This is the final post in this series of articles. After this week, we move on to our in-season starting pitching analysis, the streaming article on Thursdays, and the two-start pitcher analysis with tiers on Saturdays. Please do not feel shy about commenting on any of my posts, as I enjoy engaging in conversations with any of my readers. And if you disagree with something I write, let me know and we can hash it out. Anyway, on to this last batch of late round possibilities as the draft season comes to a regrettable close.
To spell out some guidelines, this series of articles is going to profile starting pitchers that have an ADP of 200 or better (meaning taken later than pick 200). In a 10 team league, those pitchers would be going in round 21 or later (it would be mid-way through round 16 in a 12 team league). By that point in your draft, you have more than likely filled out your starting offense and picked up an ace and closer, perhaps a couple more pitchers. Your mileage may vary depending on your actual league settings, but you get the general idea.
Please note that the projections for each of the pitchers below are my own, that I create after comparing various sources and adjusting for expected playing time, specifically, innings pitched for starting pitchers. As for the ADP numbers, I am looking at the ADP results our very own Howard Bender is compiling with his Mock Draft Army mocks.
Shane Greene DET ADP: 351.2
I would love to take credit for the move up the ADP ranks for Greene this draft season, but I fear that many others have discovered the probable fifth member of the Tiger starting rotation, as he is not always there for me at the end of drafts any longer. A positive sign this spring has been his reliance on his change up against left-hander batters, who hit a scary .281/.365/.400 against him in 2014. He will provide strikeouts but his control is suspect, which will push up his WHIP. If he can maintain his excellent 2.04 GB/FB ratio from 2014, and improve his control, he has a chance to break out in 2015. He did seem to thrive at the major league level once the Yankees promoted him last season, and he is posting a 14:3 K/BB ratio over 13.2 innings this spring, so there is hope. Maybe not Kluber breakout hope, but a glimmer of what could be in 2015.
2015 Projections: 12 Wins/150 K/3.75 ERA/1.30 WHIP over 170 innings
Bud Norris BAL ADP: 351.8
Norris will eat up some innings for his owners, and the peripherals and Ks will be there for cheap. That is assuming his awful spring numbers do not carry over into the regular season: 9.26 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 9:9 K/BB over 11.2 innings. Throwing a 93-94 MPH fastball, he should rack up better K numbers than he does, but his lack of control (2.83 BB/9 in 2014) and inability to limit home runs, especially pitching in Baltimore, limit his desirability as a solid back of the rotation starter. He is more of a streaming option than someone you want to rely upon every start he is scheduled to make. Then again, if his improved changeup and slider make him harder on left-handed hitters, as seemed to be the case in the second half of 2014, he would make for a steal on draft day given how late he is going. You may want to wait to see whether his less than stellar start to last season is repeated. He should be on your wire to begin the season unless you draft in a very deep league. Or live in the Baltimore area-gotta watch those hometown picks.
2015 Projections: 9 Wins/150 K/3.72 ERA/1.25 WHIP over 170 innings
Alfredo Simon DET ADP: 355.9
Simon is slotted in solidly as the number four SP in Detroit, although as I indicate above, I think his teammate Greene is more valuable. Getting out of Cincinnati and moving to Comerica Park should help him overcome the stigma of moving to the AL and facing DHs instead of pitchers in the lineup. In six starts this spring, his ERA sits at a deplorable 5.56 and he is sporting a 1.41 WHIP. These are not the numbers you want to target for your SP6/7, these are the type of stats you want your opponents to encumber their team with at the draft. If his lack of dominance in Florida spills over to the regular season, expect the Tigers to replace him in the rotation, most likely with Kyle Lobstein. I cannot in good conscience suggest you draft Simon at this point in the spring, and as we know, it is getting late for decision-making about your team.
2015 Projections: 12 Wins/119 K/4.15 ERA/1.34 WHIP over 185 innings
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Drew Pomeranz OAK ADP: 356.1
I generally like any pitcher that wins a spot on the Oakland pitching staff. Repeat after me: Billy Beane can sniff out pitching gold. Pomeranz had a rough start to his career, beginning in Colorado and getting beat up badly in that park where pitchers go to have their spirts crushed. He thrived in Oakland (big surprise) until he decided to take out his frustrations over a poor performance against Texas by punching a chair. Word to wise: do not attack inanimate objects with your pitching hand. Reminds me of what Crash Davis said in Bull Durham: “That's good; when you get in a fight with a drunk you don't hit him with your pitching hand.” Drunk, chair, all good advice. In 2015, there is no way he will strand 84.3% nor put up a .252 BABIP, so expect some regression. Look at my projections, and if you believe in him, bump them up a bit. If you trust him to regress a bit, then despite his status as an Oakland SP, avoid him until he proves himself in April. Just be prepared for an early waiver wire/FAAB move to add him to your roster.
2015 Projections: 9 Wins/158 K/3.92 ERA/1.34 WHIP over 170 innings
Continue to peruse these articles as we try to uncover some late round gems for you to target in your drafts, and allow you to build a formidable starting rotation without sacrificing offense to do so. Also, if there is interest in later round middle relievers, I would be glad to include those pitchers in future articles as well. If you have any questions about starting pitching or fantasy baseball, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.