This is ridiculous. Brandon Morrow has been a sleeper for me going on three years. I realize this. Hence my pointing-it-out’ing. Here’s what I have to ask myself. Is he just another Ricky Nolasco? A guy that consistently has an ERA higher than his xFIP and you should just ignore? Nolasco had a 5.06 ERA in 2009 and a 3.23 xFIP. Pegged by everyone and their monkey’s uncle to be a breakout candidate in 2010. Monkey’s Uncle, “Actually, I liked Mat Latos.” Then in 2010, Nolasco flopped again — 4.51 ERA vs. a 3.37 xFIP. At that point, I gave up hope for Nolasco because his K-rate started falling. In 2011, Nolasco once again gave fantasy owners false hope with a 4.67 ERA vs. a 3.55 xFIP. But now his K-rate is has gone from falling star to Vampires in Brooklyn bad. RN needs exactly that to nurse his ERA back to respectability. I don’t think Morrow does. I think the sun will come out for Morrow. So what can we expect of Brandon Morrow of 2012 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
Big difference between Nolasco and Morrow is a terrific K-rate — 10+ in 2011. OH, GREY, IT’S JUST A K-RATE AGAIN, ISN’T IT? I understand your frustration, Mr. Al Caps. Morrow’s BABIP was about right at .299, but everything you want of a solid pitcher was a bit lacking. He didn’t leave men on base (65.5%), balls in parks (10.4% HR/FB) and he walks hitters (3.46). But — and like J. Lo this is a big but — his walk rate last year, always a huge issue for him, was the best of his career. Great sign! (Sorry for the non-sarcastic exclamation mark, but Morrow gets me excited.) The month of June last year is exactly what we want from Morrow over the course of a season. It wasn’t a particularly lucky or unlucky month. He gave up a few homers (3), struck out hitters (9.87), didn’t walk a whole lot (3.19) and left baserunners on (69%). His BABIP of .284 was a tad lucky, but not bonkers. All doable numbers. That month he had a 3.77 ERA. If you have a guy striking out almost 10 batters per nine, a 3.77 ERA is a thing of beauty. For next year, I’ll give him 13-9/3.85/1.28/210. I love Morrow!* (*If Morrow fails to live up to expectations in 2012, he’s dead to me. This will be our last dance.)