reports said he had a good change-up, a breaking ball that he only liked to use outside of the zone as it wasn’t super effective, and very spotty control overall. So yeah, the reports from 2007 seem a lot more accurate for what we witnessed in 2009. It’s uncanny just how bad Cahill was given his top prospect pedigree. I have to wonder if there wasn’t an injury hidden somewhere, because the Cahill we saw with the A’s in 2009 was nothing like the most recent scouting reports we had on hand. I’m willing to keep an eye on him given how much I like that sinker, but I’d be wary of using him before he shows signs of actually being a decent pitcher.
Matt Harrison (ND)—Blows.
Manny Parra (ND)—I’ve heard rumors that I recommended Parra as a solid breakout candidate last year. I will now light myself on fire with napalm. Parra is an enigma wrapped in riddles and taped with question marks. There’s a wee bit of hope left in me, but nothing a solid blow to the base of the skull with a tire iron couldn’t cure.
Jamie Moyer (ND)—I wouldn’t roster him, although I do love the guy.
Craig Stammen (ND)—Those strikeout numbers give me the willies. Avoid!
Billy Buckner (ND)—He gets by with his curveball, but those line drive rates are pretty atrocious. He just doesn’t have the type of peripheral stuff or control to get by with throwing 88mph fastballs. Great name, though.
Andrew Miller (ND)—It’s starting to look like he’s never going to figure out his control, which is a shame. He’s a super smart guy, but that awkward delivery looks like it may end up keeping him from becoming a quality fantasy pitcher. His velocity has sunk about 4mph since he was drafted, too, so there’s not much to like at the moment. I loved the stuff and the mental acumen coming out of college. Too bad the stuff is missing nowadays.
Kyle Davies (ND)—No way, Jose.
Scott Richmond (ND)—If you didn’t know anything about flyballs and homeruns, Richmond’s K/BB might seem appealing. But you might want to study up, because this guy is a posterboy for how bad homeruns can hurt a pitcher.
Vince Mazzaro (ND)—Bill James believes Mazzaro’s ridiculously low HR/FB ratio in the minors will translate to the big leagues. I think James is crazy. I’m not touching this guy with a 10-meter cattle prod.
Matt Palmer (ND)—This pitcher will destroy your team in almost any given category. If you like that sort of thing, go ahead and draft him.
Ian Snell (ND)—Mercurial.
Vicente Padilla (372)—No sir. Not interested.
Brian Moehler (ND)—He’s awful, which probably means the Astros will pick him as their 5th starter over Paulino.
Glen Perkins (ND)—He’s pretty much washed up at this point, which is a shame. His injuries never let him come back to his level of minor league dominance in his younger years.
Sean West (ND)—West has the potential to be a solid pitcher in the big leagues. But not in 2010.
Sean Marshall (ND)—A swing man who really doesn’t give you much. I’d probably avoid unless it’s at the end of a deep NL league roster.
Jeremy Sowers (ND)—Never again.
Ross Ohlendorf (ND)—I like his smarts a little more than his pitching.
Ross Detwiler (ND)—There’s some upside in Detwiler in the long run, but I don’t think it will pay off anytime in 2010. His walk rates are likely to be too high this year to be worth anything other than fantasy anguish. (Signs you play fantasy baseball too much #1,342—when fantasy anguish hurts just as much as real life anguish.)
Charlie Morton (ND)—It’s hard to get excited about Morton. I sure hope his friends feel differently.
Joe Saunders (254)—I don’t care how many wins he gets, Joe Saunders is not a good fantasy pitcher.
Aaron Laffey (ND)—Not funny.
Chad Gaudin (ND)—Nope.
Zach Duke (337)—Just another low strikeout pitcher with groundball tendencies and the ability to throw the ball over the plate. I’d expect more along the lines of a 4.50ish ERA this year just because this type of pitcher is so BABIP dependent.
Doug Davis (355)—AKA “The WHIP Bomb.” If you can eat the massive WHIP hit Davis brings, he’s a nice source of K’s and generally isn’t too bad in ERA/xFIP. I’d expect a 4.30-4.50 ERA with anything better being gravy.
Livan Hernandez (ND)—I remember when he was actually a solid pitcher and not a joke. Ah, memories.
Brian Tallet (ND)—With all the young starters in Toronto vying for jobs in the rotation, I just don’t think Tallet’s skillset as a starter warrants any consideration.
Mike Pelfrey (401)—The Mets had one of the worst defenses in baseball last year, and with a contact pitcher like Pelfrey, that’s a big deal. Do the Mets project to be much better this year? Not really. I’m avoiding Pelfrey for that very reason. Well, that and the fact that he’s not very good.
Tommy Hunter (419)—Somewhere, someone thinks Hunter is a good pitcher because he had a 4.10 ERA in Texas. Don’t be that guy.
Aaron Cook (261)—Cook is much more interesting in real life than in fantasy baseball. His low K’s and high WHIP give him very little upside to outearn more than a buck or two come the end of the year. I prefer the end of my rotations to have a little more upside, though.
Jarrod Washburn (336… hey, that’s my area code)—I figured Bavasi would’ve convinced Dayton Moore to sign him already. What’s the hold up? (There’s one catch—if Washburn re-signs with Seattle, he might actually be worth a look again thanks to the park and their defense).
Brian Bannister (ND)—He and Greinke should form a Fight Club in Kansas City to let out their probable sabermetric angst over having Dayton Moore as their GM.
Ricky Romero (276)—A heavy sinkerball guy with decent strikeout stuff, but he has control issues and a BABIP problem that’s plagued him for the duration of his professional career. I think he’d probably be an asset on a great defensive team that didn’t play on turf, but not the Jays in 2010. If you can take a WHIP sinking, he could be an asset in K’s, but it’s a risky play at best.
Randy Wells of Sorrow (330)—Groundballer who doesn’t strike many guys out but also doesn’t walk a plethora of people either. He’s definitely not my favorite pitcher given his lack of any special contribution to my squad. And honestly, I’m just not sold that he can keep his HR/FB and LOB% magic tricks up. I’d expect more in the realm of a low to mid 4’s ERA along with a 1.35ish WHIP (or higher) with very few strikeouts. There’s simply not much reason to bother with him in Mixed Leagues, although he’s not a horrible option in NL leagues. I am interested to see just how low he can get his BB/9…
Nick Blackburn (348)—No.
Scott Feldman (219)—An interesting pitcher if for no other reason than he did things backwards. He went from a side-arming reliever to a ¾’s delivery starter who just happens to have a very good cutter. He’s back-end of the rotation fodder, but he’s someone I root for in real life all the same—a maximizer of potential. (On ADP: He’s clearly an overdraft of immense proportions. He’s being taken over the likes of Ben Sheets, Jonathan Sanchez, Ervin Santana, Mark Buehrle, Hiroki Kuroda, Aaron Harang and a litany of others with more talent. Stupid stupid stupid.)
Carl Pavano (ND)—Carl Pavano was kindof good last year. All things considered, though, I’d rather eat glass smothered in hot sauce than have to count on him this year. Dude has pitched fewer innings in the last five years than the likes of David Wells or Curt Schilling. This just in: they’re both retired now.
Jason Marquis (386)—A product of good infield defense coupled with homerun luck aided Marquis. I expect a heavy regression. Basically, if you own this guy, you better be in a deep NL league and you better be drunk when you’re drafting. I’m serious.