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Picking the "BIG" Name Player, or the Numbers
by Ray Flowers (Guest Writer)
Mar 08, 2004

PART 2… Pitching

In this article, we will take a look at pitchers in PART II of our draft analysis to show you how the “name” player might be no more valuable than they “no name” player. Remember it’s the numbers that count, that’s all. And remember, we aren’t in 2000 so don’t draft an all-star team from that year, we are only concerned with 2004 here. First we will list the “name”, then below him the lesser name, followed by a brief analysis. 

* In our analysis below, RS means Run Support. 

  W L ERA K whip RS

Millwood

14

12

4.01

169

1.25

4.62

Ponson

17

12

3.75

134

1.26

5.50

We were surprised at just how close the two pitchers stats were. Granted, Millwood is on a much stronger ballclub, but is he worth the extra you’ll have to pay for him? We would say that the determining factor would be the price you have to pay, because we know that Millwood at his best is a Cy Young candidate, whereas Ponson just had his career year. However, pay attention to a couple of factors on draft day: Millwood’s 2nd half ERA was 4.58 and his whip climbed to 1.36.  

  W L ERA K whip RS

Colon

15

13

3.87

173

1.20

5.54

Clement

14

12

4.11

171

1.23

4.20

Colon, the fireballing off-season acquisition of the Angels, is believed to be the cog that the Angels needed, along with Vlad, to return to the World Series. While this may be the case, is Colon worth the $10 extra you’ll have to pay for him (or the 4-6 round earlier pick)? Study the stats…especially that last line of RS. If Clement had one more run per game, what would his record have been? Plus, Clement is the 4th pitcher for the Cubs, whereas Colon most certainly will go #1 for the Angels. Also, at this point of their careers, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Clement with 50 more K’s than Colon by the end of the season.

Colon has peaked…has Clement? 

  W L ERA K whip RS

Nomo

16

13

3.09

177

1.25

4.08

Kip Wells

10

9

3.28

147

1.25

4.24

Nomo, gosh we just don’t like this guy. Maybe it’s the funky windup, or the fact that he’s 47 (actually he’s only 35). Objectively he has thrown tons of pitches these past 10 years, and maybe it’s finally catching up to him (i.e. his off-season surgery). As for Wells, look at his whip and ERA…yes he’s on the Pirates, but those are impressive stats. Could Nomo improve his record if his health permits him and the Dodgers learn how to hit? Sure. But that 3.09 ERA could easily climb to 3.75 or 4.00 this year, and his K rate was at a 4 year low. Don’t be seduced by the past. Nomo has seen his best, while Wells might be finally ready for his. 2nd half stats: Wells 2.74 ERA and 7 Wins. 

  W L ERA K whip RS

Zito

14

12

3.30

146

1.19

4.62

Wade Miller

14

13

4.13

161

1.31

5.48

23-5, 2.75 ERA…that was Zito in 2002. Is he capable of repeating those stats? Sure he is but beware of the ever-dwindling A’s offense. Zito nearly matched his whip from 2002 (1.13 to 1.18 last year), and his ERA was only 3.30 (7th best in the AL). But everyone will remember his 2002 season when bidding…and don’t forget that in 2 more innings last year Zito had 36 less K’s than the year before (and 59 less than 2001). On the other hand Miller, who has been up and down the past couple of years, is primed for a career year. With the Astros rotations new additions, it appears that last years #2 starter will head into this season as #4 behind Oswalt, Clemens and Pettitte. Miller also upped his K’ rate in the 2nd half, while lowering his ERA to 3.28. You’d be foolish to pay double for Zito… pay 2/3 for Miller and spend the extra on someone else. 

  W L ERA K whip RS

J. Santana

12

3

3.07

169

1.10

5.34

Wolf

16

10

4.23

177

1.27

6.71

Santana is everyone’s HOT pitcher of the year in the AL (Beckett is the NL’s version). We have to admit we were on the bandwagon last year, and for those of you like us who purchased him for $7, we are sitting phat now. But we are dealing with this years draft. The question isn’t if he will do well this year (as a starter in his career he’s 19-9, 3.98, 224, 1.24), the question is will he be worth more than Wolf by seasons end? Because of the hype Santana might be the 10th or so pitcher taken, whereas Wolf will probably be taken around 20. Wolf was on his way to his best season but he blew up in the 2nd half: 6-6, 5.60, 1.54. We’re betting that his 2nd half slide was blip on the radar and the effect will allow you to grab this hurler at a reduced rate (his 1st half numbers: 10-4, 3.31, 1.09). The man can deal, and if the Phillies offense produces like it can, 17-18 wins are easily attainable for this portsider.  

RELIEF PITCHERS

  W L SV ERA K whip

Franc Rodriguez

8

3

2

3.03

95

0.99

Quantrill

2

5

1

1.75

44

0.99

If Troy Percival gets injured, Frod will step in. If Mariano Rivera is injured, Quantrill won’t. But lets assume good health, cause you are really in dangerous territory if you are hoping for an injury. The main difference between these two is that Frod had World Series exposure, which will increase his value. Who’s Paul Quantrill you say? Well, the last three years he leads all ML pitchers in appearances (80, 86, 89) and he’s had an ERA in the 2.20 range the last two years. While we admit he probably wont produce as much value as Frod, if Frod costs $8-10 and Quantrill can be had for $2 or 3… 

  W L SV ERA K whip

Hasegawa

2

4

16

1.48

32

1.10

Jose Valverde

2

1

10

2.15

71

1.00

These two guys are the tale of roles…setup man or closer? Each could step in if the closer is injured or ineffective (Guardado for the M.’s and Mantei for the D’backs). Shiggy will probably be overvalued as people are swayed by his stats without looking at his 2nd half totals: 2.73 ERA and 1.37 whip. Not that those are bad totals, but Valverde should better those totals this year. Plus, what are the odds that Guardado gets hurt? Mantei on the other hand…the guys a walking M.A.S.H unit.  

  W L SV ERA K whip

Percival

0

5

33

3.47

48

1.14

Aquilno Lopez

1

3

14

3.42

64

1.26

On the face of it this is a ridiculous comparison. But that’s the point of this article isn’t it? Percival is one of those guys you pick and know you’ve just grabbed 35 saves. But can we count on another year like that? His 2nd half stats are very troubling: 4.87 ERA, 1.57 whip. When those stats are combined with his hip injury and on/off again arm issues, this guys a pretty risky pick at the price he’ll command. Lopez on the other hand, probably will cost you half as much, and by the end of the year, he might just have the same save total. Lopez 2nd half stats, when he stepped into the role of closer: 2.05 ERA, 1.14 whip and 12 for 12 in saves. Will he pan out and hold off Justin Speier all year? $13 for Lopez versus $25 for Percival still sounds like a gamble we would take. Hell just buy Speier too if you worried, you’ll still have $ left over.  

  W L SV ERA K whip

Dotel

6

4

4

2.48

97

0.97

Rhodes

3

3

3

4.17

48

1.31

And the battle we have all been waiting for…the setup man turned closer race…this one seems to favor Dotel. But lets look at the 3 year averages of each hurler.

Dotel: 6-4, 4 saves, 120 K’s 2.33 ERA, 1.02 whip in 96 innings.

Rhodes: 7-2, 3, 71, 2.63, 0.98 in 64 innings (which helps to explain the K difference).

That’s pretty darn close. Both have struggled when placed in the closer role, and it would appear that Dotel would be the better choice if the numbers were our sole criteria. But the number we are most concerned with here is price/value. If Dotel costs you $29 on draft day, and you can grab Rhodes for $23…can you use that $6 some place else? Maybe that $6 is the difference between grabbing Sammy Sosa or picking Shawn Green? Well, that’s the choice you’ll have to make. 

So the moral of this two part story is have a plan.

  1. When you go into your draft, no matter weather it’s a straight draft or one that uses $ amounts, know the players that are available and what they are truly worth based on your league rules.
  2. Just cause a magazine tells you that Millwood is worth $25 doesn’t mean that he is…its just a guide.
  3. The value of player is based on what they will do in 2004, not what he did last year.
  4. Though you have a plan, don’t rigidly adhere to it if an opportunity presents itself. If its draft day and your wondering whether or not Wade Miller is worth a $14 bid, you might have already lost. You can’t win your league on draft day but you can lose it.

Take our advice for what it is...just another resource to put in your brain as you decide what strategy you are going to employ to hammer your friends. Information is information…its just that we are partial to ours, and we think you should be too. 

 


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