Wednesday, March 14, 2007

3 Days 'till Debauchery

I just got done reading the '07 Baseball Prospectus cover to cover, and I'm now fully prepared for next week's fantasy draft. Here are my four picks for breakout seasons amongst pitchers:

1) Matt Cain, RHP SF - He smoked the league second half of last year, and appears to be poised to break out this season. In a relatively weak NL West, and in a pitchers park, he could win 18.

2) Jeremy Bonderman, RHP Det. - Skurvy likes this pick, I bet. Sure he won 14 last year, but he had a 4+ ERA. Its misleading though, because he was in the deepest division in the league. He averaged nearly a strikeout an inning last season. He just ran into some bad luck, with a very high Batting Avg. per Balls in Play (BABIP- which is a number that pitchers have no way of controlling, believe it or not. Or at least, its a number that fluctuates at random, with no direct correlation to any other pitching statistic, peripheral or counting).

3) John Lackey RHP LAA - My Cy Young pick (non Santana category). He's a relatively under the radar kinda guy, but he strikes out 8 per 9 and keeps the ball in the park. He made his spring debut last week and K'd 5 of the 11 guys he faced. His offense will be much better this year (provided Shea Hillenbrand gets hurt or something).

4) Adam Loewen LHP Bal - My dark horse. His 5+ ERA and .500 record left a lot to be desired last year, but he flashed potential. He still walks a ton of people, but he's been lighting up this spring so far.

If you have a fantasy team, do what you can to grab each of these guys in late rounds, especially Lackey and Bonderman, who are vets and unlikely to suffer injury. And be sure to thank me in September.

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