Alright, everyone. It’s time to whip out your blue Metallica shirt or your black AC/DC one. We’re about to rock out. Duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh-duh…hrm, intonation is so important with these kinds of things and since you can’t write ‘DUH-DUH-DUH’ as a musical note, I guess I’m just gonna have to give you the source material. Ok, now you ready? What? You don’t get what we’re doing? Good God, where is your guy’s culture! We’re doing some Air Guitar, Beavis And Butthead style. Ok, now are we ready? What, now you can’t get the timing down? You need a metronome? That’s not really gonna help, you gotta feel the rhythm! I swear this is the worst internet fantasy baseball music class I’ve taught in my life… but while we’re on the topic of odd time signatures, I think now is a good time to segue into our topic du jour: Cream of Scott Kazmir. What, where are you going! Oh, my soup pun looks kinda bad in hindsight. I should’ve called it Kazmir Bisque, I guess. Just be thankful I didn’t call it Cock-a-leekie. But nevermind all that, we’re here to talk about your deep league and how to fill your crockpot with the most savoriest of pitcher from the cheapest part of your draft stock… I don’t know where that metaphor is going, it honestly got away from me. So lets abruptly move on, shall we? Here’s why I think Kazmir will be the Ricky Martin in your Menudo for deep leagues for the 2014 Fantasy Baseball season…
So I started talking about old-time signatures and Kazmir, and how they correlate in the opening paragraph and then I distracted myself with soups. I don’t know how or why that happened. I must be hungry or, probably more likely, just very easily distracted… hey, look bubble wrap! Let’s pop it! What I meant to say in that segue was Kazmir has had a very up-and-down career, and for that reason, no one trusts his turnaround. Heck, some of you may not even know who he is and considering the last time he was fantasy relevant was 2008, I can understand. Back then, Kazmir was just 24 and seemed to be coming into a very promising career. He had a drool-worthy K/9, a sub-4 ERA that sat in and/or around 3.50, and still had plenty of time to improve. But underlying his successful start in Tampa were multiple DL-stints, and eventual velocity loss which slowly chipped away at his K-rate. You can get away with walking 4.08 BB/9 rate when you’re striking out 10 per 9, not so much when your rate drops closer to around 8 which is where Scott found himself in 2008.
Now I’m not going to drag on about Kazmir’s trials and tribulations but lets just say at one point I’m pretty sure he had a psychedelic Led Zeppelin poster hanging in his room and said things like ‘far out, man’ more than one person ever should. But as we’re not here to talk about the past, let’s talk about the present, and presently, Kazmir is coming off a season in which he set a career high BB/9 rate of 2.68 in which we saw a second-half where he exhibited a 4.82 K:BB ratio, a 3.38 ERA and a 10.25 K/9 rate. Or as I like to call it– ‘the Kazmir we all knew and loved with a better walk rate’. That’s a scary scenario, people. Wanna know what’s even scarier? You’d think with this long of a career already that we’re talking about some old and withered goat of a pitcher, but Kazmir is only 29. In pitcher years, that’s not old at all. Just ask Cliff Lee. In fact, it’s been said that good pitchers don’t even get into their prime until their early 30’s, so we may still see some improvement from Scott on the way yet. Yet even if he replicates his line from last year over more innings, Scott can give you a top 10 or 15 K-rate for a fraction of where others on that list from 2013 would go. Overall, it may feel like an out of place note in a descending career but I do believe you’re gonna be striking a major chord getting Scott late in drafts this year…and was that enough musical puns to last a lifetime? Yes? Agreed. And with that I’m out!
Sky Sperling is a contributor for Razzball Football and Razzball Baseball. He’s also a lover of fine beer, fine women and fine-toothed combs. You can follow him on twitter @Sky_Razzball and in your most sweetest of dreams.