Trying to think of a title usually takes me an hour. This one took about a month. To be totally honest with you, because I lie all the time, I’m not sure where the hiccup occurred. Usually step 1 is drink. Step 2 is smashturbate. Step 3 is begin word vomit, complete with an all-encompassing, all-knowing title to catch your eye and get you to scroll down two more inches. That’s what she said.
Admittedly so, you can’t really do a play of words on Jon Niese. There’s just nothing there. What kind of puns that don’t involve niece are you going to use? And before you say “just involve something with niece,” you shut your mouth when you’re talking to me. This is my blog post. I do what I want! But no, I don’t have anything close to witty that I can associate with your niece. In fact, it’s creepy that we’re talking about your niece. #8yearoldsdude
But during my research I stumbled on a report that Jon Niese had cosmetic surgery at the suggestion of Carlos Beltran. No, this isn’t a Priest, a Rabbi, and a Puerto Rican walk into bar type of joke. This really happened. Beltran even offered to pay.
Niese: Me ugs. FML!
Beltran: Hola senor feo!
Niese: I’m going to have to reproduce through mitosis…
Beltran: Chill, ahem, excuse me, frio mi hermano. I got this.
Look, I’m not against people who get plastic surgery. I frankly don’t care. It isn’t all that surprising that vanity is present in entertainment. And however you feel about sports and baseball in general, it is entertainment. But I will make fun of you with friends and family. Especially if another man peer pressures you into it. I mean, you can’t find another way to waste money on girls that aren’t making out with you this month?
Anyhow, that’s the title, so there.
God, 300 words in and baseball talk just started. I feel like Chris Berman.
So, Jon Niese. Totally not in the top 67 tiers you’ll have while drafting. As even evidenced by Grey’s refusal to even acknowledge his existence. Or my terrible google skills. Flip a coin I guess. But we all know that late round pick-ups *can* be a factor in your fantasy season if done well.
If you’re asking me to pick between Johan Santana, Tim Hudson, Phil Hughes, Homer Bailey, or Niese, you know what’s up. And let’s get to the why.
First, he’s 26 years old. And a Libra. Loosely (or tightly, its subjective) there still might be some projection left. When you buy, you always want there to be some of that. For example, we already know what Johan Santana is going to do. He could be mediocre. Or he could get injured. Those are pretty much his set outcomes. Which leads to the second point. Jon Niese is already a steady play. He’ll give you a 170+ innings of decent value with a pu-pu platter of skills across the board. And of course, he could be better. And yes, you are right, Niese could get injured too. Any pitcher can get injured at any time and any place. It could be when cutting meat. It could be playing guitar hero. Or it could actually happen when they are doing what they are paid to do — pitching. But there is a direct correlation with age and injury. I mean, it’s a fact. If you don’t believe me, go hug your grandma and then promptly body slam yourselves to the ground, see whose hip wins.
Basically, you are buying consistency. Using a 90ish fastball, a cutter, and a curveball, he’s managed to get average swinging strikes and an average ground-ball rate. And over the last two seasons, Niese has been a perfect picture of stability. The three most important events that a pitcher has the most control over — K%, BB% and HR/9 — have eerily stayed exactly the same.
The only injuries he’s had are a torn right hamstring in 2009, strained right hamstring in 2010, and a strained right intercostal in 2011. If you notice something, these are all unrelated to his arm. There aren’t any variations in his fastball speed either, so he can be labeled a safe bet. At least as far as safe bets go with pitchers.
Not every pitcher on your roster can be Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw. This is where Jon Niese comes into play. Draft him on the back-end and expect… 12-9/3.65/1.21/160.