Last time, on Nerd TV we looked at some SP whose actual Ks didn’t jive with their expected Ks from last season. That’s 2011, for those of you traveling through time while reading this. In case you can’t read minds or remember 70 random characters at a time, I’ve used this formula for the expected Ks:
Today, we’ll subjectively select some sandbaggin’ and overachievin’ RP for your fantasy baseball draft strategy.
If you missed Part 1, that’s where all your questions were answered about how, why and where the data was pulled.
RP Sandbaggers (eK% / K% / K% Diff):
Francisco Cordero – 19.9 / 15.3 / 4.6
Coco put up a superb ERA/WHIP combo and his K/9 should’ve been closer to league average than 5.43. This could be partially due to a change in his repertoire, as he induced more GB, chucked 25% less fastballs, and even worked in a curve. He topped it all off with a drop in velocity across the board, a .214 BABIP and a LOB% almost 5.5 points higher than his his career… what the…? His deflated numbers didn’t fool the Redlegs into showing him the money, and they shouldn’t get you all cuckoo for CoCo either, even if he ends up somewhere with closer potential. In case you’re wondering, Mad Dog shows up later on the list at +1.6%.
Jason Motte – 27.0 / 23.5 / 3.5
I’m all in on Motte like cinnamon is to applesauce. It’s time for pun with analogies, kids! His BABIP and HR/FB% were low and lower, but I’d like to think they’re naturally sweetened. Consider 1.2 more eK/9, an improved walk rate and a refined cutter and you’ve got Motte’s-appeal! Hopefully, the bitter taste of TLR’s 2011 non-committal closer endorsement affects Motte’s 2012 ADP such that hand-picking his goodness will be a cheap way to keep the saves doctor away.
Luke Gregerson – 17.5 / 14.1 / 3.4
When he pitched, Huston Street actually sat at +2.5%. If… nay, WHEN he gets hurt and/or traded, the logical place to look is this. Son of Gregor should’ve had a K/9 rate slightly under league average (which isn’t saying much compared to his career 9.3). He also had a low HR/FB rate to go with a dip in FB/CH velocity over the past two seasons. Luke went to the dark side, AKA the slider, 57.5% of the time too. Bode well this does not. Boxberger could get a shot, but with the acquisition of Cashner I think they’d do their best to keep White Castle on ice while they can. Tempura your expectations for a fresh cut backup closer for the Friars.
Kevin Gregg – 22.4 / 19.3 / 3.1
It’s assumed Jim Johnson, who was pretty spot on for eK% here, will assume the closer role rather than head for the rotation. But what if you and me are made into asses? Not much funny business is to be found in Gregg’s numbers, he simply isn’t a good closer. His eK/9 was 9.3, which sounds great in theory. In practice, he continues to hit the zone less, plus fool less batters into taking cuts. Vlurp. If a man points a gun at you and says you have to pick someone besides Gregg, it might be Alfredo Simon. In that case, you should probably pick Alfredo.
Heath Bell – 22.8 / 19.9 / 2.9
Unlike the predecessor formerly known as Leo Nunez, there shouldn’t be any mistake about his identity in the Miami bullpen. Between the improved offense, retooled rotation and his pen-pals, the portly slider should get plenty of chances. The new stadium should actually be a reasonable facsimile of Petco’s dimensions too. Aside from giving up more bad contact, being a bit lucky on BABIP and turning 34, there isn’t a ton that suggests a decline just yet, including this +1.1 expected K/9. If you must have your $12 salad, this one isn’t quite wilted.
Neftali Feliz – 24.0 / 21.4 / 2.6
His K/9 should’ve been less than 9, even with this boost. He’s set to start in the rotation (yes, I realize that’s what pitchers typically do there) despite not having pitched more than 100 innings since 2009, or ever started an MLB game. Texas’ bullpen has potential to be both nasty and fragile, so the move’s likely to stick unless the pen’s really depleted by injuries and/or he himself is. It’s unwise to ignore a player’s will to play through fatigue or injury. It’s also unwise to ignore the risk Neftali could end up infeliz, regardless of his role.
Chris Perez – 17.8 / 15.7 / 2.1
He lost a tick off his velocity, his SwStr%, F-Strike% and GB% dropped, and his O-Contact% took a pretty big jump. If he had ended up with more of what kounts here though (see what I just did there?), he would have been closer to his career lines across the board. I don’t think he’ll return to 2010 form, but there’s definitely room for improvement in his age 27 season. BTW, I’m not Sipp-ing the Kool-Aid on Tony’s +2.1 eK% in case Chris trades his Wild Side Of Perez face for more of his WSOP face.
Carlos Marmol – 32.2 / 30.3 / 1.9
Who has two thumbs and a career BB% almost one and a half times worse than Kevin Gregg? This guy! Not me, Marmol! My control wouldn’t fare any better if I came anywhere near throwing from a mound. I wouldn’t provide around 12 K/9 whilst being wildly inconsistent either. He’ll still get his, despite losing some zip. Just don’t make like a bushbaby when he gets dealt, with no guarantee to close, after the Cubbies pump up his value.
Frank Francisco – 26.1 / 24.3 / 1.8
Frank Frank has a bad (w)rap from being festooned with injuries, but he should fare well with a move to the NL and Citi vs. Arlington or Toronto. His expected K/9 was right around 10 too, like his career mark. If he does get hurt, what’s the worst that can happen? You (and you and you) have to take stabs at saves and a few less Ks from Jon Rauch or Ramon Ramirez, or a few more Ks and a smack from the WHIP of Bobby Parnell? The Mets won’t be good and the backup shituation is far from formed, but all the more reason Frank x 2 = cheap value.
Andrew Bailey – 25.8 / 24.1 / 1.7
Speaking of guys who can’t stay healthy… when he is, Bailey’s the cream. He just isn’t the shelf stable kind. What Irish luck he did have finally took a normalizing swing, which included missing out on a handful of Ks. Even in a less ideal home ballpark, he’ll put up acceptable stats again. His IP go 83.1 as 2009 ROY, 49.0, 41.2 though, so it’s not like the Sawx won’t know the drill. I can’t help but think they’ll go light on Bailey whether or not Bard floats as a starter. Melancon will get more than a few shots, even before the DL jig comes up, so plan accordionly.
Jordan Walden – 28.1 / 26.5 / 1.6
I don’t know whether Bill James is married, but if he is, Jay-Dub must’ve slept with his wife. I mean, he really doesn’t seem to like this guy and I don’t get it. The Pond wasn’t always still and he liked to go out for walks, but his K/9 should’ve been 10.6. Give the kid a second full year of immersion to get acclimated with the MLB experience and I think he’s got a great chance to be just as valuable without the related cerebral discord.
There are only about twice as many RP Sandbaggers as there are Overachievers, and I know you can’t wait to dig in.
RP Overachievers (eK% / K% / K% Diff):
Kenley Jansen – 38.7 / 44.0 / -5.3
…sounds like a NASCAR driver, and he likes to throw fast and to the left. With the biggest K% ding of any RP, he still would’ve been champ for expected K/9 on this list. It’s also kinda whack to knock a guy for control issues when he had a sustainabe 1.04 WHIP. Guerra’s K% should’ve been 1.4% higher, but Jansen ought to hammer down the closer role before long. Even with the risk of health issues and burnout from leaving the heater on almost 87% of the time, he could provide value reminiscent of a guy named…
Craig Kimbrel – 38.1 / 41.5 / -3.4
If you prefer to dig for diamonds in the rough as closers, Kimbrel could’ve rewarded your search in spades. An eK/9 of 13.6 still would have made him priceless. His health may not be forever, throwing only the gas and 30% sliders. However, if taking risk on top-tier quality is more your thing, even Kimbrel-lite’s a good bet to net you plenty of the shiny stuff next year.
Sergio Santos – 33.0 / 35.4 / -2.4
“Coo coo coo roo coo coo coo coo!” SS Closer has presumably docked in Toronto. “He should bring the same reliable service to the Great White North, eh?” Not so fast, my Canadian so-called-bacon-eating friend. “Take off, eh!” The former SS turns twenty-nine in twenty-twelve and we’re looking at a singular, pretty good year. His K/9 still would’ve been elite at 12.2, but is he really an improvement over Jansen? Some may say he’s a potential value pick. I say we’ve already seen his upside. “Beauty advice… from a hoser!”
Joel Hanrahan – 20.0 / 22.3 / -2.3
His was like a season’s worth of dream nights out; aggressive with first pitches, gave up contact, and got lucky a lot. He might have found some success cutting back on sliders and dishing more cheese, but I don’t think it’s realistic to expect it remain so tasty. His K/9 was 1.8 below his career rate and should’ve been lower. You could look past that, but you probably won’t like how rosy things are when you’re left with Joe-Han and a dream.
Rafael Betancourt – 29.2 / 30.8 / -1.6
“Duuuude, Rex Brothers IS Denver, man.” Whoa, if you want to spend your dimes on a wild rookie, maybe you’ve had Dawn Wells sending you care packages. The Bro’s -3.3% K% difference was over twice as high too. “High? *giggle* Nah…” I’ll stick with the other natural choice; John… er, the guy in the headline. “Wha? Don’t Bogart the Cheetos, dude.” Speaking of good bets, any snack product that ends in a homophone of -ito probably is one. Don’t read the ingredients on the Dor-itos bag though. Bonus points for Tito’s Vodka.