I’m not sure anyone can hit Aroldis Chapman. For a pitcher, that’s a pretty good thing. If you speak street, he be fire on Crunk Juice. He can throw the ball faster than Bob Feller on a motorcycle. Fidel Castro used to karaoke Sublime by singing, “I don’t practice Santeria, I can’t see Aroldis’ fastball.” It’s fast. We’ll leave it at that. There’s really no question. Let’s give some numbers now. In 26 IP of his rookie year, 25 Ks, 1.15 WHIP and a 2.42 ERA. Then in his sophomore year, his numbers were 160 2/3 IP, 130 Ks, 1.51 WHIP and a 4.82 ERA. His wildness really stopped him from being successful with 96 walks. There were definitely some flashes of brilliance, but almost completely unownable in fantasy. Wait, next year hasn’t happened yet. Oh, right, random italicized voice. My bad. Those are the rookie and sophomore numbers for Randy Johnson. These two aren’t the same player, but A) Randy is the player Chapman is most compared to B) Aroldis is a wild, nasty lefty C) There’s no C. So will Aroldis’ 2011 be a wash like Randy’s 2nd season? What can we expect Aroldis Chapman for 2011 fantasy baseball?
There won’t be a more exciting name on the pitching side next year. I imagine ESPN will ticker us every time he throws more than 103 MPH. I kinda think he would be better for fantasy next year as a middle reliever. If he walks a guy or two per inning when pitching only one inning, he can get himself of out the jam. If he starts a game and walks one or two guys per inning for the first four innings, it’s going to catch up to him. As a starter in the minors last year, Aroldis threw 65 2/3 IP with mixed results. The Ks are obviously always going to be there (76 of ‘em), but his ERA was 4.11 and his WHIP was 1.52. That was in the minors. If those numbers don’t make you act a bit more conservatively with Chapman in 2011, there’s probably nothing I can say. To go back to the earlier comparison, it took Randy four years (until his age 29 year) to break through with the walks. Next year, I’ll give Aroldis Chapman the line of 9-4/4.00/1.40/140 in 130 IP. Obviously, if finds the secret potion to help his control, his numbers can be way above that. Will definitely be worth the flier, but don’t reach too far because there’s a ton of risk there too.