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During my 2nd 2009 fantasy baseball draft — mock! — I said something like, “I’m going to end up with Javier Vazquez on a bunch of teams in 2009.”  And that’s me paraphrasing me! Well, lookie-lookie. Someone in the Braves brass (prolly Cox) reads Razzball and liked the idea of having Vazquez on their team in 2009 because they just acquired him from the White Sox for three top prospects. (Or maybe three top prospects and a fourth not-so-top prospect. I’m not sure as I write this; the deal’s not finalized. I’ll cover the other guys in a future post, but right now this is the news and I’m Boogaloo Shrimp up in here breakin’ it.) So what’s so exciting about Javier Vazquez in 2009 for fantasy baseball?

Now stay with me here, because these numbers are about to become Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift-style.  200 Ks in 208 1/3 IP in 2008.  In 2007, 213 Ks in 216 2/3 IP. In 2006, 184 Ks. 2005 — 192 Ks. As Moses said in the desert, are you following me here? Dooode strikes out people and throws a ton of innings. Now he moves to the NL (though a decent hitting NL division) and gets to pitch in a park that slightly favored hitters in 2008, but is a pretty neutral park overall, unlike Cellular Field that simply favors hitters. Me likey. Before the trade, Bill James projected a 3.80/1.24/195 in 214 innings for 2009. I think those were generous projections before the trade, but now I think they’re right in line with what you should expect. (Did Bill James get a hold of Biff Tannen’s sports book? Food for thought.) The only thing that kinda dulls the finish on this trade is, “The Mazzone Shine.”

For seventeen years Mazzone did such wonders with the Braves pitchers that people still overrate them, even though Mazzone hasn’t been there in years. This want to applaud the Bravos pitchers is “The Mazzone Shine.” (Tell me Jo-Jo Reyes or Jorge Campillo would have been as owned in 2008 if not for The Mazzone Shine. FYI, that’s a rhetorical “Tell me.” I’m not really asking you.) Unfortunately, The Mazzone Shine will now help people locate Javier Vazquez on their 2009 fantasy radars.  Prior to the trade, Vazquez was a sleeper with upside, as evidenced by my 15th and 17th round mock draft picks. Now The Shine may lift him from underrated to rated.

  1. big o says:
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    do any of you guys ever challenge Bill James ?
    since i have no reputation to lose (whatsoever) , i’ll do it for you .
    as , i believe , James would use a conservative 5-6% improvement in ERA for the switch to the national league , i’ll put his adjusted ERA at 3.63 .
    but even giving him a range of 3.63 – 3.80 , James misses the mark . javy’s ERA will fall within the 4.12 – 4.19 range for the 2009 season .

    criticize away .
    if provoked , i’d bet a pina colada that his ERA is closer to 4.29

  2. big o says:
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    ok , now i’m getting bored .
    4.39

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: You put his ERA at 3.63, but then say Bill James misses the mark. Why? I’m confused.

  4. As a Braves fan AND Vazquez fan, I’m ecstatic. I figured he’d end up on almost all my teams in 2009, and now it’s even more of a sure thing. I just hope your last line about him becoming simply rated now isn’t true. I want to be able to pay the same for him as if he had still been with the Sox, but receive even better stats than I initially expected.

    Should be interesting to see how this affects his ADP in the coming weeks in the millions of mock drafts that seem to be going on. Pray with me Grey that this trade doesn’t change it!

  5. big o says:
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    @grey
    saying that James would adjust down-ward from his 3.80 , now that vasquez has moved to the national league , to 3.63 .
    for the sake of conversation , leave it at 3.80 , if you wish .
    i’m not saying that vasquez completely loses it this year .
    just that we won’t see the improvement that one would normally associate with such a move .
    and that his ERA will be close to 1/2 run higher than James predicts .

  6. IowaCubs

    IowaCubs says:
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    If he’s simply “rated” at this point, what would his real value be? Is 10th round (12 team lg) too high?

    120 to 140?

  7. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @big o: There might also be an argument to be made that the NL East is stronger than the AL Central.

    @IowaCubs: I would look to grab him in the 160 to 180 range with 200 being value.

  8. Vazquez has had only one above average year in the last 5. In 2007, his ERA+ (ERA vs league average) was 127 or 27% better than league average. The other four years were: 92, 100, 98, 98.

    No reason to believe he does any better than league average. NL league average last year was 4.21. So I’l go w/ 4.30.

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