2012 Positional Review – Starting Pitchers: Misses
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
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
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